Charging at Work

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by axle2152, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. axle2152

    axle2152 Active Member

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    This may or may not be in the right place, seems a bit ambiguous to a specific forum so it's here...

    I work at a community college and also in a rural part of the state I live in. To make a long story short, supervisor said it was ok but was later over turned due to a cleaning lady who complained to their boss and on up the ladder it went and was told I can't charge up due to insurance and liability concerns. Without going into the hypothetical stuff on that. No, I'm not looking for a "free lunch," electric in my area is fairly cheap and a good portion is from the TVA dams so some of that energy is a lot more green than others.

    Has anyone here been successful at getting your employer to bring in EV charging?

    I guess I'll start there. I've looked at charge point commercial (bollard pedestal) chargers which are quite expensive. It would allow the college to charge for those who charge their cars as I think that everyone should pay for what energy is consumed, myself included.

    So I'm looking to provide information and a means to get the college on board with adding this, a good number of other colleges in the region do offer it and I think it is good PR and good for the automotive program and so on.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you're on the right track. most colleges are fairly liberal. make the whole case starting with climate change and working back through renewable energy. offer to pay, but emphasize the need for institutions of higher learning to set the example.

    all the best!(y)
     
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  3. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I requested charge station at my workplace but did not happen. We do have a group of employee (though mostly for PR purpose) to facilitate environmentally friendly activities, but they could not come up with a plan to convince management to install a charger. I don't know for sure the reason behind it, but most likely cost and liability concerns. It's hard to cut red tape, but with more and more people interested in cutting down on use of gas fired engines, I think perseverance will prevail... some day. augh. Good luck.
     
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  5. axle2152

    axle2152 Active Member

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    That's the part I'm hung up on because as we speak I'm going through a list of every college in the state and yeah most (so far) don't offer it but some do. So I'm wondering how a liability is a concern, if it was a real concern then no business would have it. Cost is a biggie so somehow I need to figure out a way to get someone else (electric company for example) to pay for the big stuff.

    I'm going with the liability concerns ranging from people tripping over the cords that can be left all over and someone being electrocuted. Those are legitimate concerns but there is a lot of safety mechanisms to prevent both. I think the Chargepoint I was looking at had retractable cords and without looking at the SAE J1772 specification I'm going out on a limb and say there's a reasonable amount of safety built into the standard to prevent anything bad from happening.

    So I need to convince management who are neither environmentalists or electricians that doing this would be good for the college, good for the enviroment and not a lawsuit waiting to happen because someone's kid thought they could stick their tongue down in the connector or whatever.
     
  6. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Make a plan.
    Work the plan.

    I got permission in writing but I worked the 'corporate image with bunny huggers' angle.

    Many large companies have a compliance officer (or department) that can give guidance. Sometimes there are tax angles to work for larger installations.
    The idea is to make the folks in the head-shed think that it's easier not to say "no" which would be my default if somebody wanted permission to charge at work but didn't have any ideas about how to implement this bold new path forward.

    I've never bought a PHEV (or even a hybrid) but I wanted the option open in case I got an e-bike or electric scooter once my daily commute shrank to 3 miles.
    Since I work in a facility where I'm the only person who reports to the building, I had an easier on-ramp.
    I identified an exterior GFCI outlet and the panel that feeds it and certified that it would not interfere with normal building ops nor provide a trip or electrical hazard.
    If I were a facility manager (which, effectively I am) and somebody wanted permission to plug their car up to one of my buildings without a plan, MY default would be 'no' for the simple reason that it's safer for some persons NOT to be given official company permission to play with electricity....

    Folksy Anecdote:
    We had a tech in one of our larger offices who used to plug his electrified scooter into one of the office outlets near the rear entrance.
    One of our more prickly older employees made rude comments about how she thought it was 'stealing electricity' (he got permission - so it wasn't.)
    Then, some snarky retired military guy pointed out that she routinely left a 30-year-old 1500w electric heater running under her desk, wide-open, 24 hours a day sometimes when she forgot to unplug it at the end of the work day........because she was cold natured and we spent vast sums on air conditioning in a downtown 3-story building that, literally, did not have a heater (because it never NEEDED one!)
    The electric scooter stayed.
    The 1500w heater would later become infamous for nearly burning the building down.

    All of this is one of MANY reasons that I declined to 'rise' into management.
    :rolleyes:

    We've gone a long way past somebody snaking an extension cord across a sidewalk to get 9-something miles on their pip while they work.
    Now?
    Charging at work is a little more complicated, and equipment costs and potential liabilities are a little more non-trivial, but you can still make a plan and work the plan.
    If all you want to do is plug a compliance PHEV into a 115v branch circuit, tell them what, where, when and why.
    Identify the outlet and demonstrate that you're thinking all of this through.
    Make sure that you're not snaking a line through a fire door (saw that once.)
    Make sure that you're not connecting to a circuit that has a vital function such as a badge reader or alarm panel (saw that once too!)
    Make sure that if you use an exterior outlet that it's rated for charging your ride and that it's not a circuit that the diggers and fillers use for electric blowers, line trimmers, or THEIR compliance PHEVs.
    Vacuum cleaners, line trimmers, blowers, etc all use about 12 amps more or less.
    If you add your PHEV onto the circuit then the grounds people might have to constantly gain access to the building to reset a breaker that keeps opening whenever they're trying to do their JOB. (seen that too!)

    GIVE THEM DATA.

    For L2 charging:
    Do some (most) of the legwork and figure out parking lot markings, electrical install and L2 charger costs, local codes, etc and use your facilities manager to identify a potential tie in point to your college's physical plant.

