Silicon Valley: Too Many EVs, Not Enough Workplace Chargers – Lots Of Anger. Is This The Future For The US?

JAN 22 2014 BY JAY COLE 100

Someday Soon You May Find It's Not All "Blue Skies" At Your Favorite Workplace Charging Spot

Someday Soon You May Find It’s Not All “Blue Skies” At Your Favorite Workplace Charging Spot

The need for public charging has long been debated.  Is it really a necessity to selling electric cars?  Does the charging infrastructure truly have to be nationwide for the electrification of the automobile to take off?  Do people buy EVs based on the availability of charging away from home?

Maybe so.  Maybe Not.

A Bank Or Employees Park Their LEAFs Outsied Nissan's Smyrna HQ (InsideEVs phots)

A Bank Or Employees Park Their LEAFs Outsied Nissan’s Smyrna HQ (InsideEVs phots)

But as a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News alludes to, that really isn’t the discussion anymore.

People want public charging – especially at work.  They feel if they own an EV, they deserve it as an employee, and that desire is causing some headaches in the places where the electric vehicle has been adopted first.

The Mercury News points to German software company SAP as an example.  Three years ago SAP installed 16 electric vehicle charging ports at its Silicon Valley campus when a few of their employees started showing up the Chevy Volts and Nissan LEAFs.

Now they have a problem as those 16 workplace chargers are fought over by 61 employees who own a plug-in vehicle.  Now the term “charge rage” is being thrown around (and going viral) to describe what is transpiring at these station.

Incidentally, the term “charge rage” was first voiced at the BMW Sustainability Hackathon in Mountain View last April.  InsideEVs contributor George Betak notes he then  “suggested it to Dana Hull, the reporter who wrote the original article in San Jose Mercury News, when she interviewed me on January 9.”

Apparently the desire to fill-up at SAP has lead to some battles over the use of the chargers, as well as the etiquette that surrounds them – as every wants a free boost at work.  With another 1,750-odd employees still without plug-in vehicles, the issue looks to only get worse in the future.

“In the beginning, all of our EV drivers knew each other, we had enough infrastructure, and everyone was happy. That didn’t last for long. Cars are getting unplugged while they are actively charging, and that’s a problem. Employees are calling and messaging each other, saying, ‘I see you’re fully charged, can you please move your car?'” – said Peter Graf to the San Jose Mercury News,  Peter is SAP’s chief sustainability officer and the driver of a Nissan Leaf.

More Immune To The Phenomenon Of "Charge Rage" Are Charging Stations That Feature Multiple Fast Charging Stalls - Like The Tesla Stations

More Immune To The Phenomenon Of “Charge Rage” Are Charging Stations That Feature Multiple Fast Charging Stalls – Like The Tesla Stations

Mr. Betak, a BMW Active E drive, and former employee at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale headquarters, relates his own story of what happens when there are too few chargers at the workplace:

“I needed to be somewhere by 6 p.m., and all of the active chargers were full. I couldn’t plug in all day. There was a Volt that appeared to be finished charging, so I unplugged it so I could get a half-hour boost. The Volt isn’t pure electric — it also has a gasoline engine. The next day, I learned that the Volt owner was furious, and he sent out this email blast saying that I stole his charge. It was awful.”

Unfortunately this is the new reality of public charging and electric vehicle ownership; especially at the workplace where people who once had a charger all to themselves are finding the competition for those stations growing over time. That is unless their employer is continually adding capacity – a pricey proposition.

Plugs Like This 120V Receptacle Installed By Nissan Specifically For EV Drivers At Their Smyrna Facility Is A Good Alternative To Full L2 Charging Bays

Plugs Like This 120V Receptacle Installed By Nissan Specifically For EV Drivers At Their Smyrna Facility Is A Good Alternative To Full L2 Charging Bays

One obvious solution for employers to alleviate some of that tension quickly – and without investing so much capital, is to make available standard 120V outlets.

During a full workday many EV owners can still more than refill their vehicles using a trickle charge, and would be than happy to use this alternative on those days where L2 charging is not available to them.

So, our advice employees with plug-in vehicles; advocate for more spaces, but keep a cool head when you come to work – and don’t always expect to have that special spot reserved for your car.  After all, it is public charging.

San Jose Mercury News

Categories: Charging

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100 Comments on "Silicon Valley: Too Many EVs, Not Enough Workplace Chargers – Lots Of Anger. Is This The Future For The US?"

