Electric Charging Stations in Workplaces

Samantha Zeitz

A few years ago, the U.S Department of Energy unveiled the “Workplace Charging Challenge” to encourage employers to install charging stations for employee’s electric vehicles. Now the concept of implementing EV chargers in the workplace is spreading to other jurisdictions, including Ontario.

In the United States the thought is that electric charging stations at the office attracts forward-thinking workers and promotes a healthy environment. In the aftermath of VW’s use of emission test cheating devices, the company’s subsidiary created “Electrify America” and is expanding deployment of electric charging stations to workplaces and apartments. In the state of California, where 50 percent of electric cars in the United States are being used, there are currently not enough electric charge stations. The subject of EV’s is sure to be ongoing in the coming months.

Meanwhile in Ontario, finding somewhere to plug in your car is becoming increasingly easier. As part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan, the provincial government has brought forward the new Workplace Electric Vehicle Charging Incentive Program. This program will help support employers and commercial building owners by paying for 80 percent of the capital costs to install level 2 chargers – up to $7,500 per charging space. A level 2 charging station uses a 240-volt system and can have a car fully charged in four to eight hours.

The car industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the iron, steel, cement and chemical industries combined. There are currently over 16,000 electric vehicles on the road in Ontario. There are only 1,300 public chargers available and that includes chargers installed without the help of the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario program. By introducing this program, the provincial government hopes to help achieve their five-year Climate Change Action Plan to reduce emissions to 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030, and 80 per cent by 2050.