Workplace Charging Management Policies Webinar (Text Version)
This is a text version of the video for Workplace Charging Management Policies Webinar presented on May 23, 2016.
NWX-NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY/(US)
Moderator: Sarah Olexsak
April 23, 2015
1:00 pm CT
Coordinator: Good afternoon and thank you for standing by. As a reminder, your lines have been placed on a listen-only mode until the question and answer segment of today's conference call. This call is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
I would now like to turn the call over to Miss (Sarah Olexsak), Department of Energy Workplace Charging Challenge Coordinator. Thank you. You may begin.
(Sarah Olexsak): Thank you. Hello and welcome to the Workplace Charging Challenge Management Policy Webinar. Today's Webinar is the second in a series of webinars that we're hosting to address some of the most pressing workplace charging topics affecting our partners and ambassadors.
Whether you are a challenge partner, ambassador or other stakeholder, I think that you'll find that all of us can benefit from today's presenters telling us about their workplace charging management policies.
For those of you on the call who may not be as familiar with the Workplace Charging Challenge, it was launched by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the President's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which aims to make plug-in electric vehicles both as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.
The Workplace Charging Challenge works to raise the profile of workplace charging and increase the number of employers offering charging to 500 by 2018. We are moving steadily towards our goal, with 190 partners committing to provide charging access to their employees.
These partners now represent over 350 worksites, and they are providing over 3,500 workplace charging stations for nearly 1 million employees across the country.
The most exciting efforts to promote and support workplace charging are coming out of our 18 ambassador organizations and the DOE Clean Cities coalition network.
Before we dive into our topic today, we wanted to highlight a new report that just came out yesterday. At the request of Congress, the Department of Energy commissioned a study by the National Academies to address market barriers that are slowing the purchase of electric vehicles and hindering the deployment of supporting charging infrastructure.
As a result, the National Research Council appointed the Committee on Overcoming Barriers to EV Deployment. The Committee homed in on the importance of workplace charging, and two of our partners, (Cisco) and Lynda.com came to Washington to present on their experiences with workplace charging to this committee.
In yesterday's final report, the Committee underscored the importance of employee charging, and recommended that local governments work with employers to promote the investment in workplace charging infrastructure. The full report is now available on the Academy's Web site.
So our thanks to Ali Ahmed at Cisco and Dana Jennings at Lynda.com for providing leadership in workplace charging.
As partners on the call know, one of the key things that we ask our partners is that they complete and submit a Partner Plan. Whether or not your company has already installed charging stations, these plans are important in the establishment of a robust workplace charging strategy. Utilizing best practices to develop the Partner Plan will help minimize barriers and smooth the way towards installing and managing workplace charging.
At DOE, we draw upon the lessons learned from submitted plans and promote these best practices to other partners. One of the key parts of this plan is management and policy and focuses on establishing an internal company policy that will address all aspects of a well-managed workplace charging program.
For our partners on the call today, don't forget that you can always talk to your account manager about your workplace charging plan. We encourage you to browse the new "Managing Workplace Charging" section of our Web site for useful templates and resources to assist you in your efforts.
In addition to DOE's PEV Handbook for Workplace Charging Hosts – which serves as a good high-level overview of workplace charging – there are a lot of great resources that dig down into workplace charging management policy issues.
On our Web site, you can find sample workplace charging policies, and employee agreements and focused resources from some of our workplace charging challenge ambassadors that deal with specific management issues.
For example, Advanced Energy worked with employers in North Carolina to develop a workplace charging policy guide and the California PEV Collaborative provides overviews of management topics in 20 employer case studies.
Lastly, Plug In America recently published a pricing guide that reviews the pros and cons of providing free workplace charging. We encourage you to check out these resources – available on our Web site links at the bottom of this slide – as you work to establish and evaluate the management of your workplace charging program.
If you're not already a Challenge partner and you want to learn more, please visit our Web site or email us to learn how you can join. Thank you again for joining today, and now I'd like to introduce today's featured speakers.
(Frank Marino) is the Senior Corporate Environmental Health Safety and Sustainability Manager at Raytheon, where he is responsible for developing and implementing EHSS programs for the entire company. He has over 30 years of experience in industrial environmental health safety and sustainability management, including the manufacture of computers, appliances, military hardware and aircraft.
(Frank) led the enterprise effort at Raytheon to install EV charging stations. Raytheon has been a partner in the Workplace Charging Challenge since 2013 and (Frank) has been an invaluable resource to DOE as the Challenge has evolved over the past couple of years.
Next up is (Zane Lichtneger), who is the sustainability analyst at SAS Institute, where he has worked since 2011. In his role, he facilitates the collection and validation of greenhouse gas inventory measurements and analysis related to Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, among other things.
(Zane) received his bachelor's degree in Environment Technology and Management from NC State University.
Lastly, Rajit Gadh - Dr. Rajit Gadh is Professor of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA. He is also the founder and director of the Smart Grid Energy Research Center - or SMERC. Dr. Gadh has a Doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters from Cornell and a Bachelors from IIT Kampur, all in Engineering.
Dr. Gadh was responsible for establishing the Workplace Charging Program at UCLA back in 2011 and continues to support its expansion and management.
