Workplace EV Charging: Business Benefits and Considerations for Success
Achieving mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), which is critically important to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals, requires extensive growth in EV charging infrastructure — including adding chargers where people work. Workplace EV charging will become increasingly important to EV adoption as more drivers without access to home charging enter the EV marketplace. In fact, people who work at companies offering charging are six times more likely to drive an EV.
Workplace EV charging benefits employers
For employers, making EV charging available to employees offers benefits beyond contributing to advancing EV adoption. These include:
Establishing a “green” brand. The presence of EV charging is a tangible signal to employees, investors, shareholders, and customers that an organization is committed to the environment, sustainability, and social responsibility.
Recruiting and retaining Millennial and Gen-Z talent. Numerous studies have found that a majority of Millennial employees prioritize social responsibility when they are considering job offers and would even take a pay cut to work with an environmentally responsible company. Environmental and social responsibility are even more important to Gen-Z, the first generation to prioritize purpose over salary.
Increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty. Free or low-cost workplace EV charging is itself an attractive benefit for existing and prospective employees. It offers both convenience and relief from range anxiety for those who want to “do the right thing” and move to an electric vehicle. It can even be an incentive for remote employees to return to the office.
Developing new revenue streams. Companies can recoup some of the cost of offering employees free or low-cost workplace charging by allowing visitors to use the charging stations for a fee.
Contributing to meeting ESG goals. A workplace EV charging program can help organizations support sustainability initiatives. For example, using onsite solar power generation and storage for charging can positively impact emission reduction goals by replacing grid power with renewable energy. Workplace EV charging can also help reduce Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions from employee commuting. And installing workplace charging can help meet green building certification.
Incentives ease the burden of providing workplace EV charging
Government agencies at the country, region, state, and municipality levels typically offer incentives ranging from grants to tax credits to help defray the cost of installing workplace EV charging infrastructure. Many utilities also offer incentive programs for workplace charging. Overall, available incentives vary widely from one location to another. The best approach to finding available incentives is to start local — with your utility and your municipality — and get their assistance with identifying applicable regional or national incentives.
Considerations for workplace EV charging success
Companies that want to offer workplace EV charging have a number of investment and business model options to choose from. For example, you can partner with an Electric Vehicle Service Provider (EVSP) or Charge Point Operator (CPO). You can take end-to-end responsibility for building and managing your EV charging infrastructure. Or you can structure a hybrid approach.
Companies managing their own workplace EV charging operations, whether one location or hundreds, will need EV charging management software. Consider these essentials to achieving successful operations:
Seamless driver-first charging experience. You will need a way to onboard/offboard employees, communicate with them, and track their charging activity. Your drivers will need a mobile app and web portal that enable intuitive, self-service EV charging with capabilities like reserving chargers and queuing.
Smart energy management. Look for software with the intelligence to automatically monitor, manage, and adjust energy consumption based on availability, demand, cost, and your policies. It should support integration of onsite battery storage and renewable energy today and future bidirectional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-building (V2B) charging.
Operational excellence. Insist on remote, automatic resolution of software-based issues to maximize charger uptime and reduce maintenance costs; real-time monitoring and control of chargers; intuitive, easy-to-use management tools like operator dashboards, alerts and notifications, advanced reports, and analytics; and integration with your business and building management systems.
By offering workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging for employees, businesses can contribute to three greenhouse gas-reduction initiatives to help recharge the planet: electrification of transportation, “greening” of buildings, and meeting ESG goals. Workplace EV charging can also make it easier to attract and retain employees. For more information, the U.S. Department of Energy offers information and resources that can be helpful to any company planning a workplace charging program.