Charge Rage: How Companies Can Keep EV Workers Happy


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In a story that could only emerge from the tech laden Silicon Valley, reports are surfacing of so called “charge rage.” In this newest trend impacting electric vehicle drivers, individuals are reportedly unplugging cars and plugging theirs in instead without first consulting the owner of the charging EV. This seems to be resulting from a surge in vehicles needing chargers but not enough charging infrastructure to support the demand.

This thus raises the question of needing a new “charging etiquette” to make sure all vehicles get their recharging needs met while at the same time preventing fistfights in tech company parking lots when you step out for lunch only to find that engineer who just cashed in his stock options and bought a Tesla Model S is in the process of unplugging your Nissan Leaf. Also needed are some ideas for how companies are dealing with a high demand for charging at work keeping drivers happy and plugged in.

2013 Ford Fusion Energi Charging

Image via Ford

ChargePoint, an EV infrastructure provider with over 15,300 charging locations nationally, has some experience around seeing this unfold, as over half of its locations are workplaces. Here’s an interesting list the company compiled to help those providing chargers to their workers:

1. Scale Up

Workplaces have recognized they need one charging spot for every two EVs. This allows people to plug in when they get to work and then move their charged car at lunch so others can plug in during the afternoon. As EV popularity rises, it’s also important to anticipate the future need for charging stations. Don’t just install the number of ports needed now, pre-wire and install for what you will need in the years to come.

2. Location, Location, Location

Install the stations in a place that multiple parking spots can access the port. Ensure there is adequate signage that makes it clear the parking spots are for plug-in vehicles. For drivers – don’t hog an EV parking space – only park in designated charging spots if you need to charge.

3. Valet ‘Bowl’

Many companies have a bowl at the front desk where employees leave their keys so that their car, once charged, can be moved to make room for another employee.

4. Get on the List

Companies have found that creating a community dashboard or email list connecting EV drivers within a company is a good way to ensure cooperation and efficiency in getting everyone plugged in and charged.

5. Book Your Spot

Some companies treat EV parking spots like a conference room. Also, through ChargePoint, companies can also set up a reservations feature that drivers can access on the mobile app and website.

“For the most part, ” said ChargePoint in a statement, “EV drivers are very respectful and we’d like to keep it that way! Don’t unplug people even if you’re in desperate need for a charge. On the other hand, if you don’t need a full charge, leave a note letting folks know it’s OK to unplug you.”

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.