So as you can see from our Partner Map, Raytheon, SAS and UCLA represent quite a bit of geographic diversity in addition to their sector diversity. We're going to kick things off by giving (Frank), (Zane) and (Rajit) a chance to give you some high-level background on their organizations' workplace charging programs.
We'll then divide the rest of the presentation time into four topic areas that delve down into the specifics of workplace charging management. Administration, registration, pricing and sharing. For each of these sections, Raytheon, SAS and UCLA will present some highlights on how they're handling these issues.
Then we'll have a discussion to dig down into the organizations' decision-making process. At the end we'll have some time for Q&A, so think about questions you might have along the way and submit them online via the webinar system or by phone.
All right. Let's get started. (Frank), can you give us an introduction to Raytheon's workplace charging program?
(Frank): Sure, I'd be glad to. Good afternoon; good morning, everyone. We have installed 15 dual 220-volt plug-in electric vehicle charging stations across six operating locations. In California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia.
Workplace charging is one of the many initiatives we have implemented as part of a formal sustainability program we established in 2008 – aiming to achieve 15 long-term sustainability goals by 2015.
These goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water use and waste reductions, as well as the greening of Raytheon's supply chain operations and products.
We have had 11,000 charging sessions on our stations since 2012. We have avoided 41,000 kg of greenhouse gasses. We've delivered 100 megawatts of electricity, avoided the use of over 12,000 gallons of gasoline and collected $29,000 in fees.
The ChargePoint network stations make these robust metrics readily available via the ChargePoint portal. We have presented our lessons learned at numerous conferences and forums on the installation and use of EV charging stations.
(Zane Lichtneger): Hi, this is (Zane Lichtneger) with SAS and I'd like to give you a brief overview of our workplace charging program. So, SAS assigns top priority to minimizing energy consumption and the related emissions from our operations. And our Eco-Commuter parking program encourages employees to minimize the environmental impacts of their daily commute.
SAS provides preferred parking spaces for plug-in electric vehicles, low emission vehicles and active carpool participants. And currently, the Eco-Commuter parking includes 90 designated PEV spaces with access to 52 charging stations.
And SAS provides free charging for all registered vehicles on campus. And I think a great statistic is - at the beginning of 2014 SAS employees in Cary represented approximately 5% of PEVs in North Carolina. And that's something we're very proud of, and I think it's a great testament to the success of our program.
And we're also proud to be a Workplace Challenge Partner. As far as challenges are concerned, I would say our biggest challenge is communication. I mean there's always a funding piece of it and the capital investment, but as far as management, I really think communication is the biggest challenge and that includes getting our message out there about our use policy and guidelines.
And just to make sure everyone is following those guidelines. And this is really about who can use these parking spaces for how long and what the proper protocol for sharing is. And with that I'll turn it over to (Rajit).
(Rajit Gadh): Hi. I am (Rajit Gadh). I'm a Professor of Engineering at UCLA and Founding Director of the Smart Grid Energy Research Center. As (Sarah) was mentioning, you know, some of the efforts here were started about five years ago here on campus with, you know, some of the first few EV drivers that - who purchased vehicles that reached out to me and I sort of set up some informal meetings with them - and we started with, you know, literally knowing the first one or two or three EV drivers in person.
And as we sort of started down the path of installing the first charger, the second - now we're roughly at 140 charging stations. I mean, charge points, is what I should mention.
We sort of came at it from a university perspective, doing research and educating ourselves – and educating our employees – and having our students work on these projects, trying to figure out - what is it that this infrastructure will look like in several years?
So we had some of our hunches and we had some of our thoughts. You know, here you have a campus with roughly 30,000-plus employees, and at that time, you know, there was just – like I mentioned – a handful of EV drivers.
Well today you have upwards of 200 EV drivers on campus and, you know, we've sort of come a long way, but one of the things that we were looking at was - as EV charging scales up, one of the concerns we had was what if everyone parks their car and plugs in at 8:00 in the morning? There'll be a massive spike on the grid.
And with some very simple calculations, we figured out that that issue can come up very quickly in a few years. And today that is true. Today if all the EV drivers plug in at 8:00, there is going to be an unwanted spike on the grid.
So we were interested in ensuring that EV charging is friendly to the grid, to the parking infrastructure - i.e., the micro-grid, which is the UCLA campus that we have 24,000 parking spots.
The user and the car. And so, those are sometimes at conflict and at odds with each other, and we have figured out a way of how to optimize that, so these charging stations that I was talking about -140 or so charging stations - they are monitored and controlled by us. They were designed by our very own students here using - and then we have developed what's called the WINSmart EV Network.
The Network is used for experimenting with different concepts so that the EV charging can be friendly to the driver, to the car, to the micro-grid and the bigger grid.
(Sarah Olexsak): Thank you for those overviews. So the first topic of Workplace Charging Management that we're going to dive into is administration.
And throughout this webinar I want to note that we're not just giving you information that has been collected from the presenters from the call, but throughout all of our partner employers who have submitted the Partner Plans, this is the information that we're gathering and the best practices - they kind of keep bubbling up time and time again.
So, our partners/employers frequently underscore the importance of having all the right players on board from the start and getting senior leadership buy-in on the top - buy-in at the time - at the same time.
These are the people within an organization who are responsible for establishing and providing the overall management policy that we're discussing today.
They're also the folks who will lead both internal and external communication about the charging program and those who are responsible for day-to-day operation of the programs after the ribbon cutting ceremony is complete.
