As electric vehicles (EVs) become more mainstream, more workplaces are starting to provide charging options for their employees. While 80% of charging takes place at home, EV drivers without access to a home charger must use workplace or public charging stations to keep their vehicles charged. In PlugInAmerica’s 2023 EV Driver Survey, “over a quarter” of EV drivers reported using a workplace charger weekly, while “nearly another quarter” used it daily. Between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2021, Statista writes that the number of workplace EV chargers in the United States grew by 28%. The International Council on Clean Transportation predicts that in order to support the upcoming 26 million EVs on US roads in 2030, 1.3 million workplace EV charging stations will be required nationwide, in addition to another 1 million public charging stations. Here’s what you should know about EV charging at your workplace.
Electric vehicles support your corporate sustainability
When employees say that they want their employer to have a sustainability plan, they’re serious. In Deloitte’s Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, Gen Z (born 1995-2003) and Millennials (born 1983-1994) ranked climate change in their top concerns after the cost of living. “Nearly two in five” said they had turned down a job or assignment that did not match their personal ethics. And Gen Z and Millennial employees who were satisfied with their companies’ impact were “more likely to want to stay with their employer for more than five years.”
EV charging is one way to begin or promote your company’s sustainability initiatives. Benefits include attracting and retaining environmentally-conscious employees, future-proofing their workplaces, and reducing CO2 emissions. As more workers get electric vehicles and EV chargers get added to local building codes for new buildings, EV charging will become a standard employee benefit. That’s why now is the perfect time to electrify your workplace.
Employers can also use EV charging for green accreditations such as:
- The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
- Green Globes, from the Green Building Initiative
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Employees need EV charging
There are three main reasons why drivers are switching to electric vehicles: sustainability, lower total cost of ownership, and exciting technology. EV drivers can save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance costs and now qualify for a $4000 used EV tax credit or a $7500 new EV tax credit. While you may only have a few EVs in your employee parking now, this number will surely increase in the next 10 years.
According to the Federal Highway Administration’s 2020 Next-Generation National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), in 2020, 78.8% of all passenger trips were less than 10 miles in length, and 14.4% were between 10 to 25 miles. The US Census Bureau found that the average commute was 27.6 minutes in 2019. The fueling paradigm has shifted with the average EV range now exceeding 250 miles. Rather than waiting until the fuel tank is empty, EV drivers can top off their charge while parked. Having dependable workplace charging stations will mean less stress for your employees. Deloitte even notes that prioritizing employee health can lead to “reduced risk of illness, disease, and injury; lower stress levels; and improved mindset” for employees and “more productivity, fewer sick days, and more organizational and community engagement.”
Electric vehicles can be a new commuter benefit
Does your business offer EV take-home vehicles or commuter benefits? Some companies offer a benefit to employees who buy or lease an electric vehicle. If sustainability is a priority for your company (or your government office), making electric vehicles another type of commuter benefit can help. As Indeed notes, transportation benefits can provide diminished frustration, improved affordability, and increased environmental awareness.
A recent CleanTechnica profile of the City of Easthampton, Massachusetts, also showed how cities already electrifying their fleets can also add EVs as an employee benefit. Instead of simply providing free EV charging to employees, Mayor Nicole LaChapelle chose to offer city employees an electric vehicle adoption benefit while also transitioning the city’s fleet to electric vehicles simultaneously. This program will help the city meet its net-zero carbon emissions goals and help city employees claim up to $3 million in federal and state incentives. Employees could also potentially save a total of $900,000 on gas annually by switching to EVs.
On the environmental side, swapping out all Easthampton employees’ internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for EVs could cut an average of 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide (MTCo2) per year per vehicle. That equates to removing 1,500 MTCo2 annually. (Replacing the city’s fleet of vehicles with EVs over the next five to ten years will also help reduce fleet operation costs and emissions, with savings of around $360,000 on gasoline and reductions of approximately 600 MTCo2 annually.)
Resources for preparing your EV transition
EV benefits don’t pop up out of nowhere. Whether you’re planning to install EV charging stations as a workplace amenity or promote electric vehicles to your employees, it’s important to start planning early. When installing EV charging stations, we recommend talking to an electrician about your current electrical capacity. While Level 2 chargers are relatively easy to install, some buildings may require electrical upgrades to add new circuits to the panel.
The United States Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalition Network recommends that municipalities hold employer workshops to promote and facilitate the adoption of workplace charging. Cities and municipalities can use their Workplace Charging Employer Workshop Toolkit to encourage participation and help companies develop.
The Department of Energy also has a Federal Workplace Charging Program Guide with a calculator for estimating electricity consumption for federal electric vehicles.
Another resource for implementing workplace charging comes from the City of Boston, which has its own HOW-TO GUIDE: Starting an electric vehicle workplace charging program.
And the Alternative Fuels Data Center, which is part of the Department of Energy, has its own guide for workplace charging programs, which includes a section on managing workplace charging that takes into consideration items like:
- Administration of the chargers
- Charger access
- Enforcement and security
- Registration and liability
- Station sharing
- Time limits
- Potential pricing (if the program isn’t free for employees)
Funding help for EV charging
In addition to the numerous guides available for employers to start an EV charging program and potentially adopt an EV transition benefit, there are also many government incentives for businesses. One of those is the federal government’s Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. This provides a tax credit of up to 30% or $100,000 of the cost of installing EV charging stations in approved census tracts.
Various state and municipal government tax incentives are available for businesses to help them with the cost of installing EV charging equipment.
Not sure how to get started? Blink Charging is your resource for planning and installing electric vehicle charging stations at your workplace. Whether you want to fully own your chargers or prefer a hybrid-owned solution, we’re here to help. Get started with a consultation.