Workplace Charging Shouldn’t Be Free – Should Consist Of Mostly Level 1, Some Level 2

FEB 7 2015 BY MARK KANE 82

Telefonix L1 PowerPost

Telefonix L1 PowerPost

A very interesting article on workplace charging appeared over at Plug In America.

The first part on costs of charging correctly points out that workplace charging shouldn’t be free for two major reasons.

First is that many people would like to charge for free and station usage will be high, sometimes preventing those who really need to charge, as the spot will be busy because someone that doesn’t need to charge to get back home is just enjoying free energy.

The second problem is that to get as much free energy as workplace charging offers, EV drivers will shift charging from night off-peak time at home to the on-peak time during the day.

According to Plug In America, the right way is to bill charging just a little above the local home rates so those who need it will pay a little more for extending daily range:

“The solution is to provide charging billed at just a little above local home rates. This extends the economic advantages of driving electric to those who cannot charge at home. It also eliminates the incentive to shift charging from home to work, reducing the number of stations needed to satisfy demand. Together these benefits minimize the infrastructure cost of providing charging at work and focus the benefits on those who need it the most.”

How about the type of charging station to choose? Level 1, 2 or maybe a DC fast charger?

Here the answer is Level 1 or sometimes Level 2. Level 1 is the king as the workday is long enough to replenish range for most commuters. Billing can be simple because all electric cars, regardless of on-board charger, can utilize all the available power and the employer can set a fixed monthly rate. Total cost of installation is similar to simple outlets (NEMA 5-15 or NEMA 5-20), but you get a J1772 plug and and don’t need to the open trunk for the EVSE cord.

Level 2 would be good, but most times it will charge cars in the first half of the day (higher power used all at once can be a problem) and the rest of the time it will be wasted or if there are not enough stations, employees will be distracted by shuffling cars.

It would be good to have some 3.6 kW Level 2 available for a premium fixed monthly rate for those employees that utilize and need higher power. Higher power 7 kW stations should be available at higher prices to use occasionally too.

DC fast chargers are a good solution only for large companies with a large number of EVs around.


Generally speaking, workplace charging should consist of mostly Level 1 charging, billed at just above the cost of 8 hours of charging per day, with some Level 2 available at a higher billing rate. Even though Level 1 charging stations and installation may not be any less expensive than non-billing Level 2 stations, this will meet the goal of increasing EV adoption and use while minimizing infrastructure costs, utility demand charges, and lost employee time.”

Source: Plug In America

Categories: Charging

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82 Comments on "Workplace Charging Shouldn’t Be Free – Should Consist Of Mostly Level 1, Some Level 2"

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1) No, first off no one needs 8 hour work charging.
You would need to implement some kind of pooling arrangement where after you charge for 4 hours, you call the next person and they come down to take your spot.

2) People who live 50 miles away with work charging would buy an EV, this could double EV sales, as these people would benefit most from switching to EV, and be most effective at lowering pollution.

3) The higher the price the lower the incentive to convert. Clearly you want to build your market before you start charging prices.

4) The added electrical demand for a business? Nearly Nothing.

Nearly nothing? Really?

IGNORANCE!!! You REALLY got me going with this one and prove that you know NOTHING about utility bills, especially since you added the word ‘demand’:
‘4) The added electrical demand for a business? Nearly Nothing.’

As I FULLY documented in this article:
consideration for employee or customer charging is NOT something to take for granted!

The article is SPOT ON! If our employees ever do buy EVs, they will get Level 1 charging only. However, our business is small enough that I doubt we will charge employees…but then again, it would be clear in office policies that our electricity is not a ‘free lunch’ and that only those with appropriate commutes will get charging.

Very nice article. Yes there are plenty of big experts who think business demand charges are Nothing. In fact most small businesses pay at a higher rate than residences, as they probably should since their peak usage is during the day, the hardest time usually for North American utilities to supply. This is not necessarily the case in France for instance.

But in the states, demands are significant, especially for businesses that are only open weekends. They still have a hefty demand charge as though they were open 7/365.

$10/kw is pretty cheap. Are you in FP&L service area? I thought they had effectively banned solar for floridians? Can u clarify where and where not Solar is allowed?

Where I am, my electricity is quite a bit higher than your rates, although at around $10/kw our demand charges are similiar for low voltage services. THere is also no 3-phase premium for small services, when there probably should be.

However demand is triggered if 3 consequtive months register 2000 kwh. Which then implies someone with as small as a 3 kw demand could conceivably be billed demand. THere is an additional charge on top of the resistive demand charge for Reactive demand, if the resistive demand exceeds 500 kw. But then at that point they are not considered a ‘small customer’ any longer, and demand
rates are much higher, besides being at least 90% of the highest demand billed for the previous year. A big distribution voltage and bigger still sub-transmission voltage discount is give for customers of several hundred kw demands, so most super markets in my area take delivery at 23 KV.

I cannot really complain one bit about FPL. They were more than fair with assisting me in getting off of demand billing. If you want to see a video they did about our business, it can be seen at But then again, they appear to take credit for the changes that WE implemented. I know that their rates are pretty reasonable, especially considering that the basic customer charge is only about $9/month. However, after comparing NY to FL, I found that our solar ALONE would have stopped us from being a demand customer up there, because it is based on kwh/month instead of kw during a 30 minute period. All those EXPENSIVE changes I implemented AFTER installing solar would not have been near as necessary if I could have dumped demand charges by staying under 2000 kwh/month. As it is now, we are net PROVIDERS of electricity to the grid, and have been so since those LED bulbs were installed. I have not seen any indication that FPL is undoing anything with respect to net metering, so I don’t know why you have the suspicion you do about the solar hookup. Lastly, there are a TON of rates in… Read more »

FLmark: Thank you for the clarification. SO when you generate an excess of Solar Power, do you sell it back to FP&L at the same rate you purchased it?

