Workplace Charging Challenge Midprogram Review Webinar (Text Version)

This is a text version of the video for Workplace Charging Challenge Midprogram Review Webinar presented on Dec. 17, 2015.

Sarah Olexsak:

Slide 1

Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge Mid-Program Review webinar. We’re glad that you joined us today to learn about the accomplishments of the Challenge from its launch in 2013 to today, the halfway point of the program’s planned lifetime.

Today’s Webinar will provide an update on DOE’s broader electric vehicle efforts and we’ll give a status update on the Challenge. We’ll also cover highlights from the Workplace Charging Challenge Mid-Program Review report, which was released on December 1st and is now available on the homepage of the Challenge website.

Most importantly, we’ll tell you how you can be a part of this DOE initiative.

We won’t have time today for a Q&A period at the end, but please feel free to submit questions in the webinar comment box and we’ll personally follow-up with you after the Webinar via email.

Slide 2

My name is Sarah Olexsak, and I am the coordinator of DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge. Our team is comprised of Pete Heywood, who coordinates our ambassadors, Carrie Giles, Carrie Ryder, and our newest team member, Maya Burguera, who head up recruitment and serve as our partners’ account managers.

Nay Chehab and Nick Bleich support the Challenge through technical and programmatic assistance.

Nick, for those on the call that are not familiar with DOE’s broader EV efforts under the President’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, please provide a short introduction?

Nick Bleich:

Slide 3

EV Everywhere challenges American companies to be the first in the world to produce PEVs – plug-in electric vehicles – that are as affordable and convenient as today's gasoline-powered vehicles.

Automakers are working hard to get PEVs into the hands of U.S. drivers. But for some consumers, the sticker price of these vehicles keeps them out of reach.

EV Everywhere aims to make PEVs more affordable by targeting cost improvements in batteries, electric motors, power electronics, light-weight structures, and vehicle charging technology. And we’re partnering with industry, our national labs, and universities to make this happen.

Slide 4

EV Everywhere efforts are crosscutting through a number of different areas. For example, in addition to promoting workplace charging, DOE is engaging utilities through a Grid Modernization Lab Consortium. We are also doing a lot of work to reach out to our consumers on the value of driving electric.

Slide 5

With all this work it is really important to keep in mind that PEVs are here today.

They’re increasing our energy security by reducing our dependence on oil and improving fuel economy, while lowering fuel costs. They have reduced maintenance costs and are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

With these benefits, we’ve seen consumer excitement and interest in driving electric grow. Sales have exceeded 380,000 PEVs in November 2015. Looking back in 2011, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt accounted for the majority of sales and there are only 4 commercially available models. Today, however, more than 20 models are available on the market.

As noted earlier, workplace charging has been an important part of achieving the vision of EV Everywhere, and it is consistently acknowledged as a crucial need for a strong non-residential charging station infrastructure. And that is where the DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge comes in.

Sarah Olexsak:

Slide 6

So we had nearly 450 people sign up for today’s call, and I know that many of you might be joining to learn about workplace charging and the Challenge for the first time.

The workplace represents the greatest non-residential opportunity for charging infrastructure.

DOE’s nationwide initiative – the Workplace Charging Challenge – works to raise the profile of workplace charging and increase the number of employers offering charging to 500 by 2018. And we’re really excited to share that the milestone of 250 partner employers has been met!

These partners account for over 600 unique worksites where more than 5,500 charging stations are accessible to 9,000 EV drivers.

Slide 7

The first reason why we’ve been successful for this program is that we’ve built it off of a voluntary partnership model that has worked well for DOE in other areas, like building efficiency. Some of you might be familiar with the Better Buildings Challenge. For our part, in the Workplace Charging Challenge, DOE provides employers with technical assistance, recognizes their success, and has established a network for best practices sharing.

Employers who are willing to publicly commit to providing employee charging can join the Challenge as a partner. They voluntarily communicate their charging plans and share their progress by responding to an annual survey.

