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Employer provided charging stations

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by skitch23, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. skitch23

    skitch23 Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Chandler/Tempe, AZ
    I'm hoping to gather some feedback & guidance from you guys in regards to encouraging employer-provided charging stations. The only thread I could find on this was from 2012.

    I work for a local government that prides itself on sustainability. We have several solar panel arrays throughout the city with one being situated on a parking garage in our downtown area. Best guess I'd say there are about 300 employee vehicles that park there including one Tesla and two Leafs. I currently park offsite but should be at the top of the waiting list for access by mid summer so then there would be four BEV owners in the garage.

    We currently have two Leafs, an electric Focus and one Volt in our city fleet that have access to chargers at the top of the garage. The chargers, unfortunately, are restricted and are not able to be used for private charging.

    I've spoken with our energy coordinator who is in charge of the solar panels as well as our city electrician about this. They both are all for adding additional chargers for employee use, but our fleet manager is the one who apparently has heartburn about it. What are some business case ideas I could present to him to help sway him into adding employee chargers?

    For the worst case scenario, let's assume all four of us current BEV owners will solely charge at work if given the opportunity. (Although I do hope that there will be more than just four of us in the future)

    15,000mi a year x 4 = 60,000 miles
    3mi/kW = 20,000kW per year used
    220 working days = 90kW per weekday

    I'm not sure what we pay for electricity from the grid, but we pay 0.064/kW for the electricity from the solar panels. Only about 12% of our annual electricity comes from solar panels on that garage, so that definitely isn't enough to offset the additional cost for employee charging.

    At a guesstimate of .12/kW from the grid, that would be $10.80/weekday or $2.70/person. We currently subsidize bus passes which are capped at $64/month (~$3/weekday) so that seems comparable to me cost wise. But there is the cost of the actual charger that needs to be considered too. The city vehicles use Chargepoint chargers, so I'd imagine if we were to add employee chargers, they would also be Chargepoints just for simplicity.

    And a follow-up question to those of you who work at a place where there are more BEV's than charging stations, how do you handle sharing the chargers? There are so many places to eat nearby my office, people just walk to lunch and their cars stay put for 9-10hrs a day.

    Thanks for any ideas you might have to help me get a few chargers installed!
  2. mblakele

    mblakele (つ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)つ

    Mar 7, 2016
    SF Bay Area
    I'm afraid you'll need to penalize cars that park too long. I know a garage where this sign seems to work well: I never see ICE-ing and there are usually chargers available. This is in addition to the normal fee for parking in this garage.

  3. DOCAL

    DOCAL Member

    May 5, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    One of our offices has ChargePoint L2 units, they're free for 2 hours, and any time after that costs money. That generally encourages people to charge for 2 hours or less.

    I believe chargepoint lets you set a cost per kWh, and also a parking cost. One alternative I've seen is a fixed cost per kWh, with free parking for 4 hours, then a high parking cost per hour to encourage people to move.

    Maybe speak to chargepoint and see what they suggest.
  4. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Dec 31, 2014
    One resource you might check out is at EV Charging Potential at USNA

    As he said in a post on another forum (quoted with permission), "The Federal Policy now is to let any EV plug into any available outlet for a fixed payment of about $15 per month. And local agencies can even use existing maintenance funds to install additional standard 120v outlets."

    Hopefully you can leverage this Federal policy to influence your local government's behavior. Bob is not one for brief web pages, so there's a lot of background info and guidelines for implementation that should be a good model for how to proceed. Good luck!
  5. Galve2000

    Galve2000 Member

    May 20, 2013
    What is your the typical parking fee for his garage?
  6. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

    Mar 4, 2017
    SF Bay Area
    #6 SMAlset, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
    My husband's company installed a number of ChargePoint stations at his work on their property. Best I can remember from how he explained it to me is the company set something up with CP for special CP cards for their employees. Company apparently pays for the service--don't know about the installation fees, but no charge to the employees for using (suppose Company gets some tax credit for it as an incentive for providing it). The chargers are only useable from what I understand by employees with this card, so Company isn't paying for non-employees charging there. Being on private property and paid for by the Company they aren't listed through any websites so avoids the public driving to charge there. Employees can "upgrade" their cards to work at other CP public locations in addition, where the card holder does pay his own charging fee, and this way the users don't have to have another CP card to carry. The cards are issued by the company to employees who apply through the company and I'm guessing the Company tracks useage and date/time used by member number so could detect any abuse by leaving a car too long at a charging station repeatedly. Hubby likes the CP app which sends a notification when charging is done. He also gets a notification on his phone through the Tesla app. That's about all I know.

    BTW I'm sure most companies expect their employees to be using nightly charging at home and not relying on company provided ones to "fill their tanks" routinely. That would really be taking advantage of the company. They're there more for convenience of topping off and not leaving you stranded. With numbered CP cards provided to the employees they can see who might be abusing the system. Not sure but maybe the Company might also be able to set up a limited amount of charge available to each member so as to avoid abuse as well.