From my experience, it seems that a number of entities do it the same way as FPL- any excess kwh from solar PV go into the ‘bank’. If you have a deficit number of kwh, you draw them from the ‘bank’. Of course, here in FL, we build up an excess until the heat and humidity hit in summer. We then draw down our kwh bank account until fall, when the balance starts increasing again. [Of course, if the kwh bank account falls to zero, you pay for retail kwh from the utility.] If any kwh are left in the ‘bank’ come December, then it comes time to pay us in dollars. Unfortunately, those dollars are only paid at wholesale rates (on the order of 2c/kwh). We typically end up with enough wholesale dollars to pay for one to two months of the basic charge…so, at both home and business, we pay about $9 per month every month except for December/January, which end up free because of these excess kwh paid off at wholesale rates.

That’s how NY does solar too. There is an anniversary month that you setup, and that is the starting and ending point for being able to use the energy “bank” you accumulate throughout the year.

So in NY, the best anniversary month to select is March,mine cause it is just prior to the nice sunny summers.

EVERYONE (not just this poster) should follow the link above if the material in this article interested you…you will need the knowledge of utility bills and demand charges if you are going to talk to your employer INTELLIGENTLY about adding EV charging.

Great article!

The use of L1 charging at work is exactly what Maryland Governors study determined back in 201 – that is that 97% of all EV-charging-at-work can be met with L1 outlets.

Initially, I pushed for a fixed monthly fee of $1/mo per daily mile to get a charging pass. ($20/mo for a 20 mile incoming commute). But I soon realized that most of the time, people that only drive 10 miles to work, probably wont bother to plug in (except a Prius whihc MUST). Although far more people drive only 5, 10, 15, or 20 miles to work (80%), the other 20% who dirive up to 40 miles a day are the ones that REALLY need the charge!

But still, I receommended the $1/mo per daily mile. (works out perfectly for 15 cents per kWh electrticity)…

see my web page


“Level 1, some level 2.” This takes care of the immediate future. Quick chargers along hwy routes.

Five years out, as EV adoption grows and “auto park” becomes more common, I like to imagine an app that swaps vehicles. The problem is, at the end of the day, a bank of basic Level 1 chargers providing 30-40 mile commute one way takes care of well over 90% of the need which takes care of things for ten more years.

The thing that I would like to see is every new home, building, parking lot, etc. be outfitted with the conduit to manage the future. This is pennies on the dollar when planning is in place up front.

This proposal would reduce the opportunity to synchronize charging with solar power. All cars charging constantly at 1.2kW is not nearly as valuable as all cars charging anywhere between 1.2 and 3.3 or 7.2kW, controlled based on building or grid conditions.

As long as his total usage at the time is greater than his solar output, the whole installation is extremely ‘grid friendly’

For the employee, it’s a tax benefit to get free charging instead of get paid out some more money and then pay back to the company for charging.

The third reason that people who charge at work should be, well, charged, is that the income from this will help encourage the workplace to install more chargers.

And the fourth is that so long as it’s free, it will be seen as a “perk”, which will lead to resentment by other employees, who will (rightfully) see it as the company is giving the EV driver a compensation that they don’t get. The last thing we need is to create a culture of resentment toward EV drivers!

Recently my employer designated two parking spaces, marked “Electric car parking only”. They also installed two 120V electrical outlets but no EVSE’s. About 6 months ago I suggested this idea, and told them exactly where to put the two spaces on the lot that was near electrical service. I did not seriously believe that they would implement my idea since I’m the only employee out of 300+ with an EV (actually I have two). But they my suggestion exactly as I laid it out for them. Currently there is no charge to use but no EVSE. I’m using the portable one that came with my Volt. I got a security cable and lock and lashed it to the pole where the electrical outlet is. This works for now, but should another employee buy an EV then I would be disappointed if I showed up at work and discovered that they were using my EVSE and it was tied up so I couldn’t use it. Ultimately if other employee’s begin buying EV’s then I think my employer should provide the EVSE’s. But right now, since I’m the only one, I’m delighted at the investment that they’ve made for their sole EV… Read more »

don’t say a word but thank you.offer to pay for your evse .(it will come out cheaper in the long 5 year plus .)here in canada pays 75% of the bill for inst plus evse.the employer has to give the electricty for 3 years.not bad !

IF employees offer free electricity for EV owners they should offer free gas for ICE vehicle owners.

Most EV drivers who ‘bought the right size battery for their daily round trip commute’, won’t need to charge at work. It’s just a perk when available.

For instance, unless the job requires driving all day, the Tesla Model S in the image should not NEED to be charging at work, with it’s 250+ mile range. Unless the owner lives over 100 miles from the office.

Next gen batteries for EVs coming for 2016 will offer 150+ mile range and the mental/fear based ‘need’ to charge away from home is diminished even more.

The reality is that much of the public charging is opportunistic or just to show they drive an EV(for attention). This charging should continue to be billed. And as more EVs with longer range hit to road, public charging rates should rise, and free charging is left to the older sub 100 mile EVs. What this will do is help move those 150+ EV range owners to charge at home, at night when rates are less and grid use is lower.