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I think right now we’re still in the early adopter phase, and as such you need to do your homework. If you are so desperate that you MUST charge at work, you probably should have went with a vehicle with more range, or PHEV/EREV.

If there’s a free charging spot, bonus. But I don’t think you should expect it to be there all the time, especially as more and more people plug in. If you bought your vehicle assuming you could charge every day, all day, to get to work and back and can’t do it on a single charge, you really should not have made that assumption, should you?

This is something that I was thinking about before I buy an EV and that is to have enough range to get out and do my daily driving without having to recharge on the road expect for long road trips.

The issue is the growing number of Charging Vampires, just looking for free drag of power, when it’s not necessary for their daily commute to work. Driving an 80 mile EV with a round trip commute less than 50 miles, who should not be charging at work.


How about no.

It boils down to the gargantuan stupidity of the implementation of L2. All these moronic illusions that L2 is somehow a charger instead of the effing extension cord that it is.
For workplace use they could simply counter this stupidity buy putting up normal wall sockets so EV owners can plug in their own adapter.
Simple cheap installations.

The problem is this indulged stupidity where L2 has to look as elaborate as possible with a plug that’s a product of gasoline pump stupidity.

If done intelligently it would be a USB size plug, costing nothing. Each tiny pole could cover 3-4 car slots.

I have shouted against J1772, CHAdeMO and the other stupid standards many times.


I disagree. I very much like the way L2 stations are designed. My only complaint is that the cables should not remain attached. I prefer the European style where you have to bring your own cable. That would solve four problems. The first being copper theft. The second being not having to worry about a worn-out cable. The third problem solved would be not having a long enough cable. The fourth problem solved would be cheaper EVSEs.

Dan has a point David, although we disagree on the usb sized plugs Dan wants. There’s too many undersized plugs out there right now that have a propensity to catch fire.

You are certainly right when you say it doesn’t cost much more to install a 10 kw outlet than a 1 kw outlet in your house.

The big problem is a business installing 50 charging spots. 500 kw is much more pricey for the business than 50 kw. And a recepticle is cheaper than installing 50 evse’s, especially with their current high markup.

If you’re worried about security, how about you bring your 110 volt charger cord from home, and your workplace has 50 shoebox sized metal boxes with a 110 volt recepticle inside that is lockable.? That would take care of any fear of your ‘charging cord’ getting stolen, since there isn’t any money in the AWG #14 or #16 cord going to the car.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

“That would take care of any fear of your ‘charging cord’ getting stolen, since there isn’t any money in the AWG #14 or #16 cord going to the car.”

The J1772 handle’s worth about $100 new tho :/

Still, covered/weatherproof sockets with lockable boxes that can handle a “standard”-sized L1 portacharger would be fine, though not having to route around in the trunk, then unspool, then plugin and lock would be a pain (and cause wear & tear on the socket). Better to have an installed, hardened L1 EVSE.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Good luck getting that insured, J1772 works well because it’s safe and weatherproof.

However, office parks with limited budgets of cash and/or power should definitely roll out more L1 J1772 EVSEs. I’d much rather see a 200A power budget go towards, say, 10 12A L1s and 2 40A L2s than 5 40A L2s.

@lewl: I was thinking the same thing.

Besides, I thought the huge advantage of EVs was not only no emissions and no gas, etc., but also the fact that they would charge at night, when there is more than enough electricity to go around. Charging during the day, when demand is already highest, defeats the purpose and puts more strain on a weak grid.

Furthermore, if your car has an ICE in addition to a plug, it should be illegal to use a public charging facility.

“Furthermore, if your car has an ICE in addition to a plug, it should be illegal to use a public charging facility.”

Thank god nobody died and made you king.

IMHO, it’s a good problem to have.
The solution is to spend some money on new chargers and don’t make them free.

Exactly. Fee is $1/hr where I work. It’s still way cheaper than gas, but it seems to keep most folks from plugging in and camping there all day. Charging by the kWh won’t work since the parking will be free when the car is done charging. I would actually like to see an increase in hourly rate (i.e. $4/hr) that kicks in after some grace period, maybe a half hour or one hour after the car stops charging.

What about folks that park there unplugged? Well, here in California, the CA Vehicle Code makes it a towable offense; seems like the owner of the property just has to post proper signage to make it enforceable:

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

$1/hr is overpriced for a Volt, but for a 6.6kW Leaf or greater it’s a pretty good deal.

