For employers looking to boost their employee engagement programs, EV charging can be an appealing opportunity. However, because electric mobility is a completely new concept for many offices, implementing a successful EV charging strategy can seem quite confusing. This article will guide you through some of the most common workplace options to help you identify the EV charging business model that's right for you.
More and more of your employees will start driving electric cars
Many organizations offer a company car to their employees and are looking into electrifying their fleet as a more sustainable option. But often, getting access to a company car depends on your function, and offering company cars is not a standard at every company. So, even if your workplace doesn’t have a fleet of its own, it can still make sense to install EV charging stations at your facility.
As people increasingly switch to electric mobility, more of your employees will inevitably start to drive electric cars. Therefore, offering EV charging at your workplace could very well help attract new talent and boost employee satisfaction.
Broadly speaking—and depending on the needs and goals of the company—there are two main EV charging approaches suitable for the workplace. The first alternative is to offer EV charging as a complimentary service, for example as an employee benefit. Under this model, charging is provided for free to employees or other eligible users.
The other alternative is to offer paid EV charging. In this case, users pay to charge their vehicles. The fees and tariffs can differ based on the type of user. For example, employees could benefit from a discounted rate, while customers and visitors could pay full price. This method has the benefit of generating additional revenue for the company and can open up the charging infrastructure to customers or visitors.
While each model has its advantages and drawbacks, which is right for your organization will depend on several factors. Let’s dive a little deeper into the two most common EV charging business models for the workplace.
1. Offer EV charging at the workplace as an employee benefit
2. Use EV charging at the workplace to generate revenue
While offering EV charging as an employee benefit has its advantages, another approach is to offer charging as a paid service and even open up the stations for use by third parties. Doing so can add an additional revenue stream to the company and compensate for the price of electricity used.
Depending on the type of business and location, installing publicly-accessible EV chargers can put a business “on the map”, by directing EV drivers to them and potentially cross-selling or upselling their other offerings while their vehicle charges. Beyond guests and customers paying for charger use, companies can also offer a discounted fee for employees who want to charge their vehicles, which can still boost employee satisfaction.
Different tariffs could be suited, depending on your circumstances:
One option is to charge users a flat rate per hour or per day, regardless of the amount of electricity consumed.
Alternatively, users can be charged based on their energy usage, ensuring everyone pays their share.
These two approaches can also be combined by charging a fixed initial activation fee and then having users pay for the amount of electricity used. In any of these cases, employees can benefit from a discounted rate compared to visitors, or you could even set maximum time slots or available electricity for free charging.
Whether EV charging is used to generate revenue or as an employee benefit, there are some considerations businesses need to take when installing charging infrastructure. Especially if multiple user groups are involved, the charger needs to be able to accept different payment methods or settings, and you might want to differentiate the service based on time of day, user, or even function. This can quickly lead to growing complexity that is challenging to manage manually; in most cases, charging management software is recommended to handle all these transactions hassle-free.
Charging management system software
In today’s digital age, access to data and insights is crucial for good decision-making. Many modern charging stations are more than just a piece of hardware and offer connectivity to software management systems. A good charging management software allows you to easily manage your assets, set different charging tariffs, and learn from driver behavior. For example, it allows businesses to easily set custom fees for different users, ranging from visitors to employees, or even distinguishing between full-time and part-time employees.
Charging management software also helps increase energy efficiency by optimizing consumption. Smart functionalities, such as peak shaving and dynamic load balancing, ensure that the charging station never pulls more than the set current from the grid and that the available capacity is intelligently distributed to all charging stations.
When it comes to invoicing, smart charging software can ensure costs are easily and accurately attributed to the right stakeholders. By automating payment and reimbursement, this solution cuts out manual accounting work and ensures a smooth invoicing process regardless of the user.
Finally, smart charging management software can streamline reporting, easily generating actionable insights into charger status, charging patterns, and energy consumption, helping companies make more informed business decisions and optimize their energy efficiency.
Offering EV charging serves a rapidly growing need