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Electric Vehicles (EV) Aren’t Just on Their Way – They’re Here!

In President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, it was made clear that electric vehicles are the transportation future of the United States. To reach his stated goal of 1 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015, the President established a strategy to make EVs more affordable to the general public through incentives and rebates and allocated funding for the advancement of enabling technologies such as extended-life batteries.

The U.S. Department of Energy also recently reported that automotive manufacturers plan to have at least 1.2 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2015, further concluding that (1) after decades of conjecture and slow growth, the EV era has officially arrived in the United States, and (2) over the next few years, there will be a rapid acceleration in the number of EV drivers.

Going from ambitious goals to actual electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicles sales, the growth rate
is increasing. According to a leading EV industry association, Electric Drive Transportation Association, year-over-year sales increased nearly 200% in 2012.  [Electric drive vehicle sales figures (U.S. Market.) Electric Drive Transportation Association].

According to a J.D. Power survey in late 2012, nearly one-half of EV drivers charge their vehicle away from home. [J.D. Power and Associates Reports: “To Increase Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales, Automakers Must Address Economic Challenges, Not Just Tout Environmental Advantages,” November 8, 2012 press release]

Between an 8-hour charge overnight and an 8-hour charge at work, 90% of all commuters would have the necessary range covered.

Forward thinking businesses are planning and getting EV ready now in order to take advantage of EV growth and the key employee pool EV drivers represent.

Benefits to Employers. “Connecting” a company’s parking spaces provides a competitive advantage in workforce acquisition and retention, as well as market and industry perception.

2012 study by Electric Vehicle Information Exchange (EVIX) revealed that EV drivers are better educated and have higher incomes.  [Davies, Alex, “Electric Car Owners Are Richer And Smarter Than The Average American,” Business Insider, Nov. 20, 2012, 11:17 am].  Moreover, when viewed collectively, increased home ownership, income, age and education may indicate that EV drivers represent a more stable segment of the workforce.

Offering charge stations, also known in EV industry speak as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) can be a significant differentiator and lead to positive feelings for stakeholders with EVs or those who are considering EVs. Hiring and retaining key employees who drive EVs can lead to a significantly positive ROI from implementing a charge station program.

EV charging can also help reduce employee commute time since many EVs qualify for the carpool lane. While that fact may not initially seem like a benefit to employers, studies repeatedly have shown that long commute times lead to unhappy and unhealthy employees [Crabtree, Steve, “Wellbeing Lower Among Workers With Long Commutes,” Gallup Wellbeing, August 13, 2010].  Companies with happy and healthy employees have been shown to have more productive employees and a stronger bottom line.

Positive ROI

While the positive or revenue side of the equation can be difficult to quantify, it can be approximated by looking at the current number of constituents with EVs and estimating the number of EV drivers in their talent pool. Through surveys and data gathering and analysis, some organizations are able to quantify on average employee “wins” and employee retention rates. The revenue side of the calculation can get very high when those dollar amounts are estimated.

Some employers may also want to cover their electricity costs by charging employees for the cost of electricity. One suggestion for companies wanting to recoup electricity costs is to sell monthly passes to EV drivers for the average cost of the electricity utilized.

On the flip side, costs are more easily quantifiable by adding the initial capital and installation costs, ongoing management and operation, and electricity charges (if not offset by employees).

Charge stations cost as low as $3,000 and go up to $5,000 depending on the quantity of charge stations a company purchases. Installation can range from $1,500-$5,000 depending on the location and complexity of the installation.

With our Managed Services, you don’t have to add additional staff to manage your charge station program. Nor do you have to divert anyone’s staff time to manage your charge stations or provide any support to your EV drivers. EV Connect’s Managed Services includes everything you need, from program design, setup, driver access control, driver support via phone and email, remote monitoring of up time, cellular connectivity, reporting, maintenance (excluding hard costs if any), and more. All that costs only $1,600 for a three-year contract ($533/year).

You Made the Decision – Now What?

You made the wise decision to offer EV charging for your employees. Now what? Not only can we manage everything about your charge station program, we can also help you purchase and install the charge stations that are right for you.

Installing charge stations isn’t simple and is much more than hanging a charge station box on a parking lot wall. With EV Connect, the deployment of your charge stations begins with a well-designed EV charge station program. We then take a vendor-agnostic approach to making sure you get the right charge stations for your organization. When you’re ready for installation, we have a network of certified and trained technicians and support personnel to make your program deployment simple and pain-free.

Give us a call or send an email.  We are happy to talk to you about what we do, how we do it, and why it makes sense for your company. We’ll even set up a free site consultation and get you a customized proposal for your location. If you can think of a way to make this easier, please let us know!

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