Electric vehicle (EV) charging is becoming a popular workplace benefit that today’s best talent not only seek out, but also consider when choosing a position: I’ve met with many leading companies that cite charging as a major employee request. In addition to attracting employees who drive electric, offering EV charging can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that your commuters generate, which may be more than you think: 30% of U.S. CO2 emissions come from transportation, and 100 employees driving to work generate 3.5 commercial buildings worth of CO2 emissions. Driving electric cuts these emissions in half (or more, with renewable energy sources), making it a simple and effective way to reduce your company’s footprint.
Based on my experience working with employers, here are six tips for offering EV charging at your workplace, which will make your employees six times more likely to drive electric.
1. Assess the Need for Charging at Your Company
An employee survey is a perfect place to start assessing the demand for EV charging stations. Ask employees whether they own an EV and where they charge it, or if they’re considering buying an EV and if access to charging at work would make them more likely to. Based on how many employees already drive electric or express interest, you can start to plan your charging.
2. Plan Ahead to Meet Future Demand
Base your initial EV offering around your employee survey results, but also plan for about 5 to 10 percent of employees to have plug-in electric vehicles within the next few years. If you’re constructing a new building or located in a place with high EV density (California, anyone?), plan for 10 to 20 percent of employees to drive EVs. You should also prepare for an increase in the number of employees driving EVs by making additional parking spaces “EV Ready” with conduit and electrical wiring. If your location doesn’t have enough electrical capacity to charge all employee EVs at once, consider Power Management to eliminate the need for costly upgrades.
60% of workplace drivers surveyed at a Fortune 500 company said they are likely to switch to EVs if workplace charging becomes available.
– ChargePoint survey data
3. Create Smart Access and Pricing Policies
Create an EV charging policy that is easy to scale beyond the first EV driver so that you can accommodate more people over time. A networked EV charging solution will help you maximize station use by making charging easy for the drivers you want to charge (employees only, or members of the public?), as well as give you the control to set fees that are fair to drivers but will encourage them to move on after they’re done charging.
4. Keep Employees Happy with Networked Charging
As you offer EV charging, more employees will drive electric and your stations will get busy: people might even start showing up to work earlier to get a charging spot (I’ve seen it happen!). Fortunately, networked EV charging lets your employees get in line to use a station, check charging status from their phones and get updates when they’re done charging, making sure everyone can stay focused on doing work instead of getting a charge. (Not that it hurts for people to come in early.)
5. Make Your Life Easier with Networked Charging
Networked charging isn’t just better for employees, it’s easier for you, too. As an HR or facilities manager, you can use your ChargePoint dashboard to see how many employees are charging, manage energy consumption to reduce costs and quickly check your emission reductions. You can also monitor stations remotely and adjust charging fees to keep stations in use.
6. Charge Up More Employees with Waitlist
Waitlist lets employees get in line at charging stations when all locations are busy and conveniently notifies them when it’s time to go plug in. This helps improve employee productivity by making it easier to charge, while keeping stations in use and eliminating the need for you to create and manage a homegrown system (like an email list) to mediate access to stations. You can also use Waitlist to get a sense of demand for charging and grow your program over time.
Bonus Tip: Consider Valet to Simplify Life for All Your Employees
If you provide valet parking for employees, the ChargePoint Valet map simplifies charging with a simple map that gives valet attendants visibility into the charging status of all cars in service.
Ready to bring EV charging to your workplace?