EV Charging; we have got it all wrong!

For some; charging an electric vehicle at home is a very pleasant experience. Your garage becomes a reliable oasis where your vehicle charges peacefully overnight, and departs in the morning with a full charge. Effortless, simple and effective.

If you live in a condo with shared parking, your EV charging experience can be fraught with complications and in some cases confrontations. While some strata councils are progressively making plans to host EVs on site, others are embattled with owners trying to gain access to the power needed to charge their vehicles.

There is another way, a simpler way. Shift our primary location of EV charging to alternative sites with extensive dwell time. The workplace is an excellent alternative. Of course this is my opinion, here a few reasons to support my argument.

Dwell Time
If you drive to work, chances are that your vehicle sits for the entire day awaiting your commute home. If your EV had access to a dedicated Level 1 outlet your vehicle would gain approximately 72kms of range in an 8-hour work day. If your EV had access to a dedicated Level 2 outlet, your EV would gain up to 320kms or range.

Working with strata councils to gain approval for EV installations in a multi-unit residence can be time consuming and frustrating. Your company may own its own property or work closely with the property owner for approval to install EV charging. If you are able to establish a good business case and show that benefits for the employees, employer and property owners, it will be easier overall.

With recent changes to the BC Utilities Commission rules for reselling energy, companies now have the advantage of charging a tariff for EV charging, with the possibility of establishing a return on their investment. 

Fleet Electrification
If you company is looking to electrify their corporate fleet to reduce corporate operating emissions and operating costs they will need a location to charge the vehicles on site.

Establishing a good business case for workplace charging is the first important step to getting the project underway. There are already some excellent programs underway in the USA for us to reference. The US Department of Energy runs a program called the “Workplace Charging Challenge” that coaches companies to setup workplace charging for employees. Some of the highlights advantages for participating companies are as follows:

  • Employee recruitment and retention: The availability of charging conveys that the organization stays on the leading edge of technological development, even to workers who don’t drive EVs. Employers that offer charging may be better positioned to attract and retain employees that drive EVs.
  • Furthering sustainability goals: The availability of EV 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.
  • Public image: Providing workplace charging can help demonstrate an organization’s leadership in supporting cutting-edge, clean transportation technologies to customers, consumers, and the surrounding community.
  • Employee satisfaction: Workplace charging can be an attractive addition to the organization’s existing employee benefits package. Employees will likely appreciate that the employer is proactive in seeking out ways to enhance their experience at the workplace.
  • Save Money: Save money on fuel for fleet vehicles by converting company cars to plug-in electric vehicles

The programs also established a number of excellent benefits for employees that had the opportunity to charge their EV at work.

  • Range security: 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 – by having a guaranteed place to charge during the day this is alleviated.
  • Reducing commute time:  Using the HOV lane incentive available for EV’s means drivers can get to work in less time.
  • Range extension: Workplace charging can potentially double daily all-electric driving range, accommodating longer commutes and additional trips between the workplace and the home.
  • Greater flexibility: By extending range, workplace charging opens up options drivers might not otherwise have, making it easier to manage special circumstances, urgent trips, and unexpected changes in plans or schedules, particularly for EV drivers. 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 EV 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 an EV, and to take advantage of the financial and environmental benefits of such a switch.

If your company is interested in exploring workplace charging, we can help. Cielo Electric offers full system installation, comprehensive site assessments, feasibility reviews and system designs that can be customized for your location. Contact Cielo Electric at 778-862-4109 or visit our website www.cieloelectric.ca for more information.

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