On Wednesday March 6, 2019, MassEVolves participants discussed their respective experiences setting electric vehicle charging infrastructure policy on their campuses. The goal of the conversation was to provide an opportunity for MassEVolves participants to learn from each other as well as identify and address pressing questions/concerns among the group related to charging infrastructure. Representatives from Massachusetts and the Recharge America team also participated on the call.
In the future, MassEVolves will host additional discussion calls on EV topics of shared interest. These meetings are designed to offer participants the opportunity to share experiences and concerns regarding electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and other related topics. The next call being planned for the group will focus on strategies to encourage employee ZEV engagement and adoption.
Charging Station Companies
Participants discussed their experiences with various infrastructure providers. Participants noted the importance of identifying a dependable partner who could support a long-term relationship, support a range of site administration needs, and offer on-site visual cues to help drivers navigate to the site. Participants have found that stations must have charge ports that can accomodate all EV owners. Companies participants have interacted with include ChargePoint, Tesla Fast Chargers, SemaConnect, Green Lots, and others.
Installing Charging Stations
Participants discussed aspects of their current charging stations and what they have found to be important components of installations. Suggestions included ensuring that new stations are equipped with retractable charge cords (18 feet was offered as one benchmark minimum length) to provide a seamless experience for drivers, installing a duel station per every four parking spaces to facilitate cord sharing when/where needed (“Move cords, not cars”) , clear signage stating “EV Charging Parking Only” to protect charging sites, and providing separate metering for each charging station. Participants noted that Level 1 and Level 2 stations stations require the same amount of breaker space.
Charging Station Etiquette
Participants have explored a range of topics and options related to use policies for charging stations. In cases where cords are shared between sites, cars remaining plugged in beyond their required charge time was a common concern. Potential solutions discussed ranged from charging employees an hourly rate for remaining connected past a certain time or charge level, offering overflow charging spots with Level 1 stations, and providing EV only parking for each charging space after charges are completed to encourage employees to move their vehicle after charging. Participants also agreed that providing pure electric vehicles priority over plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in using charge stations can help ensure that all employees have the range they need to complete their commute.
EV employee engagement
Participants discussed their employee engagement strategies. Many participants have hosted an electric vehicle test drive event on their campuses to encourage first hand experience with the vehicles. Others have also offered “lunch and learns” where participants supply a free lunch and invite outside speakers and/or panel to speak to employees about electric vehicles and charging infrastructures.
Site visit opportunities
EMD Millipore and EMD Serono welcomed other participants to visit their sites to review their recent charge station installations.