To adapt to this new era of mobility, many businesses are already offering (or considering) EV charging at the workplace.
This guide is written to help facility managers, office managers, and business owners to better understand the ins and outs of offering EV charging at the workplace so that you can make better strategic and future-proof decisions.
20 million EVs
130 million EVs
50% total EV share
Electric mobility is the new norm
Offering EV charging at the workplace can be beneficial for every forward-thinking organization.
As the electric vehicle revolution gains momentum, many businesses are going electric to reduce their carbon footprint and attract top talent. And this trend shows no sign of slowing down:
Leading car manufacturers including Volvo, Audi, Mercedes, and General Motors have pledged to stop making petrol vehicles altogether.
Combined, these stats paint a picture that organizations like yours can’t ignore: electric mobility is the future.
This fact impacts every organization for several reasons. Firstly, even if they don’t drive electric already, many of your current employees today may be considering going electric. And your (potential) employees, tenants, and clients will likely be driving electric cars by the end of the decade.
One key way to get ahead of this trend is to install EV charging stations at your workplace. But why should workplaces and offices consider installing EV charging stations?
Let’s look at a few reasons how the workplace can benefit from installing EV charging stations.
Attract and retain EV driving employees
The eight-hour workday is a perfect opportunity to plug in an electric vehicle: Drive up in the morning, park the car, work for the day and drive off with a fully charged EV. It’s not surprising to find that, next to home charging, workplace charging is the most popular charging location for EV drivers.
It might be interesting to note that nearly 6 out of 10 have stated that an employer who offers electric business cars to their employees is considered to be more attractive to work for.
Offering charging stations as an employee benefit that can make employees' lives tangibly easier, feel like they’re supported by their employer to live a more sustainable life, and help them meaningfully contribute to their organization’s climate goals.
Solving range anxiety
More electric drivers mean an ever-growing need for sufficient charging stations. A lack of sufficient charging infrastructure is a chicken-and-egg problem, and it’s holding the energy transition back.
Being part of a company with a well-known commitment to sustainability is a badge of pride and EV charging stations tend to stand out—literally. Unlike many sustainability initiatives, installing EV charging stations is a noticeable contribution to your building’s physical location. With environmental consciousness at an all-time high, EV charging stations in your parking lot will show your employees and guests that your organization is committed to sustainability and ready for the future. Plus, with the latest smart charging technology, EV charging stations can integrate into your building’s energy management system and rooftop solar panels to help your business become a sustainability frontrunner.
Simply put, by offering EV charging at the workplace, you can reduce your organization’s carbon footprint, become more energy efficient, and accelerate your journey to zero emissions. They can also push more employees to drive electric, accelerating the energy transition as a whole.
Of course, EV charging (or electric mobility for that matter) is not the silver bullet that will solve all your sustainability challenges, but it’s certainly a piece of the puzzle.
How to offer electric mobility to your employees
The majority of the global workforce still commutes to work by car. Even in countries that are considered sustainability frontrunners like the Netherlands, over 60 percent of the workforce drives to their workplaces. And according to the EY Mobility Consumer Index 2022 by the global consulting firm, one out of every two new car buyers would prefer (you read that right), an EV. So offering electric mobility to your employees is not only a smart employee benefit, it’s also a necessary one.
However, for many, electric mobility is still a distant and complex concept. So how can your business leverage electric mobility to boost employee satisfaction and attract and retain top talent?
Offering your employees an EV is only one of the ways your business can get involved in the electric mobility revolution. You can also install charging stations at your business. According to our research, 69 percent of the general population believe that businesses should offer customers EV charging stations—and that number shoots up to four out of five when focusing on (potential) EV drivers.
3. Offer to pay for your guest’s and employee’s charging sessions
This may not be the first thing that you consider when thinking about EV charging, but the reality is that your business probably takes advantage of cheaper electricity rates versus the general household. As businesses less for electricity, offering to pay for your employees' charging sessions is another employee perk that gets people talking. In fact, 70 percent of those driving electric and 60 percent of the general population think it’s a good idea.
4. Offer to reimburse your employee’s charging at home
In a world where the lines between work and home are blurred, you can consider extending your employee benefits to the home too. Using smart charging systems and integrated software, it’s possible to set up home reimbursement for your employees. Whilst slightly fewer people believe it’s a necessity, one in two people think employers should cover the charging costs of a business electric car at their homes.
Can workplace EV charging boost employee satisfaction?
We all know that the war for talent is raging. Whilst we’re not going to tell you that EV charging is the sole solution to attracting and retaining top talent, we genuinely believe that it solves a major challenge that some of your employees may face.