At our Bay Area company, we have 31 L2s and about 150 plug-in cars. We have two spaces per charging station to reduce the amount of car moving that has to happen. But folks not moving their cars is still the biggest scaling problem we have. We charge $0.14/kWh, which is basically what the company pays for the electricity. But the company is paying ChargePoint for acquisition, plus monthly fees, plus a fee per charging session (amortized over time of charge). We have a protocol that we all agree to that allows us to unplug other cars when they are done charging. We are working on getting more charging stations installed, but cost and electrical capacity are issues.

As someone who can charge at work during the day and at school in the evening (, I feel like I’m covered for charging (if I cant charge at work, I can probably charge at school).

That said, there are policies in place for each set of stations – a 4 hour time limit is common and to unplug your car and move them once you’re full up (since the ChargePoint stations can email you and notify you when the car stops the charge). Since the stations are connected online, you can see which spaces are unoccupied and then move to take advantage of them.

I wonder if the charge station owner can add a fee to using the charge station?
anyone want to open a business and go install charge stations at Google, SAP and HP and charge a few cents per use or KWh?

there you go! A new market spawned by EV’s!!

There is an easier solution to this, which is what our company employed (and @qwerty noted): charge for the charging. Something between, say, $0.10/kWh (a bargain for peak hour charging) and $0.30/kWh (a ~ break even with a 35MPG gasser at $3.50/gal). We have a ton of EVs, way more than we have chargers, but no issues to date due to:

A. people being polite
B. the charging spots NOT being the most convenient parking spots so people don’t park in them with an EV just because it’s closer
C. the fact that they can charge at home for a slightly lower cost.

Look, I’m all about encouraging EVs, but the early adopter phase in SV is long over, and thus businesses have no burden to provide free charging. If you NEED a charge, you’ll pay for it. If you don’t, you won’t. Although I do like the idea of free 110V/Level 1 sockets and EV drivers who thus NEED a charge will go through the effort of bringing their own cord.

Or, companies could still offer their employees “free” charging, but if a car stays connected and not charging (e.g., after reaching a full charge) for longer than, say, 30 minutes, then then owner would start being “fined” (at some time-based rate) for “loitering” without charging in an EV spot.

When people aren’t motivated by personal responsibility alone, a sufficient monetary penalty usually does the trick.

I like that idea. Give a 15-30 minute grace period after full charge to go out and move it then start charging per hour.

That rule would butt right up against work responsibilities. Some people are busy, buried in a project, stuck on a 3 hour conference call, in training, or man phone lines with scheduled breaks. There’s not always the freedom to leave your desk to move your car because of charging rules, if your productivity suffers from it. Prop manager will be happy with you, but your immediate boss will get irritated.

Agreed. Daytime charging by its very nature tends to be ‘grid hating’, so its also good environmentally to make the charging facitlities as ‘grid friendly’ as possible, and that means the average car will stay there “sipping juice, not gulping it down”, and require the full 8 hours to recharge.

Utilities like it because it minimizes the amount of power they have to supply at the time when they may not have much to spare.

Your boss likes it because it keeps his demand charges ($20 / kw in SCE territory) much lower, and its much much cheaper first cost.

Your immediate boss likes it because you stay at work and don’t fiddle with your car until you’re off the clock.

It would help if PG&E didn’t have tiered rates, which make it more expensive for me to charge at home at night than during the day at work (paying exactly what PG&E charges my company for the energy). That is just crazy! Yes I could go on one of the EV rate plans, but I have solar panels, so that would work against me in the summer.

Too bad the situation in California worked out the way it did. (I know why, but choose not to bring that up at this moment). Your rates (especially Southern California Edison area where you have to pay for SCE’s dumb and potentially illegal missteps and incompetence) are getting into the Extortion category.

No wonder every 3rd house will have a solar panel. The utility price is just too astronomical.

Agreed. We say workplace but it might be better defined by stating anywhere vehicles are known to park repeatedly in the same zone for an extended period of time (need a term). This period IMO is to be no less than 2-4 hours.

I do think public opinion has been hurt by placing chargers in areas where this is not the case and therefore they aren’t used adding to the animosity toward EVs.

As far as the pay, I like your logic. We need chargers in these (need term) areas where autos sit idle for extended periods of time, the workplace being the most obvious.