Slide 8

Besides recognition, the greatest benefit offered by DOE in this program is technical assistance. We deliver specialized workplace charging content and tools on assessing employee demand and determining if workplace charging is right for a particular organization. We have a variety of resources on installing and managing workplace charging.

A workplace charging program also doesn’t end when the stations are placed in the ground – we have a lot of great content on how employers can engage their staff on the benefits of driving things electric.

We deliver this content through a number of channels: web and print materials like the handbook pictured here, but also we conduct quarterly webinars (like the one you’re on today) and distribute newsletters so folks can stay up to date on new informational and financial incentives for workplace charging.

So if you haven’t already, check out our Workplace Charging Challenge website at the address on the screen or you can just Google "DOE Workplace Charging Challenge" to find all of these resources.

Slide 9

The primary reason why we’re able to provide this technical assistance is through the information shared by our partners about their experiences. We oftentimes say, you know, us here at DOE, we haven’t actually installed workplace charging. It’s the other employers that we are hearing from and that are partnering with us in this program that talk to us about their experiences.

Each year we ask our partners to provide an update on their workplace charging program. In aggregate, this data gives us a high-level view of the impact and progress of the Challenge and its partners.

The 2015 survey was issued this past summer to 200 employers. The response rate of over 70% really embodied the commitment that our employers have to the program.

The rest of today’s webinar, as well as the content of our just-released Mid-Program Review, summarizes those survey responses.

Carrie Giles will now spotlight the employers recognized by DOE this year in the report and will provide some insight into how she and her team are ramping up partner recruitment.

Carrie Giles:

Slide 10

Every year, our Challenge partners are leading charging infrastructure deployment in their communities and driving plug-in electric vehicle adoption. This year, I’m really happy to shine the spotlight on these 27 partners who completed the voluntary actions of the Challenge for the first time during the 2015 program year.

If you’re a current partner on the call and haven’t yet completed your partner plan or posted a profile to the Department of Energy website to advertise your own charging effort, please reach out to your Account Manager, Carrie Ryder or myself, so that we can help you receive this recognition in the future.

In addition to these partners, we’ve had several partners who received recognition in 2014 who are available on our progress update from 2014, as well as we’ve had several additional partners who completed these requirements in the past few months as well.

So this snapshot, we would like to take a look at a couple of these organizations here, these 27, and what they are doing to support Workplace Charging Challenge.

Slide 11

Salt River Project in Arizona has a mission to encourage greater use of clean energy transportation. As part of this mission, the Salt River Project installed their first two workplace charging stations back in 2010. However, in response to increasing employee demand, the project now has more than 90 Level 2 charging stations in total, with 35 of those stations spread across eight different facilities dedicated to employee charging.

Slide 12

El Camino Real Charter High School located out in Woodland Hills, California, isn’t just providing a place for their staff to plug in. This unique program integrates data from their four charging stations into their curriculum. The students are able to analyze the data to determine the amount of greenhouse gas emission offset and gallons of gas avoided from workplace charging and report this directly about their instructors.

Slide 13

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke views workplace charging as one of the commuting transportation strategies that supports the campus’s sustainability goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity used by the campus’s four charging stations are offset by solar, as well as creating a net-zero installation.

Pembroke isn’t just stopping at their campus. When they host the 2016 Appalachian Energy Summit this February, they’ll be on a mission to promote workplace charging to higher ed institutions across their region and truly become a leader in North Carolina plug-in charging.

Slide 14

If you want to learn more about the workplace charging efforts of our other recognized partners, you can find specific write-ups in the Mid-Program Review.

You can find over 150 partner profiles – mini-case studies on each organization’s employee charging programs and more – by checking out the partner page at the website or click on the orange dot on our map, which is also on the website under the partner profile, for the partner worksite nearest you.