”IF employees offer free electricity for EV owners they should offer free gas for ICE vehicle owners.”
That’s a ridiculous argument. First,i bought a Volt to do my part for a better future for my kids and this should be the No1 priority for everybody buying an EV today. We pay a premium to get an EV already, we do our part for a better future and employers have to do the same, for the same reason.
The point, today, for free charging is to accelerate the transition to EV’s, nothing else.
Employers paying for gas goes against the goal of ev transition. Anybody can understand that.
When employees start complaining about free charging, it’s simply because of miss-communication on the employer’s part.
Every company usually have a employe board post for cummunication with employes and it should be used to encourage the transition with the reasons why they provide free charging. Then that free gas argument becomes ridiculous.

Please stop playing the “green card” and demanding that employers allow their employees to charge for free as if it were a birth right. If you REALLY cared about the environment, you would carpool to work in your EV. Are you a Single-Occupant Vehicle EV commuter? If you really cared about the environment, you would take would take public transportation to work, bike to work, or walk to work. If you can do none of the above, it is because you have made a life choice and chosen to live a carbon-intensive life. Others have chosen to live near work, or near public transportation to commute to work. I submit that these people are “greener” than you, and they aren’t asking employers to pay for their public transportation fares.

The free electricity argument is ridiculous.

Strongly disagree.

Ok, my point is to accelerate the transition towards transport électrification, nothing else. And if things like free charging at work gets the point across, well i’m all for it. That way, everybody wins. Once the transition is done, technology will have made enough breaktrough that the need for charging at work will be useless. And if you think that living right beside your workplace is a solution, i dont.
people are not going to change their ways to be greener. Not everybody wants to live downtown to be greener. We have to work with what people do and drive to work, they do so telling people to drive a bicycle to work might work in some parts of the country, but have you tried it with a foot of snow?
Transition is the key word here, maybe you missed that part? Monkey see, monkey do….

Yes, I missed the transition part. I was focused on you repeatedly saying that you bought a Volt “to do my part for a better future” for your kids and for mankind. I hate to break it to you, but driving EVs to commute to/from work on grid electricity that generates it’s fair share of CO2 isn’t going to reduce global CO2 levels enough to avert projected global warming, if you truly believe in that sort of thing. It’s kind of like when Al Gore said he was “doing his part for a better future” by installing solar panels on his empty-nest mega-sized McMansion, and flying around the world in a private jet rather than flying commercial to preach about global warming and the need to reduce CO2 levels. Hypocrisy at its finest. “. . . people are not going to change their ways to be greener.” Then global warming is inevitable. We should all buy beachfront property in Greenland while it’s still cheap. Why are you against public transportation, especially with EV buses poised to displace ICE buses? EV buses would reduce the carbon footprint of commuters much more than everyone driving a single-occupancy EV to work. Is switching… Read more »
Sven, i live on the south shore of Montreal and now retired and guess what, i was a bus driver ( hense my user name) for over 20 years so, i know what i’m talking about when it comes to public transport. PB is fine when you live in town but when you live in rural areas there is limited public transport if any. Half of the population do not live in town where PT is available so cars are here forever and we have to make the best of it. PB is part of the answer but not the only one. As for electric buses, i had the chance to drive them a few times before my career was abruptly shortened cause of a motorcyle accident that left me handicaped and walkin with 2 canes. The hybrid electric bus would do 30lt/100klm compared to the gas model of the same bus would get 60lt/100klm, so it’s a good start but very few people are willing to wait for a bus when it’s -20C outside. So if people have to buy cars, they have to make the transition to EV’s for our kid’s sake and we, as pionners, have to… Read more »

“IF employees offer free electricity for EV owners they should offer free gas for ICE vehicle owners”

A bold statement, considering the cost of electricity is minimal vs. the large cost of installing infrastructure, both for electric and gas. Think the underlying reason a workplace would incentivize driving electric is for the wider benefits it provides; a transportation program is really no different than workplace health/fitness programs.

It is possible that incentive for workplace charging could be based on type of EV (BEV vs. PHEV) and length of commute trip. Or, workplaces could an incentive offered for purchasing longer range (capacity) EV. (ie: EV incentive vs. workplace EVSE)

“considering the cost of electricity is minimal ”

That is very typical of EV supporters who rountinely make this arguement without looking up the facts.

My employer in SF Bay Area is paying close to $0.40/kWh. That is $0.21/kWh + $0.16/kWh network charges plus $0.03/kWh in load fee.

That is b/c they are used at peak hours. And that is 2.5x more than what residential base rate in the same SF Bay Area…

120V charging for 8 hours/day and 12A load is about $4.60 per stall per day. That is $1150 per year per outlet, NOT counting the cost to lay the wiring…

$1150 might NOT sound a lot, it is certainly a perk that NOT all company can afford.

Sure, Google and Apple (cash machines) can afford them, but smaller companies can’t.

Right you are.. Yeah, I’m suggesting $2.40 here for 8 hours, which would be a fair – break – even price for everyone concerned in an area of the country that has somewhat higher than national avg rates, and I’m criticized for saying the spots are overpriced. As I’ve mentioned its 1/2 what I paid for parking alone, and it includes 200 miles/ week free fuel!

That’s ….as you’ve shown, is about HALF the break even price where you are.

Some people you just can’t satisfy.

I agree. It’s for the greater good that we, individuals AND businesses, take improved steps each day. The extra cost it may take to change dirty habits is worth it. An incentive is an incentive,… Fitness program or EV chargers. I don’t expect a company that I work for to pay for a bag of chips and a TV because that’s what the employee WANTS as an incentive.