So having leadership buy-in where the funding of the program – both at the start and for future expansion – is essential. Partners have learned that using clear and consistent signage from Day 1 of their program is also important.
Lastly making sure that all employees - both PEV drivers and traditional internal combustion engine vehicle drivers are aware of the Workplace Charging Policy.
Who enforces the policy, and any penalties for not adhering to that policy are all crucial elements for a well-functioning workplace charging program.
So, (Frank), do you want to talk about your program administration?
(Frank Marino): Sure. Our stations are installed by our facilities organization. EHSS partners with facilities on managing the stations once they are installed. Where feasible, we install dual stations to allow access to four vehicles without having to move any vehicle. As station demand increases, this will minimize disruption to employees; work schedules. Our stations are not currently available to those outside of Raytheon, as our sites have perimeter security, due to our work with DOD.
Today we do not have common signage, but we're working on developing Raytheon's signage for the station bonnet and the body.
Our stations are currently used predominately on the first shift. And we have discussed making the stations available during second and third shifts for onsite company electric vehicles.
Today our stations are available to Raytheon employees only. We make them available to customers at selected locations where stations are located in close proximity to visitor parking.
We do not have any formal enforcement policy. Our EV drivers cooperate with each other on making use of our stations.
(Zane Lichtneger): And for SAS – for our key players really are the Corporate Service Division – they manage the EVSE installation and the overall management of the program.
Corporate Services provide support for all of SAS, and includes different groups such as our Corporate Real Estate – which handles construction projects - Facilities – handling operations and maintenance – the Environmental Program – which I fall under – and Security and Safety.
And as far as policy management, it was really a team effort at SAS. It involved the Environmental Program, again, Security, Facilities, Legal - really a team effort for management in developing our use policy and guidelines.
As far as signage is concerned, all EVSE parking spaces have pavement that is marked with an industry-standard EV charging logo. You can see a picture of it right there on this screen.
We really don't have any directional signage around campus. The overall majority of the users are employees, so they'll know where to go. And if there's visitors on campus, they can be directed by Security.
We have maps of all the parking lots available internally online, so if you want to see it that way, that's also another way you can see where they're located.
And we also post the - for signage - the use policy and guidelines – on each charging station. Now, this is an abbreviated version but we also have the links and the QR code to take you to the full version online. And again, we want to get that out there as many different way as possible.
And there's availability and access as long as you're registered and you register your EV with Security – and that goes for employees and visitors – you have access to charging, and this is 24/7 if you're allowed on campus and are registered. The stations are open all the time.
As far as policy enforcement is concerned, we're trying to rely on employee self-enforcement for the sharing of the chargers - the charging stations. And we rely on Security as well.
Security will be responsible for enforcing registration - if there's a vehicle parked in there without a registration tag, or if you have a traditional vehicle - a nice vehicle - an internal combustion engine vehicle parked there, Security will handle that piece of it.
And as far as repercussions - maybe some actions if they see somebody is abusing it or they're not supposed to be there. They can alert the employee and if it continues, they're contact the manager. And they could step it up in Security - but fortunately for us, we really haven't had anything escalate to that level yet.
And, you know, we have Security that does routine patrol of all campus and our parking areas. But we really haven't - implemented anything special for Security to do. As they're doing their routine rounds, you know, they can just check out those spaces and see if there's anything that needs to be addressed.
And that pretty much covers the administrative piece of this. And I'll let (Rajit) go next.
(Rajit Gadh): Thanks, (Zane).
At UCLA, you know, in terms of the key players, you know, we - for installation and management, you know, policy we - you know, because I'm a Professor and Director of the Smart Grid Center – was carrying out these experiments. So we rely on our UCLA parking and facilities for, you know, for sort of a majority of the policies.
As a faculty member, I serve on the Advisory Board of the Transportation Services. So I participate and contribute that way. The terms of operations and maintenance - of course, UCLA - the electricians of Facilities - they're the ones who will actually install the infrastructure. The charging stations are built by my researchers in my lab. But these are special devices. I'll show you a picture of that later.
And so - the name of the lab is the Smart Lab and then we give it to them and they install it. And then for actually the ongoing operations, once again - so once they install it for keeping it running and so forth, you know, I have a staff to do that.
And then for funding, you know, a majority of the EV charging stations in the UCLA campus have been funding through R&D research grants project and so on and so forth.
The - in terms of the signage, what happens is that for some of the charging stations like the ChargePoints from (Kulam), you know, there's special signage for them, and then the research devices - and so for that, there is no - the parking spots are not reserved for EVs only.
However we find that a lot of the non-EVs don't park there. The particular technology is somewhat interesting. You know, similar to the work that’s - you know they have the one wire that can be shared by four parking spots. What we have is we have a charging station has four wires.
And so you can actually have, you know, eight-to-ten EVs can be sharing a single charging station. And so, you know, people sort of cooperate with each other. And now it's been about - four and a half years. We haven't found too many problems.
And that's very exciting. Hours of use - 24/7. Access, of course, to employees as well as the charge points are available to the public - the (Kulam) stations. For policy enforcement, we have our parking services and the Security staff and so on and so forth. They take care of those things.