Some highlights from recruitment this year include:
•We’ve had 106 new partners join since our 2014 Challenge Summit last fall.
•So for the first time we focused our outreach effort on a specific sector – on particularly on higher education this past year – and that went very well with over 34 new campuses coming on board this year and more still in the process of signing on. And we’ve actually just started a targeted outreach to healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, so we’re looking for similar success there, so feel free to send any companies our way you know of.
•And lastly, the U.S. Department of Transportation became our first federal employer to sign the Challenge. With the recently enacted legislation from FAST Act1 enabling agencies to provide workplace charging, we’re really looking forward to actually adding more new federal partners from the public sector in 2016.

Our recruitment efforts could not be so strong if it were not for the support of our ambassadors. Pete will now give some highlights of their activity this year.

Pete Heywood:

Slide 15

Ambassadors are working to promote workplace charging in their communities and support employers in their efforts to establish workplace charging programs. In total, standout ambassadors Advanced Energy, the California PEV Collaborative, Drive Oregon, EEI, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the Electrification Coalition, and Plug-In America helped recruit 26 new Challenge partners in 2015.

Clean Cities Coalitions, including the Alamo Area, Chicago Area, Greater New Haven, Kansas City Regional, Ocean State, and the Greater Washington Coalitions helped sign up 10 new partners.

For the second year, Drive Oregon has recruited more new Challenge partners than any other ambassador organization. In July, it recognized 20 new Oregon partners at their EV Roadmap conference.

Clean Fuels Ohio, CALSTART, and the International Parking Institute held workplace charging webinars for employers. Various Clean Cities Coalitions, including the Lone Star Clean Fuel Alliance, Alamo Area, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, Chicago Area, Denver Metro, and Virginia Coalitions all held in-person workshops.

The California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative held Drive the Dream 2015 with California Governor Jerry Brown to spur workplace charging among California employers. The Collaborative also held educational webinars focused on small businesses and managing charging stations at the workplace.

Slide 16

This year we saw organizations promote the Challenge by linking it to regional efforts to promote workplace charging.

A few examples:

Colorado Wired Workplaces and Drive Electric Northern Colorado are two programs in the Centennial State that encourage employers to join the Challenge and receive local recognition for their workplace charging efforts.

The New York EV Advisory Committee’s 2015 report of recommendations state that the committee will act as a liaison between the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge and New York City employers.

Sarah Olexsak:

Slide 17

Thanks, Pete. Our ambassador organizations really are working hard to promote workplace charging among their stakeholders and you can read more about what they are doing in the Mid-Program Review. Also in our report, you’ll find information on what our employer partners are saying about the value of workplace charging.

Slide 18

Employers consistently characterize workplace charging as a valuable employee incentive, a win for sustainability efforts and a signal of corporate leadership. So let’s take a look at how things shook out in our annual survey this year:
•95% of employers have received positive feedback from their staff.
•Collectively, they’ve saved 1.7 million gallons of gasoline [and] 17 million pounds of GHG emission. This is equal to removing nearly 2,250 cars from U.S. roads.
•70% of our employers have noted receiving recognition and an outstanding 60% have stepped up and helped other employers in their industries and in their region with the development of their workplace charging program.

So these organizations are not just promoting and leading the way with workplace charging at their worksites, but they are really reaching out and helping others as well, which is so important for the spread of workplace charging.

Slide 19

So of course workplace charging is not just valuable to employers, but it is a great way to support PEV ownership as well. The ability to charge at work can potentially double the portion of a PEV drivers’ commute that is fueled only by electricity. Additionally, as employees see their colleagues driving electric, the workplace can serve as a "second showroom" to increase consumer acceptance of PEVs.

We found through our survey that the number of charging stations at each workplace is 10 on average but a median of about four – meaning that there are a number of really station-heavy worksites that are bringing up that average. In fact, six of our worksites of our partners have more than 100 charging stations deployed.

Similarly, our workplaces have a median of three and an average of 26 PEV driving employees.

So again, those really large, PEV-heavy worksites are bringing up that average, but the median really is more like three.

In total, our partners’ employees have over 9,000 PEVs. And these staff members are six times more likely to drive electric than the average American worker.