EV drivers are top talent… and they want action on climate
Forward-thinking businesses are capitalizing on this trend and allowing their office’s EV charging to demonstrate their sustainability commitments.
EV drivers are frustrated with a lack of sufficient charging infrastructure
As EVs are still a relatively new technology, charging infrastructure is insufficient to meet today's current demand from drivers —and that demand is rising rapidly.
If your (potential) employees drive an EV, then there’s a good chance they’re frustrated at a lack of charging options. This is a frustration that they extend to the workplace: only 32 percent of EV drivers indicate that there is a sufficient number of charging stations at their office.
This leaves a significant opportunity for employers to tap into a key frustration of their employees.
Offering workplace EV charging stations supports your employee’s sustainable decisions
Offering EV charging does more than scratch a practical itch.
They see electric mobility as a solution to the impending challenges which the climate crisis poses. By supporting them in their decision to go electric, you’re aligning with a key belief they hold dear.
Workplace EV charging makes returning to the office easier for EV drivers
Offering the opportunity to charge at work could also be a way to encourage those employees who already drive electric to come more to the office again.
Beyond offering ping pong tables and fresh fruit, organizations are looking for meaningful ways to make returning to the office for EV driving employees as painless (and as easy) as possible.
Electric mobility and your sustainable business strategy
Sustainability is complex. No one silver bullet can shift the needle for our planet (or your organization) towards a sustainable future. It’s about integrating multiple solutions into a bigger picture like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
From sourcing, energy and resource use, waste management, to transportation, there are many sources from an organization’s processes that contribute to climate change. As such, an organization's emissions reduction strategy should be holistic and address many different aspects of the organization. So where should you start?
The three different types of emissions
The most common way to look at this puzzle is the GHG Protocol, which sets the standards to measure and manage emissions. According to the protocol, when looking to reduce their carbon footprint, there are three major scopes of emissions for organizations:
Scope 1: Direct emissions from company facilities and company vehicles.
Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the energy purchased by an organization.
Scope 3: Indirect emissions from all other activities including product manufacturing, transport and distribution, product use, and business travel.
Scope 1 and 2 emissions are by far the most visible for an organization — the office your colleagues and clients visit, the vehicles your workforce drives, and the way you power them both. According to Deloitte, Scope 1 and 2 are most within an organization’s control, making them an obvious place to start.
How EVs reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions
Reducing emissions from both Scope 1 (company facilities and vehicles) and 2 (purchased energy) can be done in several ways: making buildings more energy efficient, swapping to a renewable energy provider, generating renewable energy from solar, or transitioning to EVs.
For example, many office buildings across the US, UK, and the EU have rolled out new programs to make their company's facilities more sustainable and address Scope 1 emissions head-on. Plus, many companies are also turning their sights towards electric vehicles as a fix for Scope 1 emissions: as EVs emit no carbon dioxide whilst running, they have no Scope 1 emissions. What’s more, depending on how the power you use to run them is generated, they also may have no Scope 2 emissions either. This makes investing in transitioning a business fleet to EVs a great starting point.
Plus, as the technology which supports these emissions reductions evolves (such as smart EV charging like vehicle-to-grid and dynamic load balancing), these systems are beginning to integrate with one another. For example, if you generate electricity from solar, you can charge an EV with 100 percent renewable energy directly, and even use the vehicle’s battery as a storage unit to optimize your building’s energy use.
As such, transitioning to electric mobility, and offering EV charging in the workplace is a strong way to tackle Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Plus, while emissions from transport may only be a fraction of the whole challenge, we see electric mobility—and innovation in EV charging stations in particular—as a catalyst for the greater energy transition.
Whether you generate your own electricity or rely on the power grid, installing electric car chargers can be a valuable part of your sustainable business strategy and help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Do governments offer incentives for workplace charging deployment?
To address the growing demand for, and uneven deployment of, charging infrastructure today, many national governments, cities, and regional municipalities offer incentives and grants for EV charging stations.
These institutions see the installation of charging stations as key to accelerating electric vehicle adoption and supporting the energy transition. On the one hand, EV uptake will be constrained until sufficient charging infrastructure becomes available; and on the other, investment in infrastructure requires more certainty about EV uptake levels. It’s what the EU calls a chicken-and-egg problem. By offering incentives to organizations and individuals to install more charging stations, governments are essentially accelerating change.
Plus, thanks to these incentives, installing EV charging stations at the workplace may be cheaper than you expect. Depending on where you live and the state of adoption of EVs in your region, the incentives or grants available will (obviously) differ. However, they are generally split into two different categories:
Residential. For the installation of charging stations at homes, apartment buildings, and residential complexes by private individuals or companies.
Commercial. For the installation of charging stations—including DC fast charging stations—at commercial properties like offices, hospitality, supermarkets, gas stations, and commercial parking garages.