I think people could be civil, with charging pods. Why chargers are typically against a wall, I don’t understand. This is especially true with all the new PHEVs that will be done in 2hrs flat. Are they going to walk to the parking lot and move, at 10AM? My lot is almost a half mile away.

I also think it is a good problem to have. Here in Ft.Worth area where I live, I only see another EV on the roads maybe once per week. Public chargers are scarce, and workplace charging is almost unheard of. If there aren’t enough charging locations to meet demand, the free market will eventually work and solve the problem. Right now we have the opposite problem where I live, not enough demand.

I believe most facility managers are unaware of the basic needs of PHEVs and BEVs. If properly educated they would understand the simple solution is to add L1 outlets. They are very inexpensive and adequate for all currently available PHEVs to top off in a normal work day. This would allow BEVs priority scheduling for the L2 connectors.

Gibber, yes, you nailed it. This is indeed the biggest challenge, and the largest hurdle to overcome. Also, facilities management is often outsourced, which makes it even harder to adopt sensible policies and perform timely infrastructure upgrades.

The charging rage is the future due to the following reasons:

1. EVs are popular in SF Bay Area.
2. There are ONLY finite number of outlets/stations. Large companies with over 3,000 employee won’t be able to keep up with the increase in demand.
3. “need” is a questionable. I know for facts that some of the BEV/PHEV/EREV owners who don’t charge at home and rely on “FREE” charging at work.
4. It is a result of range anxiety. If there is no anxiety, then there won’t be a need, without a need, there won’t be a rage…

5. Get rid of all FREE charging, problem will solve itself. Charge at 150% of the residential rate and people won’t do it unless they have to.
6. Move the location to the WORST parking location on the lot so only those who “need” it will use it.
7. Change them from “EV parking” to “EV Charging ONLY” spot.
8. Limit them to 4 hours Max/ONLY.

+1 for your items #4-5-6-8. You saved me from needing to write them out myself 🙂

I’d also add, encourage employees to commute by transit by handing out or subsidizing transit passes. Someone with a limited-range BEV and poor transit options, can still probably drive to a park-and-ride that’s close enough to home for a round-trip that’s well within their range.

But again, with 120-mile Leafs (2015 or late 2014? Please???) and the Teslas, the problem will largely solve itself.

I do disagree with you, though, on #3. Yes, the “classic” charging etiquette has merits when the BEV might get stuck without charging. But assuming the vast majority of workplace charging is not really a “need” that otherwise you’d get stuck – then in terms of actually saving fossil-fuel usage, every PHEV/EREV mile that’s converted to electric is golden.

Of course, PHEV/EREV drivers who don’t care to charge at home, but do free-ride on public charging at work and elsewhere, are not very good citizens to put it mildly 😉

That is why I feel that both BEV and PHEV/EREV owners have “equal” right to the charging spot since both are doing the same effort in saving gas. Both have backup plans. One has onboard backup, the other has backup in terms of carpool, cab, public transit or tow truck….

As popularity increases, it will only get worse.

The Federal tax code provides a tax-free transit subsidy up to $130/mo.

I like #5 and #6 and think they would help a lot. Solving or improving #4 doesn’t help with #3. #5 helps with #3.

#6 is not that feasible for existing installations. I’d like to see it happen for new installations. There’s a parking garage in downtown PDX that regularly has a Porsche Cayenne parked in the EV charging spot. I doubt that type of a-hole would be there if it wasn’t a prime spot.

I’ve seen spots labeled along the lines of what you have for #7, with unplugged plug-ins parked so I’m not sure how useful that is.

In a word: agreed. Well stated.

Moving it to the worst possible spot has its own problems:

Probably much more expensive to wire far out in the parking lot away from main structure.

Harder to get to also means less likely for someone to go right out there to unplug soon as they are done charging..

Good points.

Install L1 charger so they can be there all day…

I wrote about this in my article from one year ago. People are waking up!

Next year, we may have a story about the first incarcerations based on charge rage.

Will it be a Leaf driver unplugging a Volt? Smart ED unplugging a Mercedes B class? Or Rav-4 driver unplugging a cousin Tesla?

What this has in common with the openwire telephone systems of the 1900’s is that they need to add more lines more poles and more cross arms and make the system bigger. The only long term solution for this is places that offer electric charging are going to have to add more stations and there is no getting way from it unless they get rid of it. If this company added 16 chargers three years ago and a small group of people first used them for a while and now there are 62 cars and rising wanting to plug in. They should have for seen that this was going to happen and the only real long term solution is to start adding chargers on mass.