And, you know, I mean the policies here are in flux in terms of, you know, how things are going to move forward - because I think that some of the things that my project has indicated is that even without having the -you know, sort of EV-only parking spots, you could still serve a lot of the community. And of course for security, using the parking, and they're the ones who have security. Thank you.
(Sarah Olexsak): All right. Thanks. I think we have time for one quick question that we have for (Zane.)
(Zane), you mentioned that you actually have your Security staff kind of police the stations – and this is something that has come up with many employers and they're really kind of concerned about the unknowns of policing the stations.
How time-intensive it is. How much that portion of the management ends up being. What have you seen at SAS? You have a large charging population and, you know, your stations are really highly subscribed, so how much of a time-intensive practice has that been for them?
(Zane Lichtneger): I really don't think it's been a time-intensive practice for them. I think it's kind of been the - mostly integrated into their usual operations, so they'll be patrolling campus or doing routine rounds – and that includes going through all the parking areas on campus. And they really don't have any extra work incorporated with the installations. It's certainly something that they are aware of and know to look for, but I don't think there has been a huge time investment other than just awareness and looking at these spaces as they're doing their usual routine work.
(Sarah Olexsak): Okay. Got it. All right, well thank you for that.
The next topic that we have that we're going to talk about is the registration process. So how do the new PEV driver start charging at your workplace? Our partners have told us that having employees register for their program is an essential way to get certainty about the population of the charging workforce.
It allows them to have an official touch point where they can review the established policies for workplace charging as well with those employees.
In a recent assessment of employers, the California PEV Cooperative also found that liability is one of the top concerns of employers offering workplace charging.
The registration process can therefore also be a good place for organizations to identify who – the employer or the employee - is responsible for risk associated with charging.
Lastly, the information gathered during the registration process can allow companies to evaluate the charging demand of their employee base.
At Raytheon, (Frank) - can you talk to us about your registration process?
(Frank Marino): Sure. We require a liability waiver be signed that was generated by our corporate legal counsel. We have a point of contact established at each location to serve as a station administrator to approve drivers as they apply online in the ChargePoint system. ChargePoint now has the capability to incorporate a waiver into the online registration process and auto-approve all drivers. We'll be importing this system at our locations in the near future.
We have found the time commitment for site administrators to be quite minimal, and with the new online waiver system, that commitment will be further reduced.
Today we do informal polls at our operating locations to assess demand. Providing stations is contingent on having capital money available.
Leased facilities provide unique challenges, but in one instance, we have succeeded in installing a station using funding from a landlord's site improvement fund.
Any new facilities we construct will be outfitted with EV charging stations. We have a new facility under construction in Texas, where we have three dual stations planned initially, with two additional single-pole stations slated for installation based on employee demand.
And I must say here that our hardware to-date has been very reliable for us. So we've had very low maintenance costs and effort expended there. So I'll turn it over to (Zane).
(Zane Lichtneger): Okay. Well at SAS, registration is required. And by registering their vehicles, employees agree to follow our use policy and guidelines, and also display a tag on their rear-view mirror. And our EVSE parking spaces are for plug-ins only. We don't want to have low emission vehicles - traditional vehicles parking there. They really are reserved for PEVs only.
And obviously we want our employees to be courteous - replace the cords and watch for trip hazards while using the stations - and limit their charging time to four hours.
And we also say that, by registering, employees agree to have their vehicle unplugged as soon as their charge is done - by other employees - or Security can unplug their vehicle at any time.
And if you do park in the charging station, we want you to have a need there. We don't want you to just be there to top off your vehicle or use it for a preferred space. We want you to get in there, get your charge, and then move your vehicle.
And we also do not require employees to sign a liability waiver, which is convenient. It just makes it one less hurdle for them to clear. And we do try to continually evaluate the program by encouraging employee feedback. We have internal social media at SAS. It's called "The Hub."
It has an EV-dedicated group that is used for news, questions, discussions; it is a great way for us - and employees - to address the whole EV community and it's really been an important tool.
And we also generate a report that summarizes all the registered plug-in EV owners on campus. It has their names, their email address, and which building they use. And this report is available to all employees so they can also use this to contact anyone else in the EV community if need be.
And this is a report that we also use to assess the demands for EVSE on campus. We're continually moving employees from this building to that building. So this report shows us where they're located and how many EVs are in each building, and if we have adequate EVSE on campus.
And with the evaluation, we also want to temper people's expectations that this is provided as a perk. It's free, and charging is not a guarantee. So, if an employee needs to charge to complete their commute, you know, maybe this is something they need to consider.
And this is something we try to stress. You know, we try to be accommodating and handle as much as we can, but, you now, it's certainly a perk here at SAS. And with that, I'll turn it over to (Rajit).
(Rajit Gadh): Thank you, (Zane). In UCLA, for our - for the research project which has - as I mentioned - almost 140 charge points installed on campus, we are using the WINSmart EV Network. We have developed an app that - and you have to, first of all, register.
And then once you register, you're to fill out a form with there's some liability waivers, and then you get an access to this app with your own user ID and password. So that when you go to a EV charging station, you plug in. You know, your EV is being charged - and this again is part of some of the experiments that we're doing here.
Your EV is being charged depending upon what EV model you have. So, you know, so that's the one thing - and so the app is very critical for us. I already talked of the liability waiver.
In terms of the evaluation, that's very important for us. So there's - we have actually multiple routes for you know, doing evaluation and so on and so forth.
