As Electric vehicles (EVs) accelerate us towards a cleaner and more sustainable world, businesses aim to align their strategies with sustainability. One aspect of their Environmental impact – installing EV charging stations at the workplace is becoming an increasingly popular trend – as it both satisfies ESG goals, while also enhancing employee satisfaction. In this blog post, we explore the advantages of offering EV charging at work for all stakeholders, including employees, employers, and society as a whole.
Improved Employee Satisfaction and Retention
From the employee’s perspective, there are several key benefits of offering EV charging in the workplace.
- Convenience: Being able to charge your EV at the place you are going to work at anyhow, is highly efficient and convenient. The ability to plug in your EV to charge while you work saves you time and stress. And with the focus on enhanced productivity and multi-tasking, the time-saving is highly attractive to employees.
- Cost Savings: Charging at work could be cheaper or even free, depending on the employer’s policies. It’s likely that larger employers will have access to cheaper power pricing due to their ability to access volume discounts which employees may not be able to.
- Reducing Range Anxiety: The fear of running out of charge is one of the main concerns for electric vehicle owners. Having a charging station at work and powering up your car while at work can signficantly ease this anxiety.
The idea here is simple: making life easier for employees by providing on-site EV parking is a strong incentive that fosters loyalty and job satisfaction .
Enhancing Corporate Image and Sustainability
Incorporating EV charging stations in your workplace’s parking lots aligns your company’s image with sustainability. What does this look like in practice for employers and employees?:
- Corporate Responsibility: As the world leans towards sustainable solutions, companies are expected to do their part. Providing EV parking helps to meet environmental goals and regulations.
- Public Image: Companies that invest in sustainability are often viewed more favorably by consumers and investors.EV charging stations in workplace parking lots act as a visible sign that your company values environmental responsibility. EV charging strategically placed can make a strong public statement about your commitment to eco-friendly and green initiatives.
- Tax Benefits and Grants: In some cases, companies can take advantage of local, state and federal government grants, rebates or tax incentives for installing EV charging stations. This enables businesses to see profits faster  
EV charging in this sense elevates the employer’s sustainability profile, corporate image, and employee ratings, while also providing the benefits to the employees. Making it a win-win solution all round .
Boosting Local Economy and Grid Reliability
This is perhaps the most overlooked advantage of workplace EV charging. Having multiple charging stations at large workplaces can contribute to local economic development and improve grid reliability.
- Spur Local Business: Employees who are not worried about their range are more likely to venture out to local businesses during their lunch breaks or after work, stimulating the local economy.
- Grid Stability: Having predictable charging patterns, like workplace charging, allows for better grid management in terms of load management. Energy providers can plan more efficiently, leading to a more reliable electricity grid.
- Volume Pricing: When you look at the range of employers who provide EV charging in the examples below, you can see that many of them are large corporates, who can avail themselves of better electricity volume pricing. If they can pass these savings and benefits on to their employees, it boosts the local economy, while also providing reliability about the grid load management, especially around peak times.
By offering EV parking, businesses can indirectly contribute to the robustness of the local economy and the reliability of the energy grid.
Maximizing Parking Lot Efficiency
Integrating EV charging stations into workplace parking lots optimizes space and provides additional benefits:
Efficient Utilization of Space:
- Strategic placement of EV charging stations in underutilized areas of parking lots makes efficient use of space that may have previously been wasted.
- Transforming unused parking spaces into EV charging bays allows for a greater number of EVs to charge simultaneously, accommodating the growing demand for sustainable transportation options.
Potential Revenue Generation:
- Businesses can monetize EV charging stations by billing users for the service, potentially creating additional revenue streams.
- Research indicates that income generated by sales from customers who shop while their vehicle is charging typically accounts for half the chargers’ revenue.
Before installing EV charging bays, there are some key practical considerations to consider:
- Number of Stations: Depending on the size of your organization and the demand, the number of charging stations can vary. Start small and expand as the need arises.
- Type of Chargers: There are various types of chargers with different charging speeds. Choose the one that best suits your company’s needs. Do you need fast chargers at your site, or is the demand something you can manage with a larger number of lower speed chargers. Are there fleet vehicles that need rapid charging results, or are they staff vehicles that stay there for longer periods of time? Do you need to share a small number of EV chargers over a larger number of employees with EVs? If so what sort of management solution would you consider for this? Would EV charging management solutions such as smart parking bollards assist in your EV charging deployment?
- Location of the EV charging bays: Where is the best place to install those EV chargers? Is it near the entry point to the place of business? What if it’s an underground car park? Do you need to take over other parking bays to make them exclusively for EV charging? Do the EV charging bays need to be near the circuit boards or power supply?
- Operational Costs: While there might be initial up-front capex costs involved, which the employer will generally wear, there are longer term benefits. Some employers may also be eligible for government grants or tax benefits.
Global Perspectives and Case Studies of Employers providing EV charging facilities
I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at some real-world examples in different countries—Australia, the United States, the Netherlands and Norway.
Australian Case Studies
In Australia, the University of Queensland has installed 40 electric vehicle charging stations, in a move to encourage sustainable transport among its staff and students. The initiative is part of the university’s broader sustainability plan, illustrating how educational institutions can set an example for EV adoption.
United States Case Studies
In the United States, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, boasts one of the largest corporate EV charging networks, with hundreds of charging stations available to employees. The tech giant provides free charging, amplifying the company’s commitment to sustainability and serving as an employee perk.
Case Studies from the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, renowned for its sustainability efforts, the Amsterdam Zuidas business district is a great example. The area has numerous public and private EV charging points, many of which are located in corporate parking lots. Companies like ABN Amro have incorporated EV parking in their sustainability goals, allowing employees and visitors to charge their vehicles while they work or attend meetings.
Spotlight on Norway
Norway leads the way when it comes to EV adoption. According to reports, there are over 10,000 public charging stations in the country. Moreover, about 30% of workplaces offer EV charging facilities for their employees. This is a substantial percentage, highlighting how integrated EVs have become in everyday Norwegian life.
Big Companies Taking the Lead
Apart from Google, other large corporations are also setting a precedent. For instance, Tesla provides free charging stations at its facilities, making it convenient for its employees who own electric vehicles. On the other hand, companies like IBM and General Electric offer charging facilities but may charge a nominal fee for usage.
EV Charging at Workplaces is a positive step
Incorporating EV charging stations into your workplace can offer a plethora of benefits ranging from improved employee satisfaction and retention, enhancing corporate image and sustainability, to even boosting the local economy and grid reliability.
EV parking isn’t just a concept limited to specific regions or certain kinds of organizations. From educational institutions in Australia to tech hubs in the United States and business districts in the Netherlands, EV parking is becoming a global trend. Large companies are also jumping on the bandwagon, some offering free charging as a perk, while others might charge a fee. The significant number of charging stations and workplace integration in Norway further validates the growing adoption of electric vehicles. As we continue to move towards sustainability, installing EV parking at workplaces around the world seems not only logical but also inevitable.
With the rise of electric vehicles, the demand for convenient and accessible charging stations is higher than ever. By adopting EV parking and placing those EV parking only signs, you’re not just opening parking lots, but doors to a sustainable future.