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Workplace EV Charging: The Benefits

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August 27, 2023

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is rapidly accelerating globally, driven by consumer demand, government mandates, and automaker commitments. At the same time, organizations are increasingly prioritizing sustainability initiatives and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. This confluence is making workplace EV charging programs both highly relevant and mutually beneficial for employers and employees.

For employers, installing EV charging stations signals a commitment to the environment and social responsibility. It helps attract and retain talent, especially Millennials and Gen Z workers who prioritize corporate social responsibility. It’s also an employee benefit that provides convenience, engenders loyalty, and alleviates range anxiety. And it can become a source of revenue by opening chargers to the public.

For employees, access to workplace charging makes buying or leasing an EV more feasible and convenient. It also saves money by providing free or subsidized charging. Surveys consistently show access to workplace charging significantly increases the likelihood of getting an electric vehicle.

Benefits of Workplace EV Charging: Employers

Installing workplace EV charging helps organizations in several ways:

Environmental Leadership and Brand Enhancement

Workplace EV Charging

Providing EV charging stations visibly demonstrates a commitment to sustainability. For any business, this can enhance public perception and build brand reputation. According to a recent survey, 66% of consumers consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions. EV charging stations signal your company is environmentally forward thinking.

Supporting sustainability also boosts a company’s image for current and prospective employees. Surveys indicate the majority of Millennials and Gen Z workers factor social responsibility into job choice. They tend to see sustainability initiatives like workplace EV charging as indicators of a values-driven corporate culture.

Recruiting and Retaining Talent

Access to EV charging is a highly desired workplace benefit for Millennial and Gen Z employees. Providing charging stations signals your organization prioritizes environmental action. It shows alignment between corporate priorities and their own values. This helps attract young talent focused on purpose as well as pay.

Retaining talent is also critical for employers. Workplace charging helps increase employee satisfaction and loyalty. It’s a unique benefit that provides convenience and eliminates range anxiety. Employees who feel you care about things that matter to them, like sustainability and EVs, are more likely to stick around.

New Revenue Streams

Installing more charging capacity than needed internally creates potential new revenue streams. With workplace charging management software, unused chargers can be opened to the public during certain hours for a fee. Employees can charge for free or at discounted rates, while visitors pay market pricing.

This helps fund the infrastructure over time and generates incremental revenue. Some employers allocate it towards expanding charging capacity. Others use it to subsidize employee charging costs. The options are wide open.

Meeting ESG Goals

ESG investing has seen exponential growth, with sustainability-focused funds now representing over $35 trillion in assets under management globally. Organizations recognizing this are increasingly setting and publicizing ESG goals around emission reductions, renewable energy use, and more.

Providing workplace EV charging helps companies meet these objectives. Charging station host data shows that on average, each EV displaces over 4,000 pounds of CO2 annually compared to a gas car if powered by a clean grid. So supporting employee EV adoption contributes to lowering greenhouse gas emissions related to commuting.

Workplace charging combined with onsite solar generation has an even greater ESG impact by enabling clean energy charging. This maximizes emission reductions while supporting renewable energy use goals. It’s a powerful combination for showcasing sustainability leadership.

Benefits to Employees

For employees, the benefits of access to workplace EV charging are straight-forward:

Saving Money

Most companies that install EV charging infrastructure offer free or subsidized charging access as an employee benefit. This helps defray one of the highest operating costs of owning an EV. Employees with a daily 20-mile round trip commute could save over $1000 annually charging at work compared to home. The savings add up and make EV ownership more affordable.

Convenience

Not needing to hunt for a public charger or detour home saves time and hassle. Just plugging in at work is much more convenient for drivers who spend 8+ hours there daily. Workplace charging also ensures employees start each day “topped up”, reducing range anxiety. Surveys show convenience is one of the top perceived benefits among EV drivers with workplace charging.

Benefits to Employees

Incentivizing EV Adoption

Research consistently shows that employees with access to workplace charging are much more likely to drive an electric vehicle. One study found respondents were 6 times as likely to own an EV if charging was available at their place of work. That’s because it addresses two big ownership barriers: lack of home charging and cost concerns.

Supporting the Transition

For the many employees interested in EVs for environmental reasons, workplace charging shows their employer supports that choice. By providing charging infrastructure, companies empower their workforce to reduce their carbon footprint. This allows employees to “walk the talk” when it comes to sustainability.

Considerations for Employers

Companies interested in installing EV charging have several options. Here are some key considerations when assessing potential setups:

Third-Party Providers

Partnering with an EV charging operator is the easiest way to offer workplace charging. Providers like Chargepoint install, operate, maintain, and support charging stations on your behalf. Employers simply set access rules and pricing, often through a management portal. This hands-off model requires little effort but less control.

In-House Management

Managing EV charging operations in-house allows for greater customization and revenue potential. But it also requires more investment upfront and ongoing management. Robust charging management software and network services are essential to handle access control, payment processing, driver support, energy optimization, and more.

On-Site Charging Infrastructure

There are three main approaches to the charging hardware and installation:

  • Turnkey packages offered by EV charging providers
  • Buying hardware from a vendor and using a third-party contractor for installation
  • Sourcing both hardware and installation services separately

Each model has pros and cons in terms of convenience, customization, and cost. Partnering with an experienced vendor to recommend options makes most sense for larger deployments.

Charging Station Types

The three station types suitable for workplace settings vary significantly in features and price:

  • Level 1 provides 2-5 miles of range per hour charged and costs $300-$1,000.
  • Level 2 offers 10-20 miles of range per hour and costs $400-$6,500.
  • DC Fast Charging adds 60-200 miles in 10-30 minutes and costs $10,000-$40,000.

Most employers opt for Level 2 stations for all-day employee charging. DC fast charging caters more to visitors and works as a supplementary option.

Read More: 10 Reasons to Invest in EV Charging Stations

Energy Management

Managing EV charging load on the electrical infrastructure should be considered, as many chargers running simultaneously can spike demand charges. Solutions include:

  • Smart charging software that balances loads by adjusting charging speeds
  • Scheduling charging times to spread out energy demand
  • Integrating battery storage to supplement power during peak charging periods
  • Using solar power generation to directly power charging stations

Determining appropriate capacity requires electrical assessments. Working with an EV charging vendor or utility can provide guidance.

Costs and Funding

Between hardware, installation, software, and maintenance, costs add up quickly. Government grants and utility rebates can offset 25-75% of expenses. Local incentives combined with federal tax credits can cover the majority of costs to buy down payback periods.

Some additional options for funding EV charging access:

  • Recover costs through user fees for visitor charging
  • Allocate parking revenue towards maintaining EV stations
  • Use revenue from selling carbon offsets related to charging
  • Add a small charge to employee parking fees specifically for EV infrastructure upgrades

Installing and operating workplace EV charging involves important considerations but yields win-win benefits for employers and employees. With smart planning guided by EV charging experts, companies can reap the economic, recruitment, retention and reputational gains while progressing sustainability goals and the transition to electric mobility.

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