One is, of course, using the app, which has, you know - first of all we're using the app and using smart meters that we have installed in each charging station. We can track how much energy is being used and connect that to sort of, you know, the sort of the vehicle type and so on and so forth.
And do study that way. But also, we can get, you know, the users can give us explicit feedback to the app that goes into a central database and then we have a staff member who they can talk to and who tracks any issues that might be there.
And then sort of then we have a quarterly pizza lunch that I buy everyone pizza all the EV drivers who are able to make it. And that’s another way for us to do an evaluation of the system.
The one thing I do want to mention that in UCLA, you know, because, you know, I think that sort of things are moving because we are I mean a University, you know, where students keep innovating and new ideas and new technologies sort of keep coming.
And so, you know, we don’t want to just have, you know, hard and fast rules for everything. And so things are, you know, including things like, you know, revenue, model and so on and so forth.
But I think from a registration standpoint I think things are going to change. Thank you.
Woman 1: Thank you, one question for (Frank). You mentioned that you do use a liability waiver at (Raytheon) and I wanted to know have any of your employees sort of challenged the requirement to sign this waiver or had they shown any concern over it?
And did having the waiver address the concerns of your (Raytheon) management kind of what was the story there? And I also wanted to note to the audience that (Frank) has been gracious enough to share the outline of their liability form that they use.
So if you’d like to see a copy please contact us through the email address or follow up after the Webinar.
(Frank): Thanks, so yes we have not had any problems with our employees signing the waiver of liability. We approached a legal counsel organization to see if they were interested in having a waiver.
They did some research and they decided they would like to have a waiver. So they generated the document for us so we use that. We had a cross functional team put together that included, you know, facility ops and facility engineering, supply chain and EHHS from across the enterprise.
And they presented that waiver to our team and we moved that forward with our employees. So we haven’t had any problems with that. So I think it’s answered the mail for leadership that, you know, we reduced liability for the company and it’s a shared responsibility with the driver and the company.
Woman 1: Okay thanks for that background. (Zane) can you tell us a little bit more about the process that was used to develop your policy and guidelines document? How do you establish a use policy for a program that doesn’t even exist yet?
And I wanted to also note that the (SAS) policy has been, is publicly available and it is up on the DOE Web site if you want to check their policy out and so it can be used as a starter template for your organization. So (Zane) any thoughts on that.
(Zane): Yes sure it was just a lot of people from a lot of different groups getting together and basically brainstorming, you know, like you said it was a new program.
So we did our fair share of online research, we went to the different groups that would be involved, security, ourselves and the environmental program, facilities and legal.
And we also asked some people who drove EV’s currently and seeing what their feedback was. So it really was a group effort and it took a while to develop.
We wanted to come up with a policy that was useful as far as people would adhere to it and actually read it. We didn’t want like a ten page document out there where they’d get through half a page and then disregard it.
So we wanted it to fit and it does fit nicely on one page, which is nice and hopefully people will read through it. But again as far as the communication piece getting it out there although when you register your vehicle and all employees have to register their vehicles at (SAS).
But when you register you can just check off the electric vehicle and they’ll get a copy of this use policy and guidelines. And then we put them in charging stations and we have it available on the internal site but there’s still difficulty of getting people to read it.
Even though we make it readily available and tried to make it fairly straight forward and to address all the areas that we needed. You know, it was just collaboration was the biggest piece of it.
Woman 1: Yes as you had mentioned communication was one of the biggest challenges that you had and communication being that even if the employees have that policy in front of them continually reminding them of that and communicating that policy. So thanks for that background.
And (Rugi) I promise that I’ll get you some questions in the next couple of topics here.
So next up is pricing policy. Employers that provide workplace charging must decide if and how employees will pay for charging station use. Many existing workplace charging programs are free for employees.
In fact 80% of employers who responded to DOE’s 2014 workplace charging survey provided free charging access. So the remaining 20% required employee’s to pay a fee which was either fixed or based on usage such as electricity or time.
But partners have noted that free charging can be easier to administer especially if level one charging is deployed. In regions where PV’s have been slower to deploy free charging can also be another great way to incentivize employee plug in electric vehicle purchase. But as time moves on many employers are finding that the number of PEV driving employees is expanding and the policy of providing free charging may need to be revisited. So we’ll touch a little bit on that.
(Frank) can you talk to us about your pricing policy?
(Frank): Sure, pricing is determined by each operating location. We set this up to accommodate regional energy pricing. Most locations charge a dollar for the first hour and 40 cents for each additional hour that the vehicle is plugged in.
We charge by the hour to discourage employees from occupying a charging station parking spot once their EV is charged. We found that you must take into account the price employees are currently paying to charge their vehicles at home.
We try to charge approximately the same price as they would pay at home. After all these are our own employees and these are fastidious engineers so we find that they know exactly what they pay to charge their vehicle at home.
We are required to charge for station use because we are a government contractor. We recover the cost of power we supply to our employees. This keeps us in good stead with our government customers as well as those internal combustion drivers as well.
The next pricing model we are evaluating will be charged by the kilowatt hour where it is allowed by law in the states that we have stations. This is a more equitable way to charge for station use as the employee pays for exactly what they use in power.
For example a tesla driver and a leased driver draw much different kilowatt hours of power. And I’ll turn it over to (Zane).