Personally I really think the Tesla chargers should be installing a minimum of ten chargers instead of four to six in one sitting in that it will easily get over loaded in the first year with rising production.

If superchargers got popular, and if Tesla S and X got popular, you’d need 100 parking spaces per facility.

I wonder in the back of my mind if this is a bit of a ponzi scheme. Its all very cool as long as there are no cars on the road. But if people en masse start charging on a regular basis on them, then costs and/or lockouts are going to exponentially increase.

Many here make the mistake that since it doesn’t cost that much more to install a 10 kw outlet at home than a 1 kw outlet, that all businesses should have zillions of 10 kw (or bigger!) outlets all over the place.

Utilities even discourage this. While wanting to sell more electricity, they know businesses will balk at the demand charges 10 kw outlets will bring.

The beauty of 1 kw outlets (volts charging at 115 and 8 amps) is that EVERYONE gets to charge a little, and the business doesn’t declare bankruptcy due to the demand charges.

I agree that a lot of the problem comes from the fact that it is free charging. A person may not necessarily need to charge, but if it’s free, why not take advantage of it. When the employer starts a benefit like this, sometimes employees are not getting mad because they truly need the benefit, but the fact that other people are getting more of that benefit than they are, even if they don’t really need it.

Well, start charging for it then.

Charging for it will cost more upfront…

120V outlets are cheaper but can’t be easily metered.

EVSE stations that can easily be monitored and metered cost thousands if not tens of thousands to install each….

I still don’t understand what is hold electric utility companies back from installing L2 chargers on every utility pole next to a parking space. Are they not in the business of selling electricity to people? They should do that and send every customer an RFID card linked to their home account to use on the chargers.


Well, it just probably isn’t very profitably and there is a minefield of regulations.

But regulators and legislators should work on the laws in this area to make that possible.

Actually, probably alot of companies that have access to alot of electricity (the number dwindling every day though what with the number of plants closing monthly) are thinking about this, since its an easy way to increase sales.

TVA did roughly the same thing 80 years ago to give people low cost leases or loans on refrigerators. to make sure they had something to do with their newly installed electricity.

See . . . I’m telling you, the SF Bay area is really adopting EVs fast.

HOV lane access can lead to some strong demand.

Yeah and that HOV lane is getting pretty packed.

HOV lane is already packed on the 405 southbound through the Valley in the morning. More plug-ins – yes, but there also seems to be more single ICE drivers too. Just today there was one in front of me and one in back. So by my calculation, two out of every three cars in the HOV lane this morning was single driver in an ICE! 🙂

Call CHP… End of month, tickets and fines are expensive…

Ford had the right idea with allowing 4 free hours then pay, which helps the employee plan on moving their vehicle out of charging stall to another spot. There also needs to be a few new Workplace Charging Rules: – Just because one drives an EV does not mean they should get priority over a plug-in hybrid – Charging Permit ability/priority is based on employees round trip to work. Workplace charging has a goal of limiting the amount of CO2 used by employees on their daily commute to and from work. If the round trip commute is 40 miles and the EV has an 80 mile range, there is no need to charge at work, so no permit should be issued. But for the same 40 mile round trip commute the 21EV mile plug-in hybrid will need to charge to limit their CO2 for the trip home, and would qualify for a charging permit. Create two charging profiles: 2 hours: plug-in hybridis 4 hours: EVs Overtime hours at $5/hour with funds going toward building new charging stations. – Create separate charging areas for all others without charging permit, who want to ‘convenience charge’ or just top off their charge, or… Read more »

Most work places don’t want to deal with all that arrangements… It is addtional work that facility managers don’t want to get into…

“Charging Permit ability/priority is based on employees round trip to work” I don’t think this always works out. We have no charging at my place of work. I’m the only EV driver so far. I live 3 miles from work so I can hardly justify pushing that to my employers. (I have asked, though) However, over the last 3 years there have been some times I could have really used a charger. For examples, some days I have to go run errands at lunch time. I come back to work with half or less on my battery. On some such days, I have somewhere to be directly after work that is a longer trip. This can become a problem. If I had a charger at work I could have recharged after lunch and been ready for my trip after work. After 3 years, this scenario has only happened 3 or 4 times. And the last time it happened I did convince my boss to allow me to use the 120V outlet in front of the building in a “visitor parking spot” which got me almost topped off by 5:00 (the end of the workday)

I see a need to make universal plugless power the ultimate goal for the future. A easy retrofit of existing infrastructure and cheaper instalation for future units. No posts needed, no vandalism possible, no hassle.
we are in a transition, and car makers need to come up with a norm for these system.
Can you imagine say, 10 years from now, a mall parking with a few hundred cars with wires everywhere?
The alternative is a nice imbedded unit, no tripping hasard, clean parking spot.
I feel the plug is going to suffer the same faith as the handcrank did.

a big +1


Many 120V plug is surely the future of workplace charging. As long as they replace the sockets every year to keep them in good shape.