While some governments focus solely on residential charging, many have grant schemes directed toward commercial use. For instance:
In the UK, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support for the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points.
In the US, the Department of Transport has allocated upwards of $5 billion in funding to “strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability”. This capital has been deployed directly to the states themselves.
By offering EV charging stations at the office, you too can address one of the key challenges of the electric mobility transition: this chicken-and-egg problem. And as we’ve discussed above, electric mobility is itself a catalyst for the greater energy transition. In this way, you’ll not only be offering a great employee benefit or decreasing your organization’s carbon footprint, you’ll actively be accelerating a zero-carbon future.
What is the best EV charging station for the workplace?
While EV chargers may all look similar, in reality, there are many different options on the market today. For instance, there are charging stations that deliver power quickly and others that deliver it more efficiently. Some just deliver power whilst others integrate with charging management software and have a number of smart charging functionalities. Plus, you can theoretically just plug an EV into a domestic socket, so are they even necessary?
The simple answer is that you need a workplace charging strategy. With so many different options available, it’s hard to know what’s best for your workplace. As consumers, we often tend to choose the fastest, newest, or most advanced technology within our budget. However, with workplace charging, this may not be the right approach. Before deciding on a charging solution, it’s essential to ask the right questions.
Here are the most important questions to ask your organization to identify the right EV charging station for your workplace:
1. How important is the charging speed for workplace EV charging stations?
How fast you want drivers to charge is the most important factor when considering which charging station suits your organization’s needs. Depending on the power output, it can take less than 15 minutes to charge a car or upwards of 24 hours. To narrow it down, here’s an overview of charging times and speeds for one of the most common EVs on the road: a Tesla Model 3.
We generally recommend workplaces to opt for somewhere between the 11 kW and the 50 kW option. However, it’s quite common for organizations to offer multiple charging speeds as well to cater to different types of guests. Keep in mind that if you choose to offer fast charging stations (anything above 22 kW) you’ll be offering DC charging. Find out the difference between AC and DC charging stations here.
2. Do you want to offer workplace EV charging as a free or paid service?
While offering EV charging as an employee benefit has its advantages, another approach that some organizations have is to offer charging as a paid service. Some even choose to make their charging stations available to the general public. Doing so can add an additional revenue stream to the company, compensate for the cost of installation or balance out the price of electricity. Plus, with an intelligent charging station, it’s possible to do a hybrid of both: let guests pay market prices whilst offering charging for free or at a discounted fee for employees. Find out more about EV charging business models here.
3. How many workplace EV charging stations do you need?
Given the rapid uptake of electric mobility, it won’t be long before more of your employees drive electric (especially if you begin offering EV charging as an employee benefit). As such, it’s important to think about scalability from the very beginning. For example, what is the electrical load capacity of the facility where you want to offer EV charging, and is it worth upgrading? Is there space for additional charging stations in the future? Given the substantial investment to install EV chargers, it’s essential to consider how your workplace’s charging needs will evolve in the future.
4. Do you need a charging management system?
If you want to simply offer one charging station for free at the office, then a simple plug and charge station may suffice. However, if you’re looking for a more advanced charging solution, then you’ll probably need a charging management system. Charging management software allows organizations to manage multiple charging stations across multiple sites, set charging tariffs, safeguard your facility’s power grid, increase energy efficiency, connect to local renewable energy sources, automate invoicing, and streamline offsetting and/or reporting.
5. What are the restrictions or limitations of your specific location?
Depending on your charging requirements, you might need to involve site owners and consider local authorities for permits or zoning requirements. If your business operates across different locations, approaching each location as a separate project is essential, as they likely have different requirements and constraints. By understanding the limitations and the concerns of key stakeholders from the beginning, you can avoid costly delays in the future.
6. What about after the purchase of your commercial EV charging station?
A charging station is not a one-time investment—but rather a service that needs to be kept up and running. Just like any other type of hardware, EV charging stations need maintenance and care to avoid any nasty surprises. It’s important to find a partner that thinks in the long term, in terms of both station warranty as well as with a host of after-sales services, including commissioning, support, and maintenance. After all, charging stations are only valuable if they’re up and running.
What does the future hold for EV workplace charging?
The demand for workplace charging stations is growing. As more consumers embrace electric mobility, this trend is expected to continue. It’s a simple equation really: EVs on the road equals more need for charging stations. However, if we dig a little deeper into this equation, we see that drivers certainly have a preference on where they want to charge.
According to our annual industry report, the Mobility Monitor, EV drivers want to charge at work. However, only 32 percent of current EV drivers indicate that there is a sufficient number of charging stations at their workplace.
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