    I do think companies in general don't want to see everyone (Public) coming on their property and don't want to see abuse of the system so can see how the above arrangement could be acceptable for companies that want to encourage going green.
  7. skitch23

    skitch23 Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Chandler/Tempe, AZ
    Thank you to everyone who has replied thus far! Lots of good info :)

    I was thinking some more about the sharing of chargers... we currently have a reservation system for our pool vehicles. Something like that might work for employee charging stations. It would be an added bonus if we could access it from home so that way we can book a morning spot before we head to work. In my perfect world, we'd have unlimited free charging, but I'm well aware of the possibility that it would have either a monthly cap or just a reduced rate all of the time. Shoot for the moon, right? :)

    The parking garage is only accessible by city employees and valet parking for the adjacent hotel. The chargers we have currently do appear on the Plugshare app, but I think its because they were initially open to anyone and everyone. Then in a twist of fate, a few months ago a Tesla owner found his way into the garage when our gate was broken and was using the chargers while staying at the hotel.... so now they are locked to city vehicles only. Each city vehicle has its own chargepoint card, so I'm sure something similar could be done for employees just in case more riff-raff sneaks into the garage lol.

    We do not have to pay to park in the garage, but the waiting list is quite long. I've been on it for four and a half years already.... fingers crossed they'll be calling me in a couple of months to pick up my new parking pass!

    As much as I like the idea of the simplicity of 120v chargers as the article @gregd posted suggests, I'm not sure how well that would work in our sprawling metropolis. Just in my department, most people have 20-25mi one-way commutes while a few others have a 45mi+ trek every morning. If the long distance drivers opted for Leafs, it still might not be doable for them if they can only recharge at 4mi/hr (it's hot here so max range is iffy at best in the summer with the AC blasting).

    I found out today that we are on a time of use plan from our electricity provider, and on average it costs the city $0.10/kWh so that's a little bit less than I had originally estimated. There is space to add additional solar panels to the garage roof, however they would have to reinforce the pillars so that would be way too cost prohibitive.

    I figured a good starting point for my business case would be to survey the current EV & PHEV drivers and see what kind of driving & charging they do. I left some notes on their cars today, so hopefully they reach out to me in the next couple of weeks and then I can start compiling the data.
  8. Okemonkey

    Okemonkey Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    East Bay, Rhode Island
    I work at a hospital in Massachusetts that has two ChargePoint stations in the bottom floor of the employee parking garage. The use of these is free as an effort to encourage the use of electric vehicles. Along the same lines, the hospital also pays for employees mass transit MBTA (subway) passes to encourage green commuting.

    Currently there are at least 3 Teslas, a few Volts and a couple of Leafs, maybe a total of 12 EV's that use the stations. I'm always at work by 7 am so the charger is always available, and maybe once a week I may see another MS there at that time. I have a 50 mile commute to work so I will usually be plugged in for most of the morning to get back to 80%, but I always make the effort to move the car before noon. Sometimes if I'm busy I'll check the ChargePoint app and if the other spot is still vacant I figure I'm ok to leave it until I can get away and move it. At least 3 or 4 afternoons a week there will be another car there in the afternoon and sometime a second as well. So far it has worked out well, but if a few more EV's come along, I think the hospital will need to expand to 4 spots.

    Interestingly, the hospital this spring is undertaking the construction of a roof over the top level of garage that will be covered with solar panels!
    • Informative x 2
  9. AndreSF

    AndreSF Member

    Feb 21, 2016
    San Francisco, CA
    There are 8 EVSE (6kw) stations @ my garage at work (16 spots near them marked as EV charging only). Building management outsourced the installation/maintenance to a vendor (EV Charging Stations - SemaConnect Network). These are not free, which why there no issue with people abusing them, other than some irresponsible EV drivers sometimes parking in the charging spaces and not charging (equivalent of "ICEing"). Security leaves a nice note for these ppl on the windshield reminding that these are charing only spots, not parking.
    I never use these stations, as the rate is scaling, and for first 2 hours it would be around $.25/kwh for EVs that can take full advantage of 6Khw EVSE, then rates goes progressively higher. No need to charge Tesla for me, as I have plenty for my commute needs (40 - 50 miles/day) and some. Charging using this model is even more expensive for EVs with smaller chargers (Volts, etc.), but I do see them using the EVSE on occasion.
    Initially, these stations were free during the pilot, but even then I avoided them for a few reasons: #1 too much competition (there are ~40+ EVs in our garage) #2 I don't really need the charge, and saving afew cents to a $1 is just not good enough reason IMO to take a spot that some short range EVs might really need.

    Good luck!
  10. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Can you please get your units correct, in all of the above cases, you meant kWh, not kW. I noticed you got it correct in a later post.

    kW and kWh are very different metrics. It's the same as confusing gallons with horsepower. Think of kW = horsepower, kWh = gallons.

    If one charges at 1 kW (or 1000 watts) for 6 hours, 6 kWh came out of the wall. If it's at 6 kW for 1 hour, it's also 6 kWh. If it's 1 watt for 6000 hours, it's also 6 kWh.

    One pays for electricity at home in cents per kWh. There are a few utilities w/residential plans where they not only bill per kWh but also have demand charges (which would be in kW), but that's rare. Demand charges aren't unusual on many commercial plans and may complicate your calculations.
    • Like x 1

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