Vouchers for using public transport. Free bicycles to support cycle-to-work schemes. Business-funded company carpools. These are tried-and-tested strategies for embracing sustainable workplace travel. But wider EV adoption is set to be the next bright idea.
Many business owners have been looking into making EVs the company standard. They promote a cleaner environment, don’t emit pollutants, and have lower running costs. These advantages prove they can be the future if we perfect functionality.
To get there, we need to explore the most practical workplace charging solutions. Especially because the daily commute to work is a motivator for buying a car. Let’s look at the various ways to make it easier for employees to ditch petrol and diesel.
What do employers need to consider?
There are several key factors for employers to consider. Thinking about these will ensure efficient EV charger implementation. It will also help them avoid problems with the law, future expansion, and management. Some of these include:
whether the company pays, reimburses employees, or offers to charge for free
if employees have open or restricted access to the stations
how they’ll protect charging stations outside of working hours
are there any permits to apply for or regulations to follow
is there an area of heavy traffic to avoid
how many stations will be necessary for each budget, team size, and future plan
Planning is essential to this process. It helps business owners maximise user experience and make the most informed decisions. Once they’ve done their research, it will be easier to choose a tailored solution for their workplace.
EV charging solutions for the workplace
The numbers are looking promising already. The 2022 Cenex project report found between 27,000 and 43,000 workplace charging sockets in the UK. But this needs to increase to support the 12 million people in England and Wales who drive to work.
Let’s look at the sustainable and promising solutions to EV charging in the workplace.
1. Charging management systems
A thought-out plan is necessary in any context. For business, it becomes critical. Operations are dependent on things like company guidelines and budget allocation. Without these, the cogs of the company machine will stop rotating.
This is why the management of EV charging infrastructure cannot be overlooked. Investing in efficient controls and maintenance will have huge benefits. It will remove performance-affecting anxieties and better meet the needs of employees. Accessibility, convenience, and reward should be at the heart of any workplace.
These may not be easy goals for every employer. For example, not everyone will have space to offer a charging station to each driver. It’s also important to remember developing startups or small businesses won’t have the funds for advanced technology.
There are controls to optimise the systems in workplaces without these luxuries. Let’s look at some of the options:
establishing a rota or shared calendar
building a platform where activity can be tracked
creating guidelines for employee etiquette
limiting charging access to certain hours
using a company-wide app that tells the user when charging is complete
Convincing employees that EVs are a viable option begins with employer support. A management system will do this while addressing pain points for pre-existing drivers. It should be a consideration for anyone supporting greener transportation.
2. Preparing for EV adoption
Business owners are not fortune tellers. As much as they’d like to be. No one knows for sure what might happen in the next month or year. This can be frightening for those whose revenue depends on good decisions. So, how can they prepare for EV adoption?
The best way to anticipate charging station demand is to understand the employees. They can provide insight into their desire to buy an EV. It’ll be easy to find out if they drive to work. It’ll explain if better workplace infrastructure would help make the change to green.
Not evaluating future needs could descend the workplace into chaos. Employees may charge their cars for longer than they need to. Especially if they have short-range anxiety. This means not everyone will have access to a port. Also, high wait times might reduce productivity. Arguably most damaging, it will knock the confidence of potential EV buyers.
Concerns can be alleviated with the many options available. Some of these include:
increasing the number of stations available
use data analysis to identify commuting patterns
considering predicted growth rates and acting on them
surveying to estimate future EV adoption in the company
adding level 2 or DC fast charging stations which work faster and free up space
Not all business owners have the resources to consider these solutions. If an investment is possible, this will allow for fairer, less stressful charging. It is possible to get funds or support from organisations. Or these could become goals to focus on in the coming year.
3. Workplace incentives
Most often, building more is the solution to a lack of charging station availability. This is helpful for many. But it doesn’t address some of the common barriers. The biggest reported obstacle isn’t availability as some assume. It’s the cost of charging and buying. More details about bridging the gap can be found in our blog post here.
Expenses are a hurdle but not the only one. Individuals who commute long distances might be unable to buy an EV. They can’t trust that a free charging station will be waiting. If one isn’t ready, it could make them late or stranded. Others may listen to misconceptions. If they hear batteries die too quickly, they won’t risk driving them to and from work.
Affected individuals don’t have to miss out. Workplace infrastructure can take so many of their worries away. Employers need to think about their employees personally and offer rewards accordingly. Team meetings could provide more information.
In terms of specifics, here are some ways to boost excitement about sustainability:
reserving parking spaces for EVs near charging stations,
providing free or discounted parking,
offering flexible work schedules to minimise overpopulated car parks,
advertising deals for first-time EV buyers,
introducing inclusivity schemes to reduce social barriers.
There is much more to discover about equity by design for charging facilities. Find it here.
Remember, some employees might have sensitive answers. This is more likely if the incentives are financial support. They might not want to share with their boss or team. In this case, an anonymous questionnaire is better. Feeling safe is a part of accessibility too.
4. Find opportunities for partnerships
Partnerships make the world go around. This is even more true for businesses. Collaboration has advantages for all industries and companies. Innovative ideas get fostered. Knowledge sharing also becomes possible. And new opportunities are found.
It’s important to leverage the whole community. Everyone offers unique value. These resources can be utilized in exchange for resources. For example, customer base, business promotion, or financial contribution. Some may be willing to help regardless.
EV companies and charging station providers need adoption to thrive. Selling products to a company would be an easy way to make a profit. They might be more likely to offer discounts or free installation for loyalty. Employees will then benefit from this trade.
It isn’t only these providers that may want a partnership. Below are some other examples to think about, including:
learning solutions from companies with similar needs
teaching employees about efficient charging with nonprofits
utilising space from nearby businesses for more infrastructure
joining forces with electricity organisations to find community charging spaces
securing funds from local councils
Finding these opportunities is easy. There will be businesses to speak with at industry events. Employers could advertise on social media. Or company connections might know someone. Once the goals of sustainability are clear, partnerships will soon form.
5. Employee support
Using incentives is a valuable tactic because it boosts employee well-being as well. Teams feel listened to and their stress is reduced. There is another solution that can have the same result. And the best part? It can easily be implemented from within the workplace.
It’s important to improve employee support. Business owners will do this in some capacity. But it won’t be tailored to EVs. There is no space for teams to ask questions about the cars. They have no one to address issues with infrastructure. And there is no education for self-help. For example, teaching ways to make batteries more environmentally friendly. More information about this topic is available.
Bigger companies might hire a support team. This may make more sense for technology-driven businesses. Or those in the EV industry. But this isn’t necessary for all. Ideas are everywhere that don’t involve making any big workplace changes.
To prove this point, here are some of the plans to review:
scheduling training days focused on the basics of charging
providing documents about travel planning
organising workshops to teach employees about emerging EV technologies
opening up a support line in case of charging station issues or confusion
helping to build an in-house community for EV drivers to share and give advice
Try to appoint one point of contact. Make sure they sound authoritative. This will make a huge difference. Sometimes a lack of knowledge is the cause of inaccessibility. Give employees someone to put their faith in. Switch out apprehension for a positive outlook.
Implementing EV charging stations is vital in the adoption of sustainable transport. Each workplace will have unique needs. But it’s possible to meet them once enlightened to how many solutions are out there. There will undoubtedly be one for every business type.
Employers can show their commitment to the environment to both employees and customers. They’ll attract high-performing candidates with their increased satisfaction levels. It’s a win-win situation. Embracing these strategies is the only viable step forward.
It is important to find every way to make EVs more accessible for everyone. Contact us at William Joseph to explore the promising ways of reducing inequality.