    Alternatively, you can start contacting people who install L2 charging for your local area and tell them that there's a community college that has no charging facilities......and let THEM do most of the leg work for you.
     
    #6 ETC(SS), Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    The bottom line, cost analyses need to be done. L2 chargers are not cheap, especially if you are thinking of the commercial type that can monitor usage and charge the cost to each user. The college has to realize the cost of installing such a unit will pay off itself from revenue of usage and plus intangible benefits of having such unit on campus for PR. That's easier said than done.
     
  8. axle2152

    axle2152 Active Member

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    @Salamander_King Yep they're in the $7,000 ballpark not including installation. Which is why I need to find a way to have someone else foot the bill, or most of it anyway. Whether that be through a grant, electric company, county, state, etc.
     
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  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Just coming up with the fund may not be enough. You need to contact just right person to get things done. I use to work at state university. The amount of bureaucracy was so bad, to order a dozen of yellow pencil, we had to fill out 20 pages long forms and wait weeks before the box was delivered to our desk.
     
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  10. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    That's way too high of a price... The WiFi connected ones with NFC with a pedestal I've used from some Chinese companies come in at the $1200 price point. And most of that is just the cost of the metal and electronics to make it look fancy. The EVSE itself is the same $200-ish in parts as everything else.

    The installation is what will kill you unless they thought ahead and put in conduit. Or if you can wait until they redo the sidewalk / parking lot to get wiring out there.
     
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  11. axle2152

    axle2152 Active Member

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    Lucky for us we have a licensed electrician on staff... I think one option is to be able to charge a fee for charging.
     
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  12. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    The labour is cheap. Ripping up a channel through your landscaping, sidewalks, and parking lot to get to a location to install is what's expensive. Billy-bob that does the actual work is negligible in the costs.

    And I don't think any of these stations will ever make back their costs for installation. That is OK! But don't sell them as if they will be a cash cow. They are a PR boost, sell it as such. Green, modern, forward thinking, less reliant on foreign oil, use energy made in 'Murica vs. other places, etc. Whatever the audience is, there are enough benefits that something covers their biases and what they want to hear. And that's the benefit and how you get it approved and installed.
     
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  13. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    I thought I read the state was looking at how best to spend their VW Settlement money. Perhaps your school could apply for a grant from those funds.
     
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  14. axle2152

    axle2152 Active Member

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    Didn't know about that... But I do now and that little clue turned out to be extremely helpful....

    Looks like about $4 million is set aside for ZEV infrastructure in 1 of 3 phases. Don't know how much of that fund has been used or if that's something we can look at getting.

    NC DEQ: Volkswagen Settlement
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Hang on... :cautious:
     
  16. HPrimeAdvanced

    HPrimeAdvanced Senior Member

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    Your last paragraph is the "Home Run": let the Chargepoint people handle it; you contact them with info on the responsible party at your establishment. You could call that person and make your request. You might offer to follow up. States are now getting increasingly involved in electrical infrastructure improvements, with rebates and other incentives. Good luck!

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
    AChoiredTaste.com
     
  17. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    The charger would fit nicely as part of their ZEV Infrastructure Program.

    Here is more information on that.

    NC DEQ: Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure

    Here is where you submit for more information.

    Welcome to Electrify America | Submissions
     
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  18. axle2152

    axle2152 Active Member

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    @Prodigyplace Yep :) That's the stuff I found and my boss submitted that information to the president... I also came across an article about how NC wants to put more EV infrastructure in rural areas, particularly areas that would attract tourism...and we are in the blue ridge mountains so we do see a fair amount of tourist, lots of people from Florida and "leaf lookers" in the fall. So hopefully that plays to our favor, assuming they pursue it.
     
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  19. LoraJ

    LoraJ Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but don't some states have tax credits or incentives for businesses that have plug-in chargers? Maybe you can research that and add it into your proposals.


    I want to highly recommend Charge-point chargers for a work parking lot. Where I work, there were issues with some Tesla owners leaving their cars there all day every day even though their charging is done hours earlier. A Leaf owner gave up and started driving another car to work and gave the Leaf to his wife. Another Prime owner also told me one of the Tesla's would just park there and not even plug their car in. (This drama all happened before me and my Prime arrived on the scene). So they all kept complaining to HR and now security has gotten involved. They activated the waitlist system and it works great although the first week I had my car, some of the Tesla's still weren't being cooperative. Then security put notes on their cars and since then it seems to be working well.

    So if I show up to work and all of the chargers are full, I tap the charger with my app on the phone and it puts me on a waitlist. When the other cars are done, they get a notification asking them to move their car and how many people are waiting for the spot. I think seeing that people are waiting for the spot has motivated everyone to get up and move their car. Well, most everyone.

    I can't charge at home so I rely on public charging (or gas, of course). Soon I will be parking in a public garage by my home and they have 1 free charger in there for plug-ins and 20 Tesla chargers free for their use. Wouldn't you know it, when I walk by that 1 charger that I will be able to use, it is occupied by a Tesla even though there are 18 open Tesla spots? ANd I think those Tesla chargers charge faster. lol. Tesla's my new nemesis. But yes, I know they are the priority since they don't have the gas backup.
     
  20. 70ghia

    70ghia Wally

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    Having worked in a Community College in the past, your best bet is to check with the Facilities Manager to see what can be done. I'd be willing to bet that the state or federal government has a Green Initiative grant program that the Facilities Manager could apply for to get state or federal funding to pay for the installation cost. If he/she is awarded the grant money, then usually the approvals will follow since it is really no direct cost to the Community College. Not sure if you know who your Facilities Manager is, but it should something that you can track down if you don't know.
     
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