What is Workplace EV Charging?

Workplace charging refers to having EV charging stations on company premises where employees can charge their personal and company electric vehicles.

Application of Workplace EV Charging

Workplace EV charging is a broad term encompassing several uses. It can refer to companies that offer EV charging for their employees’ personal EVs. This can be counted as private charging (if only company representatives can access the chargers) or semi-public charging (if the company also gives public access to its charging network). By opening their charging infrastructure to the public, businesses can add a revenue stream to their operations.

Workplace electric vehicle charging can also refer to charging company fleets. However, a distinction must be made based on the fleet’s purpose.

  • Company fleets that are part of business operations: These fleets transport goods and people, such as delivery, logistics, hauling, and other transportation businesses. Such fleets require charging networks that are separate from other uses because they need the autonomy to charge as needed and operate on a different schedule than “regular” company vehicles.
  • Company fleets used by employees for company and/or personal purposes: These are typically used for customer visits and other business travel. These fleets can share charging networks with other company vehicles, but it is important to consider the needs of both types of fleets when designing the charging network.

Importance of Workplace EV Charging

Driving electric vehicles is a growing reality, so providing access to workplace charge points is important to companies seeking to improve employee retention and increase their attractiveness to prospective talent.

Furthermore, for businesses looking to improve their sustainability engagement, having charging stations at the workplace and electrifying company fleets are both significant leaps into showing in practice the company’s commitment to sustainability. This is especially true for businesses operating large fleets, though smaller ones can also benefit from encouraging and embracing zero-emission vehicles.

In many cases, installing workplace charge points won’t be much different than installing a charger at home. Things get more complicated where larger charging networks are needed or a business requires DC fast charging stations. 

On the upside, there are charge point operators (CPOs) that specialize in precisely this type of charging, i.e., they have the know-how in designing, installing, and operating workplace EV charging and fleet electrification. Having such expertise can be a considerable competitive advantage as the EV market expands and companies continue to move away from internal combustion engine vehicles and towards electrifying their fleets.

Practical Examples of Workplace EV Charging

An employee charges their personal EV at a workplace charging station.

Additional Information About Workplace EV Charging

Currently, businesses have the excellent opportunity to offer workplace charging by taking advantage of the multiple grants and incentives that encourage companies to electrify their fleets and provide employees with convenient access to charge points.

The cost of installing chargers is naturally important for businesses to consider when deciding how to solve their charging needs. The quantity and type of chargers are only some of the apparent aspects that inform the investment approach to maintaining an EV fleet or providing charge points for personal EVs. 

There are other points to consider as well. This is not an exhaustive list, but among them are the following aspects:

  • How much utilization a company expects per charge point and for the entire network. 
  • Whether the electric grid can handle the additional load or requires some form of upgrade.
  • The budget that the business can allocate for planning, installation, management, and maintenance of EV chargers. 

This is why grants and other incentives can be of such value to companies, as they can offset a large part or even all of the costs associated with electrifying fleets.

With regard to financial efficiency, businesses can do several things to drop the cost of installing, owning, and operating a workplace EV charging network. For example, they can: 

  • Negotiate preferential electricity rates with utility companies.
  • Use load-balancing technologies like smart charging and dynamic load management (DLM).
  • Invest in renewable energy resources and energy storage systems.

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