EV Charging; we have got it all wrong!

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Electric Vehicles Charging at the MEC head office in Vancouver

For some; charging an electric vehicle at home is a very pleasant experience. Your garage becomes a reliable oasis where your vehicle charges peacefully overnight, and departs in the morning with a full charge. Effortless, simple and effective.

If you live in a condo with shared parking,
your EV charging experience can be fraught with complications and in some cases
confrontations. While some strata councils are progressively making plans to
host EVs on site, others are embattled with owners trying to gain access to the
power needed to charge their vehicles.

There is another way, a simpler way. Shift
our primary location of EV charging to alternative sites with extensive dwell
time. The workplace is an excellent alternative. Of course this is my opinion,
here a few reasons to support my argument.

Dwell
Time

If you drive to work, chances are that your vehicle sits for the entire day
awaiting your commute home. If your EV had access to a dedicated Level 1 outlet
your vehicle would gain approximately 72kms of range in an 8-hour work day. If
your EV had access to a dedicated Level 2 outlet, your EV would gain up to 320kms
or range.

Governance
Working with strata councils to gain approval for
EV installations in a multi-unit residence can be time consuming and
frustrating. Your company may own its own property or work closely with the
property owner for approval to install EV charging. If you are able to
establish a good business case and show that benefits for the employees,
employer and property owners, it will be easier overall.

ROI
With recent changes to the BC Utilities Commission
rules for reselling energy, companies now have the advantage of charging a
tariff for EV charging, with the possibility of establishing a return on their
investment. 

Fleet Electrification
If you company is looking to electrify their corporate fleet to reduce corporate operating emissions and operating costs they will need a location to charge the vehicles on site.

Establishing a good business case for
workplace charging is the first important step to getting the project underway.
There are already some excellent programs underway in the USA for us to
reference. The US Department of Energy runs a program called the “Workplace
Charging Challenge
” that coaches companies to setup workplace
charging for employees. Some of the highlights advantages for participating
companies are as follows:

  • Employee recruitment and retention: The
    availability of charging conveys that the organization stays on the leading
    edge of technological development, even to workers who don’t drive EVs.
    Employers that offer charging may be better positioned to attract and retain
    employees that drive EVs.
  • Furthering sustainability goals: The
    availability of EV charging can be a strong addition to an organization’s
    larger portfolio of sustainability practices, particularly if the organization
    has existing objectives related to employee commuting practices, greenhouse gas
    reductions, and/or transportation emissions reductions.
  • Public image: Providing workplace
    charging can help demonstrate an organization’s leadership in supporting
    cutting-edge, clean transportation technologies to customers, consumers, and the
    surrounding community.
  • Employee satisfaction: Workplace
    charging can be an attractive addition to the organization’s existing employee
    benefits package. Employees will likely appreciate that the employer is
    proactive in seeking out ways to enhance their experience at the workplace.
  • Save Money: Save money on fuel for fleet
    vehicles by converting company cars to plug-in electric vehicles

The programs also established a number of
excellent benefits for employees that had the opportunity to charge their EV at
work.

  • Range security: The opportunity to
    charge at work can help alleviate “range anxiety” – a driver’s uncertainty
    about the vehicle’s ability to reach a destination before depleting the
    battery’s charge – by having a guaranteed place to charge during the day this
    is alleviated.
  • Reducing commute time:  Using the HOV lane incentive available for
    EV’s means drivers can get to work in less time.
  • Range extension: Workplace charging can
    potentially double daily all-electric driving range, accommodating longer
    commutes and additional trips between the workplace and the home.
  • Greater flexibility: By extending range,
    workplace charging opens up options drivers might not otherwise have, making it
    easier to manage special circumstances, urgent trips, and unexpected changes in
    plans or schedules, particularly for EV drivers. Workplace charging also
    provides flexibility in the location and timing of charging, which may be
    helpful for drivers whose residential charging options are somewhat limited or
    inconvenient.
  • Increased incentive for EV adoption: The
    ability to charge at work may provide the encouragement and assurance an
    employee needs to make the switch from a conventional vehicle to an EV, and to
    take advantage of the financial and environmental benefits of such a switch.

If your company is interested in exploring
workplace charging, we can help. Cielo Electric offers full system installation,
comprehensive site assessments, feasibility reviews and system designs that can
be customized for your location. Contact Cielo Electric at 778-862-4109 or
visit our website www.cieloelectric.ca
for more information.

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