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How One Electric Utility Encouraged Employees To Use Plug-In Cars

 
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Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey

Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey

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While workplace charging is still a work in progress at most companies, a few progressive corporations and nonprofits now offer incentives to employees to commute in plug-in electric cars.

One example is PSEG, the publicly-owned New Jersey electric and gas utility, which has seen employee usage of electric cars soar since it launched an employee incentive program in July.

The company offers free use of a Level 2 charging station for three years, along with free parking--a highly sought-after perk--for the same three years at its Newark location.

Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey

Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey

Enlarge Photo

In return for these benefits, participating employees agree to fill out regular surveys on their commuting, charging usage, and other data.

When the program launched five months ago, said PSEG communications director Paul Rosengren, the utility was surprised to learn that two employees were already using plug-in cars (one Chevrolet Volt and one Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid).

The program kicked off with five charging locations in the Newark parking structure. Those were almost immediately expanded to 11 spots--and there is now a waiting list. Two other locations each have two charging spots apiece nearby as well.

Fully nine employees acquired plug-in cars to take advantage of the program.

They're a wide range, including the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, Honda Fit EV, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, and soon--when it's delivered--a 2014 Cadillac ELR.

Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey

Plug-in electric cars at PSE+G facility in Newark, New Jersey

Enlarge Photo

The PSEG incentive program has been so successful, in fact, that the company is adding two new locations. It's also looking into adding more charging spots in Newark.

The new locations are at a nuclear plant in South Jersey and at the company's Newark executive parking facility--where two high-ranking executives have just purchased Tesla Model S electric luxury sport sedans.

Rosengren notes that the Newark facility has the largest concentration of electric-car charging stations anywhere in the state: 11 for employees plus two more for company vehicles. And, he says, every spot is being used most of the time.

PSEG has been told by other utilities that its Newark charging array is the largest at any one electric-utility site in the country (though some utilities may have more charging stations in total across multiple sites).

Is this kind of program something your company could adopt? What would that take?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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