I don’t see 1,000 + 120V outlets in a major employer’s parking lot…

Why not? The cost to run a plug is less than the parking space itself. Future planning would be wise to run conduit for future infrastructure. The future is going to look very different 20 years from now.

No but a row of 24 or 36 is quite easy to do over the costs of 12 Level units.

It is the digging that cost money, NOT the $10 outlets….

36 won’t be enough for some of the larger hi-tech firm in the Bay Area…

Also, NOT everyone is Google or Apple who prints their own cash…

LOL Hov lane is going to be worse than the regular traffic lanes in the future

Many SF Bay Area PHEV buyers buy the car for HOV sticker (Prius plugin). But many people who have it rarely use it.

I’m actually significantly less annoyed by waiting in traffic while driving my BEV than my old car, because I get better efficiency going 35 to 45 mph than at full freeway speeds; having that small benefit relaxes me a little. It’s the irony of getting the sticker. Of course, I still go to the HOV lane frequently.

Neither charging nor the infrastructure for it is free. If employers choose to provide it for free as a perk, that is great but they either have to make it accessible to all that want it or charge for it. Once they charge then mostly those that need it will use it and the others will back away. That is all that is needed from a societal infrastructure perspective. People who don’t have charging available at home or their round trip commute exceeds their range need it and should be willing to pay for it. The others can charge at home and be content to still be only paying a fraction of what they would have for gas.


There is no free lunch.

Except at Google.

Even Google is struggling. They have to constantly upgrade their charging infrastructure. And hold your hat: there are over 500 unlisted EVSEs there.

I like the idea to charge for it and use the money to build more charging stations. That way, even if it is a perk, I think it is better applied or used for the purpose of more common good.

I would love free charging at work. Don’t have it, so far never needed it, but I would love it and use it.

I bet that’s most people’s situation.

Alan, very true. Nearly all EV drivers live the idea of getting an opportunity charge at work, wether they need it or not, simply because their car sits their for a long time. Both home and workplace charging are nearly ideal for level 1 and level 2 charging.

I know at least 2 co-workers are NOT buying EV (but really interested in them) b/c they don’t think my work can provide that access for sure.

They have 100 miles round trip commute…

That is 100 miles with hills, all hwy and relatively high speed (70mph)….

The ironic thing is that for the most part daylight charging is a “grid hating” activity and negates most of the environmental value of ev’s.

Ev’s provide far more ‘grid advantages’ if people just bothered to plug in overnight at their homes, which most ev owners have to necessarily do all the time.

But on CA with insane commute distances of 50-100 miles one way, everyone cannot afford a Tesla. Slow charge with 120V and supplement plugs with Solar on-site. Top of parking garages could have solar canopies.

Sure Bonaire that’s true, and you guys tell me that you’re mostly apartment dwellers and of those, they just want ANYTHING; in other words they’d die for a nice 110 volt outlet to charge their Leaf or Volt from their apartment.

At work, a 110 volt outlet is ideal since you can get enough miles to go home, or at least get a free 35 miles. Most employers would agree they are under no obligation to provide more than 175 miles of ‘free gas’ per week.

Actually, solar PV is being installed at a really rapid pace in California such that charging during the day will probably be fine. It is the 5 to 8 pm time that becomes difficult when the PV power falls and people go home and fire up their TVs & stoves.

My work has 1MW solar installation..

Charging posts are tapped off the transformers off that installation.

Great article, Jay! Thank you for the coverage. Here is the video of our presentation at the BMW Sustainability Hackathon, where the term “charge rage” was first publicly used. The event took place on on April 28, 2013 at the BMW R&D Center in Mountain View. The idea of facilitating anonymous safe communication between EV drivers placed first and second. There were two independent teams working on it. I just wish we had implemented something, as the competition for workplace charging stations is getting more intense.