Slide 20

Nay, can you now tell us more about some of the trends that we saw come out of the 2015 survey data?

Nay Chehab:

Slide 21

The upward trend that we see in the number of workplaces with charging stations is really promising. We found that these locations increased year-on-year, with 22% growth in workplace locations in 2015. The number of workplace locations offering charging has nearly doubled since the first year of the Challenge in 2013.

Slide 22

This map shows the geographic reach of the program, extending to most major areas of the country. The size of the circles indicates the number of workplaces offering charging in each zip code.

We noted that much of the distribution of charging at workplaces in states like Kansas and Alabama is largely due to the leadership shown there by the electric utility sector.

Slide 23

This chart takes a look at installed and planned charging stations. So now we’re looking at the number of stations, as opposed to the previous slide where we were looking at the number of worksites with charging. Through May 2015, partners had installed just under 1,000 Level 1 stations and nearly 4,000 Level 2 stations.

Employer choice of installing Level 2 at work over Level 1 continues after May of 2015.

Growth is strong, however, at 70% since June of 2014. Partners also have 94 installed or planned DC fast charging stations.

Slide 24

Completely unchanged from the results of the 2014 Annual Survey, 80% of our partners currently offer free charging to their employees.

Compare this to 15% who charge a fee based on usage, like electricity or time, and only 5% who are charging a fixed fee.

Nick will now discuss some additional insights found in our Mid-Program Review.

Nick Bleich:

Slide 25

What we looked at here was how many days per week a worksite’s charging stations were fully occupied – meaning that there was someone plugging in at each charging station each day.

We found that 85% of Challenge partners’ PEV drivers were plugged in at worksites where charging stations are fully occupied five days a week or more.

Based on the station occupancy reported by employers, half of the workplaces may need to consider adding more stations to meet employee demand. If adding additional infrastructure is not possible, these employers may want to revisit their charging policy to encourage station sharing.

Partners can find information about station management on the Workplace Charging Challenge website.

Interestingly, survey responses show similar occupancy rates at charging stations for where workplaces provide free charging and those that charge a fee.

Slide 26

On that note, we wanted to look at how employers are planning to install their charging stations and what is their ideal ratio of PEVs to charging stations?

Just about half of respondents said that they were willing to install a fixed number of stations no matter how many employees are driving electric. This one will be interesting to watch to see how it changes over time.

What’s clear is that these employers, plus another 34% of partners, expect their employees to share charging stations.

9% expect to install stations at a 1-to-1 ratio with PEVs, and there are a handful of employers who expect to always stay ahead of demand and provide more stations than PEV drivers need.

Slide 27

The majority of partners – 88% – that installed stations this past year told us that they funded them solely on their own.

Interestingly, partner worksites with charging infrastructure are far more likely to be located in states with charging infrastructure incentives than states without access to incentives. Of the nearly 5,000 workplace charging stations installed before June of 2015, 94% were installed in states with charging station incentives.

We found that prior to May 2013, 20% of employers took advantage of grant funding to install charging stations. In the past year, that number has dropped to 4%, but workplace charging is still growing. Tax incentives play a much smaller role in charging station funding.

Slide 28

As we look ahead, we’re looking for our current partners to tell us topics that we should focus on for technical support in 2016.

We’re also putting the call out to our partners who want to take advantage of recognition opportunities like having an organization profile on the DOE website and being featured in DOE social media. If you’re an organization on the call that has workplace charging or is thinking about installing it and wants more information, please contact us today to become a partner!

Or, if you’re a city, state, or NGO that is working to promote workplace charging in your region – let’s work together! Contact us to discuss best practices for workplace charging promotion and how we can help your effort.

Slide 29

As we conclude this webinar, we’d like to thank you all for joining us today.

As a reminder, we’ll be answering the questions you have typed via email. A recording of this webinar along with the presentation slides will be available on our website, and we’ll send a link out to all of the webinar registrants as soon as that is posted.

Thank you very much and have a great day.