(Zane): Yes so (SAS) provides free charging for all employees and campus visitor who register their vehicles and we chose this approach for several different reasons.
First, we didn’t feel that the add cost to set up and monitor a system to charge for using the EVAC was worth the effort. We didn’t want to deal with the additional management issues and administration.
And we also felt that it was the best fit for our workplace culture. And at (SAS) we know that our commitment to our workplace culture is smart business.
And we really have a truly world class campus up here in (Carey) and free charging just adds to that experience. And other benefits as well as it’s good for the community by reducing emissions, we have better air quality.
It’s good for our green building projects, there are lead points available and it’s great PR whether it’s local media or global marketing. And overall our pricing model and SAS’ workplace charging program it’s just a great fit for our workplace culture. And I’ll turn it over to (Rugi).
(Rugi): Thanks, so at UCLA like I mentioned we have roughly 140 charge points where you can plus in a vehicle, level one’s and level two’s, we have one level three.
And most of them are free I think all except six are free. The ones that are not free are the (pull on) charge point systems that were installed several years ago and there UCLA charges $2 per hour.
Now what happens is that one of the things that we have observed is that sometimes you go and the free charging stations are all occupied but then you drive down to the ones where, you know, you have to pay $2 per hour and they’re available.
And so, you know, the $2 so I mean I go back to (Frank’s) $1 per hour which, you know, is probably more palatable but $2 per hour is sort of that model when UCLA came up with this several years more ago was really more for topping off.
But nevertheless, you know, in observation is that, you know, oftentimes you see that the free ones are taken and that the paid ones are available. So if you want to top off or if it’s an urgent situation then that’s where you plug in, which is what I have done often.
But we are experimenting with different pricing models across the campus. One of the things I think we need to be aware of as a community for workplace charging is often times in the afternoon, you know, at 11:00 am, noon, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm is when the demands for electricity are the highest.
So one of the experiments that we’re doing is use what is called time of use pricing to incentivize customers to charge based on the sort of the availability of energy on the grid because as the number of EV’s start to increase I think that’s going to become an issue.
And that and there one of the experiments we are doing is, you know, how do you incentivize people to not charge during peak hours using pricing. So that’s an experiment we’re doing but, you know, and we have some other experiments as well including experiments for demand response.
Where, you know, when the utilities need energy very urgently on a certain day, you know, they may have a demand response signal so please don’t charge your car when a DR signal is expected.
So some of those are still under experiment but eventually I do see that some sort of incentivization in some manner will actually play in because pricing of energy on the grid is a proxy for the availability of energy on the grid.
The higher the price the less amount of energy on the grid that is available. And in fact, you know, often times what they need to do is in the afternoon at noon, 1:00 or 2:00 pm they may have to turn on, you know, gas plants or, you know, that run quickly.
And then so now you’re burning sort of, you know, fuel that’s giving out CO2 to feed sort of the grid. So I think there’s a bigger picture at stake that I think we need to look at, thank you.
Woman 1: Thank you, I think that we’re going to allow - there’s a lot of questions coming in from the audience. So I want to give more time at the end for those so we’re going to move onto the next topic.
So what are partners saying about sharing policy? Another question that we asked partners on the annual survey that we did last fall was how employers are planning to install their charging stations.
In other words what’s the ideal ratio of PEV’s to charging stations? Just about half of the respondents said that they were installing a fixed number of stations no matter how many employees are driving electric.
These plus another 34% of partners expect their employees to share charging stations. So this coupled with the fact that 90% of the partners responded said that their existing charging stations are already fully occupied five days a week, means that employers really must come up with a solid policy to encourage charging station sharing among employees.
So our last topic of the call that we’re going to have (Frank), (Zane) and (Rugi) talk about is their workplace charging sharing policies.
(Frank): Okay thank you, so today’s our drivers police themselves to share the stations that I mentioned. We find they really sort of become a brotherhood or a sisterhood. They get to know each other, they know their phone numbers and they really have been very collaborative at least to date.
Charge point is working on an electric waiting line for employees so they can get in line electronically and be notified when the station is available and that’s going to be available on the network system and we think that will help to alleviate, you know, any altercations that might arise out of whose up next and what station.
We’ve communicated our program through various channels with employees including, you know, council meetings that we have with environmental health safety and sustainability, you know, plasma screens, newsletters, emails et cetera.
And we recently solicited comments from our EV drivers and I think as (Rugi) had mentioned we saw they had like a little bit of driver testimonial, a gathering where we really never had like an official driver focus group and we plan to do more of that in the future to kind of talk to EV driver’s, you know, hear what’s on their minds and so on.
So, you know, what’s next for us, we’re looking at generating a (Raytheon) video that we can show on the charge point screen. It’s a video without sound. And then working as I mentioned earlier on some common signage whether it’s for the parking space itself or you can actually add signage right into the bonnet and the body of the charge point stations. And I’ll turn it over to (Zane).
(Zane): Yes sure, so our sharing method its employee managed and we got it by our use policy. And employee’s parking in these spaces again must limit their charging time to no more than four hours.
And you can also park in our EV designated spots and wait for four hours. We kind of have two parking spaces dedicated for each EVSE and we find that that’s a good ratio and we pretty much have a two to one ratio for charging stations and vehicles on campus.
