Electric vehicle (EV) sales held steady last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Per Veloz, there were over 322,000 electric cars sold in the United States in 2020. In fact, California’s EV market share rose to nearly 9% last year.
Car shoppers are beginning to make the shift to electric as there are more choices than ever before. New entries such as the Rivian R1T, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Chevy Bolt EUV arrive at lower prices, more range, and faster charging than their predecessors.
Charging at the Workplace
With all of this momentum, it is time to address charging. One of the largest barriers to mass adoption of EVs is charging. Since charging an EV is a bit different than refueling a gas car (or Internal Combustion Engine “ICE”), it can often confuse many potential buyers. To put it briefly, there are four main places where people charge their electric car: 1) overnight at home, 2) during the day at work, and 3) around town at a Level 2 public charging station, and 4) near freeway exits at a public DC Fast Charging station.
If EV drivers do not have a place to charge at home, the next best location is at the workplace. You see, the car sits idle for the vast majority of the work day. During that time, it could instead charge for a few hours via a Level 2 charging station. With workplace charging, it would negate the need for home charging, which plagues many apartment or condo dwellers.
Benefits of Workplace EV Charging
There are many benefits to getting workplace EV charging:
- Retain current employees with EVs
- Attract prospective employees with EVs
- Generate revenue
- Achieve green building standards
- Facilitate business EV fleet
- Entice EV driving guests
As you can see, businesses can take advantage of the many benefits of workplace EV charging. Most importantly in our opinion is attracting and retaining employee talent. If a current or prospective employee had an electric car but did not have home charging access, workplace EV charging would certainly be a consideration among many factors in employer selection.
In addition, if the business were to ever switch it’s fleet to electric, it would absolutely need workplace EV charging stations to charge the vehicles when they are not in use. And if that is the case, the business might as well install a handful more stations for employee use.
Getting Workplace EV Charging
So if workplace EV charging is something your business may be interested in, check out the below steps for how to get them installed.
Step 1: Planning
The very first step in getting workplace EV charging is planning. This includes determining how many charging stations you will need right now, how many charging stations you will need in 5-10 years, which charging station and network is the best fit, and where you want to locate the charging stations.
When determining the number of chargers, it is important to survey employees as many of which may have plans to get an EV in the near future if they don’t already have one. While a few may suffice for now, it is best to be prepared for the coming years as electric cars continue to be more and more popular.
Step 2: Design
During this step, it is best to get an architect and electrical engineer involved. In many cases, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may apply. This federal law requires certain accommodations for those with disabilities, which can affect the scope of work and budget. Additionally, the electrical engineer will help determine if any electrical upgrades are required at the electrical panel.
Step 3: Permitting & Utility Approval
This type of construction project requires a permit from the local jurisdiction. Typically, this permit is fairly straightforward, although the ADA accommodations could require further review from the city or county. Additionally, this is the time to get utility approval if any service upgrade is required.
Step 4: Installation
Finally, installation! The time is finally here to get the workplace EV charging stations installed. By the means of a licensed contractor, this step includes all the physical work to get the chargers wired up for activation.
Step 5: Rebates and Incentives
While this sort of project may cost a couple thousands of dollars, fortunately, there may be some rebate and incentive programs to help reduce the cost. Many states, utility companies, and/or air districts provide rebates for workplace EV charging stations. Depending on the location, these rebates can cover over 50% of the project cost!
Step 6: Commissioning and Training
The last step in the process is commissioning and training. With commissioning, it is key the office manager is familiar with the charger network dashboard. They’ll need to set up the network backend, which controls various features such as pricing, user access, charging session limits, and more.
Additionally, it is critical that both the office manager and any employees are trained on how to use the charging station. Each manufacturer and network design differently. For example, some provide charger access via RFID cards, while others require login to their smartphone app. By providing training, each charging station user will be successfully able to use the equipment.
As you can see, there are several steps to getting workplace EV charging. That being said, it can be very much worthwhile. If getting workplace EV charging is something your business or employer is interested in, feel free to get in touch with us as your EV charging consultant.
As an EV charging consultant, we help businesses achieve their EV charging goals. Specifically, we can coordinate the entire project, which typically saves both time and money. Most importantly, we can assist with the rebate application process to help cut down project costs as much as possible. You can get started with a free quote here!
Hi there! I’m the founder and project manager at Charged Future: the EV charging consultancy. Charged Future helps businesses achieve their EV charging goals. Specifically, I serve as the project manager for your EV charging project, which can save you both time and money! Additionally, I can search and apply to all eligible rebate applications, which can typically cover a large portion of the project cost.