So, anyhow, ICE vehicles aren’t in the right direction.

Bloggin: I firmly disagree with every one of your points. First, supplying electricity for EV charging is -far- cheaper than buying gas for someone. Second, there are plenty of people driving plug-in EVs with range far less than the Tesla Model S. For some reason, you apparently think that people who use an EV to commute should be required to drive directly home after work, without running any errands or making any side trips. Amazing as it seems, some people actually do drive their EV further on some days than straight to work and straight home. On those days, it’s entirely reasonable for them to want a bit of extra range for their car. Even more amazingly, there are actually people who drive to work using an EV with a range shorter than the round trip between home and work. Such people normally have to depend on stopping at a public charger on their way home, and waiting awhile. It is, again, entirely reasonable for them to want to charge at work so they don’t have to -wait- while the car charges. As pointed out in a recent article here at InsideEVs, the issue with charging an EV is not… Read more »

I think Plug In America is WAY off base!

1) have they seen the power “duck” curve projections? Solar is available in the day, no need to move usage to late night

2) if a company wants to promote clean commutes with free power, why stop them? Qualcomm does in San Diego, workers love it. Saying companies should charge money just to save chargers for those “most in need” is ridiculous! Find a way to take turns, limit time, etc. but don’t take away a great worker benefit in the name of some kind of money-based “most in need”!

I guess you never heard of charging rage…

Some EV owners are too cheap to charge at home…

There are always more demand than available charging outlets… Sharing only works when demand is low…

I generally agree with the article, but the one potential flaw is that many leave the workplace at lunch, and that added driving may make L1 more prohibitive for pure EVs.

I’ve never worked for an employer who was ‘concerned’ about my unpaid lunch hour. Few would even pay for parking period. It was my responsibility how I got there, so I’d have to arrive totally at my own after-taxes expense. Charging of any kind would have been considered a ridiculous request, since I have to pay for the parking spot anyway. Conceptually if there was a facility provided, it would be priced to be more expensive than me having a large enough battery to make it home on my own. If going out for lunch kills the posibility of driving to work in a BEV, I’d think the worker would be better off with another game plan, since it would be initially established by the business that any ‘gratis’ charging, or ‘for pay’ charging facilities are on a first-come-first served basis, and the Employer reserves the right AT ANY TIME to shut off chargers to mitigate demand charges on an exceptionally hot day, etc. THat said, I’ve said many times the easiest most fair corporate charging facilities is where employees are expected to bring their own L1 charging brick, and are expected to use 1500 watts off the company electrics… Read more »

My point was that another 10 miles of driving and 1 hour less of charging can really make a big difference in whether a current generation Leaf, for example, has enough range to get back home at the end of the day. Obviously it depends on the individual’s commuting distance though.

But if the point is to reduce gasoline usage, the same point becomes even more important for those with a Chevy Volt, Plug-in Prius, or C-Max, who want to try their best to avoid that gas being used as much as possible.

At my employer, we have eight Level 2 stations, and they charge 10 cents per kWh. It works out pretty well.

Ok, unless a Pasny customer (around here that is another scam where the rest of us get to pay for the pasny customer), your employer is swallowing some of the electric bill himself. Besides paying half the cost of the EVSE’s (he gets a tax credit for 50% of the expense, which other taxpayers pay for, obviously). SO yeah, its a good deal. I wouldn’t complain too much about it.

I’m not complaining at all. Quite the contrary actually.

I don’t agree with the notion that we should pay for charging at work. My wife ran into this same issue when we bought a Fussion Energi. She happens to work at company that had a level one plug already available on the building. She was initially allowed to use the plug. However, soon the resentment started from her coworkers thinking she was getting “free gas”. When they complained, the boss made her stop. The reality was that her car would only take 30 to 40 cents a day at 10 cents/kw rate as the battery wasn’t at 0%. Employers don’t charge when the employees run those 1500w space heaters all the time or use the coffee pot ECT. The space heaters use just as much power to run as her car. The biggest problem is education. Her coworkers saw that big car plugged in and knowing nothing about plug in cars thought she was getting the equivalent of a tank of gas, much more than the less than 50 cents worth of energy. One person even asked why don’t you plug in at home not understanding that she was just trying to make it back home on battery. Also,… Read more »
Typically, the 1500 watt space heaters help heat the building, but if the employee charged just a bit above what it costs to provide the service (its probably more than you think, I’d assume around 20 cents / kwh drawn), then all employees would be satisfied that everything is fair. I don’t expect anyone to pay for anything I use, however, I do park at CHILI’s sometimes in syracuse to get a convenient free source of juice. If Chili’s knew how dependent I was on their SOLE facility to visit syracuse, I’m sure they’d charge me for it dearly. An employee parking lot is a different situation since all the workers know all the other workers. The employee accruing the expenses should pay for what they use, and you can’t tell me its a great hardship since the worst case is you’ll run out of juice on the way home and have to use a meager amount of gasoline, and probably pay less than I have to pay for gas anyways. Now if an employer wants to be magnamonous and provide free ev charging, he’ll have to put up with charges of “UNFAIRNESS”, unless he buys free company bev’s for… Read more »

29 cents per kWh?! Haha. My employer in electricity-expensive Central NY contracts for electricity at something like 6 cents per kWh according to my facilities manager. So charging employees at 10 cents per kWh, they nkce a bit to recoup their investment over time, and we get charging slightly less than the residential cost.

