EVs provide numerous economic and environmental benefits and are being heralded as the future of transportation. A transition to EVs reduces dependence on imported petroleum and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By providing PEV charging at the workplace, employers are perfectly positioned to contribute to and benefit from the electrification of transportation. To help you get started, this section outlines the many benefits of electric vehicles.
Workplace charging offers many benefits to employers, employees, and building owners. For a project to be successful, it is important for all stakeholders to understand the benefits.
Benefits for Employers and Building Owners
Employee recruitment and retention
The availability of charging conveys that your organization stays on the leading edge of technological development, even to workers who don’t drive PEVs. And employers that offer charging may be better positioned to attract and retain employees who do drive PEVs.
Furthering sustainability goals
The availability of PEV charging can be a strong addition to an organization’s larger portfolio of sustainability practices, particularly if the organization has existing objectives related to employee commuting practices, greenhouse gas reductions, and/or transportation emissions reductions.
Providing workplace charging can help demonstrate an organization’s leadership in supporting cutting-edge, clean transportation technologies to customers, consumers, and the surrounding community.
Workplace charging can be an attractive addition to your organization’s existing employee package benefit. Employees will likely appreciate that their employer is proactive in seeking out ways to enhance their experience at the workplace.
Tenant attraction and retention
Building owners who offer workplace charging at their facilities send the message that they are interested in providing smart, proactive solutions for their tenants’ present and future needs. Entering this fast-growing niche market today may yield significant benefits in the long run.
Benefits for Employees
The opportunity to charge at work can help alleviate “range anxiety,” a driver’s uncertainty about the vehicle’s ability to reach a destination before depleting the battery’s charge.
Workplace charging can potentially double the daily all-electric driving range, accommodating longer commutes and additional trips between the workplace and the home.
On very hot or cold days, workplace charging allows PEV drivers to achieve a comfortable cabin temperature and to preheat or precool the battery while the vehicle is still plugged in. This extends the vehicle’s range by reducing the climate-control load on the battery. Preconditioning can also help extend battery life.
By extending range, workplace charging opens up options drivers might not otherwise have, making it easier to manage special circumstances such as urgent trips and unexpected changes in plans or schedules. Workplace charging also provides flexibility in the location and timing of charging, which may be helpful for drivers whose residential charging options are somewhat limited or inconvenient.
Increased incentive for PEV adoption
The ability to charge at work may provide the encouragement and assurance an employee needs to make the switch from a conventional vehicle to a PEV, and to take advantage of the financial and environmental benefits of such a switch.
Employers and employees seeking to take advantage of the benefits of PEVs should explore available incentives available from government agencies for early adopters.
Employers seeking to provide workplace charging must consider costs associated with equipment, installation, maintenance, electricity and demand charge. As noted in the residential charging section of this website, equipment costs for Level 1 and Level 2 EVSE range from about $500 to $7,000.
Installation costs and services vary considerably, so employers should obtain a number of quotes before moving forward. Factors affecting installation cost (and time) include the number of circuits and EVSE units installed, indoor versus outdoor installation, required electrical upgrades, along with permit and inspection costs. If necessary for a project, trenching and adding electrical service or panels may have to be taken into account. If an organization anticipates expanding the number of EVSE units in the future, it should consider adding extra circuits, electrical capacity, and conduit from the electrical panel to potential EVSE locations during initial installation. It is less expensive to install extra panel and conduit capacity during initial construction than to modify the site later. For the same reason, it is a good idea to consider electricity infrastructure for EVSE during the planning phases of new facilities.
Demand charge should not be neglected as it can greatly increase the operation cost. Some manufacturers offer solutions that allow to avoid demand charge as they communicate with the energy management system of the building and reduce (or stop) EV charging at peak time.
Typically, there are fairly few EVSE maintenance requirements, and associated costs are relatively low. Cords should be properly stored and inspected periodically for damage. Periodic EVSE inspection, testing, and preventive maintenance by a qualified technician is recommended.
For more information on workplace electric vehicle charging, contact Electric Mobility Canada www.emc-mec.ca or visit this section of the US Department of Energy: