74% of Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) owners express strong interest in workplace charging, and many businesses already see the value of installing charging. Workplace charging can benefit employees by extending all-electric miles and helping employees green their commute. A growing number of employers such as Google, SAP and 3M are installing charging for their employees. A few, like Sony, are going even further by offering employees buydown incentives for PEVs.
Why Employers Install Workplace Charging
- Demonstrate the employer’s environmental leadership to employees and visitors – right in the parking lot!
- Meet greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions reduction goals.
- Support the use of domestic fuel.
Strengthen the Organization
- Attract and retain top-notch talent.
- Enhance the company’s brand as socially and environmentally responsible.
Benefits for Employees
- Reduce employee commute time – many PEVs qualify for the carpool lane.
- Assist employees who don’t have home charging.
Employer Questions & Answers
Q: How do I know if employees need or want workplace charging?
A: Employees who have purchased a PEV (or are contemplating a PEV purchase) are asking their employers to consider workplace charging. Companies can survey employees to assess demand. Organizations may wish to be pro-active in anticipating workplace charging needs.
Q: How much does it cost to install charging stations?
A: Typical commercial installation costs run about $5,000 per 240-volt charger (installation only). There is a wide range of charging equipment available with varying costs. Costs can be recovered by charging employees for usage. 120-volt outlets (Level 1) charging can also be a cost-effective option and ideal for employees who are at one location all day. An optimal time to install workplace charging at the lowest possible cost is during parking lot resurfacing or new construction.
Q: I don’t pay for gasoline for employees driving to work; how can I support providing electricity for PEV drivers?
A: Employers can choose to provide charging at no cost to the employee, or costs can be recovered through use of a charger with a billing system. Companies subsidize bicycling, carpooling and riding transit to work – workplace charging is similar. PEVs help reach the goal of cleaning the air, reducing greenhouse gases, and lowering dependence on foreign oil which will benefit all employees, not just PEV drivers.
Q: How can I manage electricity costs if employees charge during the daytime peak hours?
A: Consult with your electric utility to identify the best way to manage electricity costs for PEV workplace charging. Employees who plug in at 8AM may still “top off” with several hours of low cost electricity before on-peak rates apply. Use of 120-volt charging, or cost-recovery mechanisms, can also minimize any impact on utility bills. Some charging equipment manufacturers are planning to integrate their software with company energy management systems to manage charging electrical demand.
Q: Is workplace charging a taxable benefit?
A: Some employers have determined that the cost of workplace charging is not material enough to qualify as a taxable benefit. Employers should consult legal and financial experts.
Q: How do I encourage turnover at workplace charging stations so one employee doesn’t park there all day?
A: Employers may wish to establish policies to govern workplace charging etiquette. Creative approaches may be necessary. A number of charging equipment manufacturers are making dual connector units that can charge two vehicles at once. Others offer network options that can modify pricing to encourage turnover. Some units even have a reservation option.