He’s woefully misinformed, or else he’s just telling you the energy supply cost… The bill, is the total of the energy supply, plus the demand, plus the delivery charges, plus the taxes. This will be a long post to prove the point. “…Electric Supply Charge Following is the electric supply charge information you requested: Load Area Service Class Voltage Delivery Level Pricing Date Electricity Supply Delivery Adjustment Central SC3 Secondary 1/8/2015 0.04721 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/9/2015 0.04741 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/10/2015 0.04691 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/11/2015 0.04631 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/12/2015 0.0468 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/13/2015 0.04861 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/14/2015 0.04958 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/15/2015 0.05007 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/16/2015 0.05048 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/17/2015 0.05027 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/18/2015 0.04961 0.00000 Central SC3 Secondary 1/19/2015 0.04996 0. …” The preceding was the energy charge for the kwh used. Here’s service class 3, if your employer uses over 100 kw demand each month: All Load Zones Customer Charge $260.15 Delivery Charge Minimum kW (first 40 kW) $392.00 Per kW Charge (over 40 kW) $9.80 Temporary Deferral Recovery Surcharge/Credit(1) ($0.17) RKVA Charge $0.85 Merchant Function Charge** Applicable percentage Factors and… Read more »
So, if you add everything up for both rate schedules, its around $10/kw plus $.85/rkva (if over 500 kw resistive demand) plus those few cents / kwh that appear even on residential bills (legacy charge, esm, taxes, etc) plus around 5 cents/kwh for january. So, depending on the number of hours your facility is open per month, and the flatness of the electricity consumption, your cost could be somewhere between 10 and 20 cents per kwh overall. That plastics company on route 104 with the big windmills – I asked the owner of the company what he paid for electricity prior to the windmills, and that’s with a very flat usage profile since he manufactures 3 shifts, and he said he paid a bit more than 14 cents/ kwh a few years ago, and thats taking delivery at 4160 with the medium voltage discount. He used in the neighborhood of 900 kw prior to the two big windmills. Anyway Clarkson, I didn’t say 29, i said 20, and thats including the loaded cost of installing minimal facilities for the outlets in the parking lots, which should make the other employees satisfied that the ev people are paying a rate that… Read more »

“So what’s the beef?”

Haha, I feel like there’s an argument going on here that I’m not even aware of.

Many commercial customers have reduced rates compared to residential customers. You cited a residential rate of 16 cents/kWh but then list a commercial rate of 20 cents/kWh.

Yes, 6 cents is the supply cost at my company, and I think with delivery it certainly comes out to less than 16 cents per kWh.

My point above had nothing to do with complaining about paying for my electricity. On the contrary, the point I was making is that a paid structure is a good thing in the workplace.

I was a big Level 1 advocate but I’ve been swayed a bit since. I think Level 2 is more meaningful in reducing gas usage given that very often people do not spend the entire day parked at work. L2 capabilities help to displace that other driving as well.

Ideally, I wish L1 would work, but in the area I live, there’s also many rural commuters that just couldn’t pull it off without Level 2.

16 cents applies to under 2000 kwh month shoe stores and barber shops. Not germane.
thats a non-demand service with a meter on the side of the building as your house used to have before solar.

National grid sc2 demand over 2000 kwh / month but under 100 kw demand is $10/kw, plus $52, plus
SBC (system benefits charge)
and a few others plus municipal chgs plus taxes, plus around 5 cents / kwh for january. Your contracted energy company may be indeed 6 cents / kwh as u say.

But the final bill in $ and cents is the total price / total kwh, and will be between 10 and 20 cents/ kwh depending on the load profile.

“….Many commercial customers have reduced rates compared to residential customers.”

Yeah, its possible but please document that statement with an actual bill. There are not many commercial customers (non-pasny) that have lower marginal costs. Thats why borderline cases clamor to remain residential rates, instead of commercial, and not vice-versa.

But, commmercial rates are more atractive under NG than NM, that much is true.

No, I said residential electricity is around 12 to 13 cents marginal cost. Commercial non-demand is around 16 cents/kwh but thats tiny businesses only, and wouldn’t apply to any company with employees.

My residence figure could be as much as a cent or so high since I don’t pay for electricity any more, other than that ridiculous meter reading charge of $17 that is $8 in Florida, and they don’t even have meter readers anymore other than the guy who drives by in the reader truck. I used to pay $17.87 but then I got that knocked down to $15.67 by some finagling. My solar system is alot bigger than I actually can use (38 panels)

Bill: Great points. I do not currently have workplace charging, but if we do get it I have been advised it will be Level II and will not be free(will be reduced rate, though). Tried explaining how Level I would actually be better, but… I get it, but my employer doesn’t realize how much cheaper it would be to have a few outlets set up to allow Level I. Funny thing about fairness, too: we offer free coffee to all co-workers, I don’t drink coffee. No one complains about the perk of free coffee, certainly not me. And I am not looking for free electricity. Just pointing out how employers offer perks and employees take them for granted(yet I guarantee that many _would_ complain about free EV charging). Actually, 5 years from now this topic will be moot if EV batteries become affordable enough to see everyone with 200 mile range EV’s. It will not be critical to be able to charge at work. I’d love it now, though. Another interesting point is that most of our buildings have huge solar arrays on top, I am not sure how that would impact costs.