So if everybody limits their time to four hours and then plus in the vehicle next to them everybody should be able to get a charge. So our demand is currently met on campus.
And we have it set up on a first come first serve basis. We want the sharing program again to be self-managed and we have our owners consenting when they register that their vehicle can be unplugged by other employees and this is just another tool to promote sharing and we’re finding that this is working really well for us.
And we also encourage the EV owners who park in these spaces to leave their charge port open, you know, it’s kind of like the feed me sign you have to charge port open.
So when you’re done your vehicle is complete you can go in there and plug in the person next to you, you don’t have to set up times to meet and, you know, try to keep this really simple and again really promote the whole sharing method here.
And we do want you to move your vehicle when your charge is complete. We don’t want you using this as a personal parking spot or a preferred spot that you can park in the morning and stay there eight hours a day. So we really try to focus on that.
And we try to communicate our program, anything about EVSE or plus in’s and our sharing methods on our internal site. We have a green initiative site which is basically for the environmental program.
And we also have the internal social media, the electric vehicle enthusiast group and it’s a great way to communicate. We do articles online, internally so we have various methods and, you know, again keep focusing on that but communication is a big piece of it and that’s kind of how we have our sharing set up at (SAS).
(Rugi): So at UCLA, you know, I think it is a foregone conclusion that the employee demand is not currently met and we sort of saw that coming and, you know, so sharing to us was important.
And so what we in fact did was we also realized and in my first slide I had this button, I had this bullet point called infrastructure cost as an issue. Well we realized that the infrastructure cost, the cost to install a single 220 volt stub could vary anywhere between, you know, $7000 to 15 sometimes as high as $20,000.
And so eventually you have to take the capacity you have on the grid in the parking garage, in the micro grid in UCLA and maximize the utilization of the capacity.
So in that slide you see a charging station that is connected on the top to one 220 volt outlet and on the outside the bottom you see there are four wires sticking out each one of them connected to a J1772 plug.
And the idea was that you come in the morning and you can have a single box with three, four, five, six wires sticking out that each one of them and you can plug into your car even though it’s a single charging station.
So the sharing is actually sort of at a physical level. Now how can you get away with this right? Well if you do some very simple calculations and average 7 kilowatts we realize that about the average user needed somewhere between 12 to 14 kilowatt hours per day.
And that means that on a single stub, single wire 220 volt outlet you could charge somewhere between four to five cars in a 24 hour, in a 8 to 9 hour day. And that was a thesis we had so we built a bunch of these devices in fact that device you see up there is what has been installed on campus.
Now you plug in your wire so you plug in the wire that I’m holding in my hand into your car and you go over it. Through the mobile (LAC) we distribute the current we do current sharing into the different vehicles depending upon your personal profile.
So that means if somebody comes in a 7:00 and leaves at 11:00 and another person comes in at, you know, 11:00 and leaves at 2:00 we can actually use that information and sort of your past behaviors to sort of to actually give you the right amount of kilowatts.
In a manner such that it is, you know friendly to the car, friendly to the garage and also friendly to the grid.
In terms of sort of, you know, communication methods and of course as I mentioned, you know, in UCLA, you know, employee’s self-manage it. Sometimes I’ll see I’ll go there are four people plugged in at 2:00 pm and all are fully charged.
And then so the fifth person can come and people will simply look at the mobile (LAC) and the mobile (LAC) will tell you it pings the charging station every 60 seconds. It will tell you this EV is fully charged and you can now remove this plug and put it into your car. So that piece is there.
So of course our mobile (LAC) is very critical and that is a very important way for people to communicate. It connects to all sorts of social media like Face Book and Twitter, things of that nature.
And then of course we have, you know, we have some booklets we have, we are making some videos. We have the quarterly sort of the pizza thing and so I think that, you know, I think that, you know, those methods I think work really well I think to clear to local community, thank you.
Woman 1: Thanks (Rugi). One of the questions that came in from the audience for you was an ask to provide more of your thoughts on what you really think that your charging station program has had on your local grid.
You mentioned having strong early morning demand and how that could have significant impact. Do you - when you say significant impact how significant do you believe that that is and how is a charging program like yours going to kind of curb that?
(Rugi): Yes so, UCLA is its own micro grid and we, you know, we have to manage that energy consumption. And that means that if we start creating peaks in the morning or afternoon we get penalized financially as a micro grid operator right.
I mean the big grid operator is going to penalize us. And no matter who you are you are going to get penalized you’re going to have these costs if you start to have these peaks either in the middle of the day or in the morning.
So the way we managed that is when you plug a vehicle in you saw that in the previous slide you saw that those four wires. When you plug in your wire we are monitoring the amount of energy that is being consumed not only at your plug but at an aggregated level so that’s the aggregator.
And then based on the aggregated load and also load forecast based on the prior history because we have the data every 60 seconds for the last several years.
So based on both of those pieces of information we then try to, you know, then we try to sort of modulate the kilowatts that go into each car. And so for example let’s say there is, you know, there are two cars plugged in and let’s say each one of them is supposed to get 3.5 kilowatts.
But if we see there is too many vehicles plugged in at the garage at the micro grid level we will dump that down to maybe 2 or 2.2 kilowatts depending upon what we believe to be sort of the optimum number.
And so, you know, this particular technology that actually you see up there I mean there was substantial interest in fact the PHD students have, you know, now taken that and started a little company with that hardware.