Our pleasure George…and thanks for the vid link, I had not seen that myself.

I bought a car that can charge if available, but can get my driving done without it. All these people driving cars that can’t possibly get them home without a mid-way charge is just dumb imho.

Wireless chargers in every space will cure this madness. All employees get a phone, a desk, a computer, a health plan and a parking spot. A wireless charger is cheap compared to the rest of the overhead.

Incentives to use the employee’s facilities is rarely discussed. My basic job can be performed anywhere with broadband. I am working from my home office right now. I haven’t physically been to the office for a week!

Not cheap compared to a dumb outlet. Charging stations are great for short stay public locations but for all day workplace charging, I think the vast majority will end up being 120 or 240V outlets. It would be with faster and employers could install many more, particularly 120V. Once they go 240 with higher amp outlets they can quickly outstrip their main service infrastructure. Each EV outlet or charging station needs its own circuit.

Yes, a mix of plentiful wall outlets, and one or two quick chargers nearby might scale better than alternative solutions. In the long-run, particularly for EV-to-grid and demand response applications, each EV should have a dedicated charging spot. Although it’s a worthwhile goal, this might take a while to implement.

My workplace just installed 8 Level 2 charging stations. They will charge us $0.10/kWh, a very reasonable price, tracked by RFID cards.

To me, the solution is for other workplaces to do the same, possibly with a mix of free Level 1 charge points, either via straight outlets, or through the Level 1 enclosures I offer through EV Extend.

At companies with so many people having EV’s, the ones that NEED it can pay, the ones that don’t can opt for the free outlets when they’re available. It would help align supply and demand.

…or you can work where I do. Building management believes that we can use all the natural resources up because that will coincide with Jesus’ return. No, I’m not kidding.


Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Incidentally, standardizing on an external indicator of charge status would be nice. I don’t mind folks unplugging my car when it’s fully-charged, and I’d prefer not to have to hike a half-mile each way to unplug when full if I don’t have to (though I could use the exercise :p), but somebody in a car2go Smart unplugged me with only 50% charge and I didn’t get notifications about it so I had to burn gas that day :/

I’m thinking of printing out a handy ‘charge status’ card to leave on my dashboard so folks will know how a Volt registers fully-charged vs still-charging.

I’m used to EV owners displaying entitlement vs. ICE owners, but this is something new. EV owners now feel entitled relative to other EV owners! Kinda funny, actually.

CBS 5 KPIX had a good report on charge rage last night:

About 1 minute in, does that PIP have a backup beeper similar to a cargo van?

Yes, I heard that too. Certainly unexpected!

I have chances to visit the Google campus in Mountain View quite often. They’ve installed more chargers that you’d imagine (all the ones I’ve seen are ChargePoint chargers). Every building I’ve visited has around 10 charging spots available. Some of the larger buildings have even more spots (I’ve seen a row of at least 20 or 30 in a parking lot). Depending on the building you’re going to the parking can sometimes be competitive. There are tons of EV drivers heading to the Google Mountain View campus based on what I’ve seen in the parking lot. It’s going to be a problem until range jumps to 150 miles and everyone can just charge at home. In a place like Google, where the average person is more likely to be able to afford an over-priced electric commuter car, you’ll see the early adopters and it’s going to get crowded really fast. Anecdotally, the numbers have been climbing rapidly in the last year. When I first got my EV, I had my pick of the charging spots. Then a few Leaf’s and Volts took my favorite spots. And now (depending on the part of campus I need to go to) I have… Read more »

It is more than just Google. I think companies can’t keep up with the demand…

Google and Apple has the most cash. The rest of them might NOT be as accomendating….

That’s exactly right. Other places might have to be a bit more crestive when it comes to infrastructure and usage policy. Wall outlets can go a long way to alleviate pressure on level 2 stations. eVgo could be a solution too, but won’t be free to drivers.

We had the $1 per hour and $5 per hour chargepoint rate at Oracle. It drew lots of complaints, but kept the chargers relatively clear. Perhaps the biggest issue was that even at $1, it exceeds the cost of a home charge, so you only use it if you have to.

I would say that if you let an outfit like chargepoint on company property, let them do what they need to do to make a profit. We need more chargers, not cheaper chargers.

When you get rid of free chargers, the rage will be gone.

Charge $0.25/KWh will eliminate all the rages b/c it would be cheaper to charge at home. But those who “Need” it will pay that rate to charge.