Thanks… I think if 90% of the other workers drink coffee then it is just assumed they’d provide it. Depending on how they do it, coffee can also be relatively easy, and easier than EV’s in any event. In NY State, there is a 50% tax credit for an employer to install electric car equipment, and I think its more impressive PR wise if companies have a flashy box to point to. The part I’m unsure about is how much subsidy is available for OPERATING costs, if any.. There is also LEEDS certification on new buildings (Leadership in Environmental Equipment and Design, or something like that), so that can probably be parlayed into something. A new art gallery at the local college put in 3 – 120 volt outlets on 3 parking spaces, with such a long run of tiny wires that only the first space will work with my Roadster. THe second accuses me of using an extension cord when I’m not, and the third one never worked ever, (but I’m sure it satisfied the 3 vehicle outlet requirement). After a while no one else used it so they ripped it all out and put in a dual chargepoint… Read more »


But if your wife could have simply said “I pay the company for the electricity I use”, then it would have ended any resentment without her needing any further explanation.

You’re not the first one to point out that some (many?) who charge their EV at work are using less than a dollar of electricity per day. But some people are so petty that even that small amount would cause resentment.

@mhamilton Your wife was getting “free fuel” for her EV, and it adds up over a year. The 40 cents per day of free electricity your wife was getting would buy enough gas for an efficient gas hybrid to travel for 2,500 miles, which is 36% of average annual 6,950 mile commute of a US worker who drives to work. At $.10/kWh, 40 cents per day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year works out to $100 per year. That $100 would buy 50 gallons of gas at the current price of $2 per gallon. For a 10-gallon fuel tank that would be 5 tanks/fill-ups of gas. Those 50 gallons of gas would enable a 50-mpg Prius or Accord Hybrid to travel 2,500 miles. The average commute to work for a single-occupancy vehicle is 13.9 miles one way or 27.8 miles round trip, which at 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year works out to an average annual commute of 6,950 miles. If a Leaf, which has a 4X larger battery than your wife’s Ford Fusion Energy PHEV charged up at work and used 4X more electricity that would be $1.60 in free electricity per day and $400… Read more »

Thank you for the “smart” advise against the need for “smart” chargers and contexts and fees which scare many potential employers considering workplace charging. Average commute for 78% of us is 20 miles. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

A typical U.S. electricity cost is $0.10/kWh.
The Nissan Leaf goes about 80 miles with a 24 kWh battery.
Therefore, 20 miles uses about 6 kWh.
The energy cost to recoup 20 miles is about 60 cents:

Please see my article here:

Sorry, not so simple: By me, non-demand electricity (under 2000 kwh per month) is on avg 16 cents/kwh where I live. This is for something like a barber shop with a few chairs. Or maybe a shoe repair shop with one extra employee. Demand charges on any business open just monday – friday on a 40 hour basis are hit extra hard with the demand charges, typically $10/ kw. $20/kw in southern california, etc. So, each ev space is going to generate $15 in fines per month for the space alone, before considering the energy distribution and supply charges, which might be 12 cents/kwh where I live. So a $15 fine for 20 days of parking (and lets assume the weighted avg is 18 days to take into account absense, vacations, etc since the employee certainly would not want to be charged if he is not there. so 15/18 would be 84 cents fixed charge to park there (not much) and then whatever he used, as well as to pay for any facilities the employer had to spend. You’ll notice the link by FLMARK is from the point-of-view of an Employer. I, for one, think my pay should be doubled.… Read more »

The fact that you drive a Leaf 20 miles, then go 10 miles back and forth to lunch, and then drive 20 miles home, and your Leaf will reliably get you home after everything you need to do, means you should never use workplace charging at all, and leave it for someone with an IQ that truly does need to charge.

My appologies Bill, I thought you were kidding but now I see you are trying to emphasize the low installed cost of Work Place Charging,, which is a true statement.

However, the per use expenses by the DOE are simplistic and therefore are materially understated. My cars use much more electricity (especially in the winter when electricity use for one of the cars quadruples) than just whatever happens to be in the battery, and 10 cents / kwh businesses could only dream to have juice so cheap, usually only where the majority of generation is COAL, which is fine by me but I’m in the minority, and there’s currently less than 1% of it where I live anyway, and soon to be 0.

But companies may decide to make more of their company cars EV’s, since the expense of charging them, even in view of all the foregoing, can be made sufficiently cheap that there are usually maintenance advantages with EV’s, especially with those of proven reliability such as the Volt.

As BEVs get more range workplace charging will become less important. However, the idea the Leaf will go 80 miles is wildly optimistic. My Leaf is lucky to go 50 miles on a warm day and I doubt it could could go 80 miles when new.

But hopefully BEVs will move beyond this first generation effort and get to something more useful.

My employer’s main office has a number of L2 EV charging stations. For the first few years they were free. The consequences appear to have been just as you’d expect. Now there are more of them but they’re for-fee. The price is very low — for the first three hours. After the first three hours, there is a very large increase. Seems like a reasonable way to run it.

(I don’t recall what the prices are since I don’t use the stations, but on the order of $0.30/hour for the first three hours, $3/hour thereafter.)

Thank you for the “smart” advise against the need for “smart” chargers and contracts and fees which scare many potential employers considering workplace charging. Yes there will be exemptions but a standard fee or payroll deduction will work.
(Sources See in link below)
the Average commute for 78% of us is 20 miles.


A typical U.S. electricity cost is $0.10/kWh.
The Nissan Leaf goes about 80 miles with a 24 kWh battery.
Therefore, 20 miles uses about 6 kWh.
The energy cost to recoup 20 miles is about 60 cents:

Please see my article here:

Instead of “scaring” employers with the cost of installing EV chargers, why not enable them by providing information on entrepreneurs who will install for-profit chargers that don’t charge a ridiculously inflated per-hour charging fee? In other words… definitely not Blink. Surely there are some entrepreneurs out there who will install a for-pay EV slow charger that works well at a moderate cost.