But the - we found that from a standpoint from a really practical standpoint the micro grid operator can benefit greatly if you do the energy management once you have a large number of EV’s within a micro grid.
And I think that problem we are starting to see here already in terms of the total energy load. And I think that that has to be managed as well as part of smart EV charging.
Woman 1: Okay can we get some instruction on how to open the phone line up for questions please?
Coordinator: Thank you, at this time if you do have any questions or comments please press star 1 on your touchtone phone. Again for questions please press star 1.
Woman 1: And while we’re waiting for those on the call to ask questions, one question that we got a couple times for all three of the presenters were how many of your stations are level one and how many are level two?
(Frank): Well this is (Frank) from (Raytheon). We decided to install only level two stations. So and we did dual stations we thought that was the most cost effective way to go and we are also building in cord management into all our stations so that we didn’t create any tripping hazards.
(Zane): This is (Zane) at (SAS), all of our stations are level two and I think that’s the best setup for workplace charging. You’re there long enough if you’re limiting your time to four hours almost every vehicle that we have out here can get your full charge in four hours.
So level two’s I think are an ideal fit for workplace charging. Level three’s you’d fill up so fast you’d have to keep running down and having the cars rotate. So if you want to park your car go in and change it at lunch I think level two’s are ideal.
(Rugi): In UCLA we have all of them in fact we have a vast majority of level one, which might seem surprising to a lot of folks. And then we have level two so I would say maybe 20%, 25% of level two, majority of level one, we have one level three.
And I’ll tell you we found something very interesting, you know, when we started we weren’t sure what would happen with level one would they be utilized.
Well guess what they’re very heavily utilized. There’s the distribution of EV drivers. When you have the kind of data sample we have, you know, with 140 outlets or so you find that there’s a significant number of people that are satisfied with level one.
Today for example I plugged into a level one because I didn’t have much needs and I know that if I pump 1.3 kilowatts into my battery my battery will last much longer than if I pump 7 kilowatts.
And 7 kilowatts is far better for my battery than 50 kilowatts that the (unintelligible) gives me. I do want to say something about the level three charger.
We limit level three charger you have to be standing there so you have to get this little coupon at the entrance and you have to stand there and plug your vehicle in and then you have to leave within 30 minutes.
So that’s a completely different ball game than level one and level two. But surprisingly our level one chargers are very popular, very heavily used and we have a lot of data on them as well.
Woman 1: Thanks for giving that perspective (Rugi). I would echo that there are plenty of employers that are using level one. In those cases they don’t want their employees to have to go back out and move their vehicles. So they just allow them to plug into level one all day.
Do we have any questions on the line?
Coordinator: Currently at this time we show no questions.
Woman 1: Okay we have a couple more coming in through the online system. So one of those is that (unintelligible) seems to be in the minority among workplace charging partners.
And do the folks on the call I guess excluding (Zane) since yours are free and this really doesn’t apply to you but I guess (Frank) and then (Rugi) what are your thoughts on a flat monthly fee based on average electricity use that could be administered on a monthly basis rather than a pay per day?
(Frank): I guess that certainly could be considered. What we found with the chart point system the way it works is it’s really, it’s not a burden at all to the employer.
So it all happens electronically. They debit your account on a monthly basis and they just wire the money to (Raytheon) so there’s really no administration, administrative fees or effort that you have to expend to work with a fee based use of our station.
So I think we’ve been pleased with the way it’s worked so far for us.
(Rugi): Yes in fact we’ve had this discussion of a monthly fee in campus. The issue I think it could be, I think it’s a great idea and I think it has some potential and it depends on what kind of enterprise you are and UCLA has potential.
However there’s one small sort of technicality is that, you know, one is, you know, suppose someone says well I’m allowed to park here for four hours. So they, you know, whether or not they may need charged that day they may just go and park their car for four hours every day.
And thereby the capacity utilization would be not as great as if you had to sort of pay every hour. So that’s sort of the one issue, you know, the other issue that some people may feel well, you know, I drive so less and I’m going to get penalized for this and so on and so forth.
I mean we have in California roughly half our people live in a single say it’s a multi-family dwelling so they might not have a charging station in their home. So they need to have their charging at work.
And, you know, so having some sort of equitable sort of billing, you know, having equitable might be a sort of a necessary thought process there.
Woman 1: Thanks, one more call for any questions on the line.
Coordinator: We do show one question the name was not recorded, one moment. And you may go ahead and ask your question. Caller you are live please try checking your mute. They may not have a question.
Woman 1: Okay all right, thank you for that. Well there were a few more questions that had come on the online system that we’re not going to be able to get to but we will follow up with you by email.
And we wanted to make sure that we noted that the slides from this Webinar will be available on our Web site and we will send a follow-up email to those who attended to let you know when that’s posted.
As we conclude the Webinar I’d really like to thank our speaker for their valuable time and thanks to everyone who joined us on the Webinar.
If you’re not yet a partner I wanted to mention and you or an employer that you know that is offering workplace charging, would like to know more about this program and how to get involved please reach out to us at email@example.com.
And thank you very much and have a great day.
Coordinator: Thank you, you may go ahead and disconnect at this time that does conclude today’s conference call have a nice day.
(Rugi): Thank you.
(Zane): Thank you.