Portland CHAdeMO quick-charging station (publicly accessible)Enlarge Photo
You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy an all-electric or plug-in car, and you want to use it as your daily driver to and from work.
Although your car gets a full recharge every night, you’d like to convince your boss to let you plug in at work, or perhaps even have a dedicated charging station installed in your company parking lot.
But just how do you convince someone to let you plug into an available 110-volt outlet, or go the whole hog and install a level 2 charging station?
We’ve compiled a five-point list to help you along the way, based on our own and others’ personal experience in successfully getting charging stations installed at a place of work.
As with any work-related issue, finding someone who understands your point of view is essential, especially with larger firms.
Start with a colleague that you know well. Bring electric cars into the conversation and see how they react. Educate them on why you’ve chosen and electric car and what you hope to do with it.
Home-made J-1772 adaptor for Tesla Roadster charging cord, built and used by Michael Thwaite
Home-made J-1772 adaptor for Tesla Roadster charging cord, built and used by Michael ThwaiteEnlarge Photo
Be sure to tell them how little it costs to drive, how well it performs, and how much gasoline you’re saving. Offer them a ride.
Essentially, if you can successfully create an electric-car buzz from the people you work with, convincing higher level management becomes easier, especially if you have a line manager who supports you.
Essentially, the more allies you can pool, the better. If management is presented with a well-supported, cogent argument, they’re more likely to agree to helping you out.
If you work in a large enough firm with a fleet car pool, finding an ally there may help your cause no end. Could your firm buy some electric cars of its own, requiring the firm to install corporate chargers?
But whatever you do in your ally-building process, do not portray your desire for a charging station as a free perk or something that you have a right to as an electric car driver. You don’t, and pretending you do will only alienate your co-workers.
Before you make a formal request to install a charging point, it’s essential that you do some groundwork to figure out where the best place will be to install a charging point.
Walk around your company parking lot, and identify where the best place is to install a charging station or 110-volt outlet.
Houston's Tranquility Park Garage with GRIDbot charging stations
Houston's Tranquility Park Garage with GRIDbot charging stationsEnlarge Photo
Ideally, this should be somewhere near existing power supplies, and not anywhere where there is existing priority parking, such as handicapped or management-reserved spaces.
Try and come up with several different options, including one or two that are in a prominent enough position that they will be noticed by visitors as they park.
If you can, find other companies where charging stations have been installed.
Ask them of their experiences, making a note of how the charging stations have improved the company’s reputation as a green, forward thinking firm.
Also try to find out how much the installation cost, and the decision-making process that went into the firm’s decision to support plug-in cars.
The more information you can obtain from other firms -- especially rival ones -- helps your case to argue for a charging station at your place of work.