At any rate, there’s no reason the employer should feel obligated to pay for installing the chargers, especially when there is an opportunity for another small business owner to make money.

Stupid idea… On day time there is produced clean solar power where as on night time there is produced dirty baseload coal power.

Besides, charging electric cars for free is always preferable, because it is annoying and expensive to design and implement fares collectors. Therefore all public chargers should be free forever and we should have a public slow charger in every street light pole.

If Walmart does not offer free charging services, then people go shoping into Carrefour, where free to use EV charging will be available. Simple as that.

Also fast charging of electric cars will be free forever because those car companies that do not offer free to use global fast charging network, cannot expect to sell that many electric cars. Simple as that.

You’re completely missing flmark’s point. The cost of electricity is mostly in plant and equipment, not in the generation cost. The more use you have at a given time the more infrastructure you need. Time shifting demand to even out the flow keeps costs down.

Also consider that you burn a lot of fossil fuel bulking up the infrastructure.

Jouni Valkonen said:

“On day time there is produced clean solar power where as on night time there is produced dirty baseload coal power.”

Well, you might have had a point if you hadn’t specified -baseload- power. Baseload power plants (generally coal-fired and nuclear) run at a constant temperature (and therefore constant output) regardless of the demand. So, in the unlikely event that -all- your night-time electricity comes from baseload power plants, then charging an EV won’t cause even one ounce more coal to be burned. Charging your EV will have zero carbon footprint; even less than solar power, which after all requires the solar panels to be manufactured, installed, and eventually disposed of at the end of their life.

And you missed my point. We should abandon baseload generation in the first place. Baseload power is no longer needed because high share of renewables and baseload generation do not fit into same grid.

It’s important to remember that the gas stations on the corner are each taking tens of millions out of your community every year. This is money that’s no longer available to the local economy. When a business offers electricity to its employees at a slightly profitable rate, the customer gets energy much cheaper than gasoline, and the business and local utility make a small return. Most importantly, 100% of the money that used to go to the oil companies is now staying in the local community. The utility and business get maybe 30-40% and the customer keeps the rest. The only loser in this game is the oil industry.

Of course it shouldn’t be free, it would be an easy way to make money… which is what all those greedy f*ckers care about in this world

It really depends on the situation.

If you have no employees with EVs, you might want to offer free charging for a while in order to get some people to buy EVs.

If you have many employees with EVs, you don’t want it to be free because then certain cheap people will hog the chargers.

Find the right pricing for your specific situation. And change it as your situation changes. A nice thing about Chargepoint is that they allow people who host chargers to have all sorts of different charging schemes. (private, public, by the hour, by KWH, a combo of the two, etc.)

WOW ! So much argument over what should be the choice of the employer. If they want to give Free charging, good. If they want to bill for it, also good. My employer has 2 facilities in the area. There is a level 2 unit at each with 2 connections at each station. I’m the only one who has EVER used either one in over 2 years. I know because I have asked. They are currently free for any employee.
You have to get a pass card from the Health and Environment manager. She gets an email every time I connect and disconnect with my energy usage. They can bill me anytime they want to. If it is excessive, I’ll turn in my card and stop using it. If the price is fair I’ll continue to use it. I do have a level 2 at home as well. Right now it is a PR thing to tell their stock holders. Just like the recycling containers.

The question is not just should workplace charging be provided, but how much, who receives access, how the incentive is managed, and if alternative incentives provide better value. (eg: carpooling, bus pass, or encouraging driving EVs with longer range) In a few years most EVs (particularly BEVs) will not need workplace destination charging as 120+ mile range becomes more common. In this case a workplace discount to en-route fast charging stations could be a better incentive (for longer distance commuters). Or, an alternative incentive to upgrade to longer range EV. For PHEVs that have shorter electric ranges and rely on destination charging more often, their need for workplace charging is greater. A 110V220V plug, or installing EVSE would incentivize EV adoption for now. In a few years, it may be preferred for a workplace to incentivize purchasing an EV with larger battery capacity, vs. investing in additional onsite charging infrastructure. Some may consider a differentiation between PHEVs and BEVs biased. The focus is not the type of EV, but battery capacity and usable range. As workplaces become educated on EVs, they’re more likely to incentivize 50+ mile EVs than 10-35 mile EVs. Incentivizing EVs with more than sufficient round-trip commute… Read more »

I like the idea of having enough parking spaces with 120V outlets for everyone with an EV. I think a small flat monthly fee for use of those spots would be reasonable if it weren’t more expensive to administer than it brought in. If there were employees with long commutes or no place to plug in at home there could be level 2 chargers with a higher monthly fee to use.

What I think would be a waste is having expensive EVSEs with charging functionality hardware.

Exactly Lindsay,
Here in upstate NY, which has electricity only somewhat more pricey than the national avg (about 12-13 cents/kwh residential, 16 cents/kwh non-demand commercial, and 10-20 cents/kwh (depending on the flatness of the load profile – and the delivery voltage) commercial/industrial,
my point was that I can park my volt in a spot there, providing my own charger brick, (no company supplied evse), and get a full battery (say 40 miles travel) for $2.40 which would fully compensate the expense of the installation, and the added costs to the electric bill.

So a week of parking would cost me a mere $12.00, plus I get 200 miles (m-f) of free fuel. I always had to pay for my parking spot a few blocks from where I worked about $25 per month. So here is something less than 1/2 the cost along with 200 miles of electric fuel to boot. I don’t know about others here, but I’d consider that deal unbelievably cheap, and no one, neither me, nor my employer, nor the utility, is being cheated out of money.

err: sorry, $25/week

The author has added very little to the discussion by merely conjecturing what “might” happen in various charging scenarios. There are plenty of real life examples already in place to factually demonstrate what “does” happen. The article is mostly personal opinion.

I am a traveling salesman and see all kinds of workplace charging implementations, both good and bad. I’ve got customers with literally dozens of free 120V outlets for EV charging that go 90% unused. I’ve got other customers who have DC fast charging that don’t get used much either. Still others have pay L2 stations that are always busy, with waiting queues and lots of unhappiness. Our own office has half a dozen free L2 stations that support about a dozen EVs of various kinds very effectively.

There is no right answer. It totally depends on the environment and culture of the organization and its workforce. I certainly don’t agree that the author has justified his position on the matter.

It is personal opinion, but both myself and the Eye Doctor have given plenty of real world dollars and cents expenses, and in the doctor’s case has PROVEN that demand charges are not “nearly nothing”.

If the 120 volt outlets are not used, they will not increase the demand, assuming the same number of ev’s are plugged in day after day. As more people buy more ev’s, then those outlets will be more and more used.

But there is no harm for a business to accurately predict their expenses before committing to a project.

I’ve been trying to make the point the Level One charging, from the ev driver’s point of view, can be, in my mind at least, ridiculously cheap. In my preceding post, I’ve shown how it costs less than half to charge my volt for 40 miles of range, or 200 per week, then I typically paid for the spot alone. Most weeks I wouldn’t even have to charge at home since 200 miles added at work would cover it.


Well said. This is not a situation where “one size fits all” is appropriate.

I have no doubt there are businesses with a pro-“green” culture, where it’s appropriate for the employer to offer “free” EV charging, to encourage more people to drive EVs. (Of course, someone does have to pay for that “free” charging, even if it’s not the employee.)

And please note: The author of this article did -not- suggest there should be any law or government regulation controlling this. This is should be about how EVs will affect our culture and our “social contract”, not a cry for the Nanny State to tell us how to live.

There is more chance of hell freezing over than of MY employer installing charging points for electric vehicles!

Good thing about socialism in Europe is that politicians will here create a law that makes it compulsory to offer workplace EV charging. Therefore it is not up to employer to decide if he wants to offer free EV charging.

Right now, in New York (and many places around the Country) there are incentives to install workplace charging. (ReChargeNY – cost 10% of the installation with a capped reimbursement). So right now, the employer does not have to pay for the EVSE — no need to charge the employee to recover that cost.

The employer can decide if they want to charge, but if the incentive is to have emissions reduced saving the employee health care costs that is counter-productive.

The trick we are working on in my workplace is providing enough level 1 charging that you no longer need designated parking. One reason people see EV charging as a “perk” is the designated spaces are usually closest to buildings — because the highest cost is to “trench”. I would rather have a spot AWAY from the building.

Here in the northeast (or any cold weather location) workplace charging is essential as you have at least a 30% loss in range in the cold. Even Tesla would use level 1 in the cold to maintain battery temp — not really for extra range.

Free or covering costs would be fine.

Add me to the list of electric car drivers who think workplace charging should be Level I in most cases, and that it should be in the least popular parking spot on the lot. And I think a nominal fee would be appropriate.

I pay $25 a month to plug in my Volt at my condo which is more than the electricity I use costs but I am ok with that because if a Tesla owner moves to my condo, he could end up using more than $25 worth of electricity a month. I think NoVA electricity rates are 8 cents a kWh at night.

I have been using Plugshare to find new L2 Charging station in Northern Virginia and it seems like the rate of growth for public chargers has slowed a bit here. What is amazing to me is that a wealthy city like McLean has absolutely no chargers in zip 22101, which is the city center. Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax absolutely kick McLean to the curb.

I could see the argument. I’m guilty of charging at work nearly every day because it’s free and I usually use the level 2 charger, though I move my car after the 2-3 hours it takes to fully charge it (Leaf owner here). After reading this article I felt a little guilty even though no one ever seems to charge at my work. Today I used my level 1 charger and left the level 2 open for whoever needs it… If work place charging cost the same or more than home, I’d probably never charge at work unless it was an emergency. I like that it’s free now though… I know it may not last!

Don’t feel guilty. If you are the only one that is using it then there at least won’t be any impetus to “Rip that Stupid unused thing OUT!”, hehe.

I read somewhere Walgreens Drug Store put in something like 6 – Blink 30 amp evse’s, then ripped them out a 1/2 year later when there was only 1 guy (the same guy) who used it one day a week.

I know there is bigger out west, but around here just across the border, is billed the biggest EV installation in all of CANADA ( I believe the facility is Wentworth Recreation center just outside of Hamilton, Ontario – 2 refrigerated hockey ranks basically, they’re big on hockey in Canada).

Anyway they installed Twelve 24 amp 200 volt charger docking stations, which are usually only used when the EV club goes there for meetings…. Of course everyone complains that they are only 4800 watts at best, but its fine for the Volts, and the Teslas really don’t need to charge anyway.

The reason for the meager 4800 watt EVSE’s is the vast majority of the facility runs on 347/600 volts, and the charger juice is derived from that, so, without doing an expansion in facilities they probably thought limiting the amount of conceivable EV load to 60 kw was prudent. Hey, they’re free, and beggars can’t be choosers.