In my opinion, range anxiety
is one of the electric car industry’s greatest hurdles. One way to alleviate this concern is offering EV drivers a place to charge while at work. While workplace charging isn’t a new idea, it is getting a much-needed push thanks to the Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge.
The DOE Workplace Charging Challenge
was announced by then Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the Washington Auto Show in January. The challenge is one component of the DOE’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which is designed to make electric vehicles more affordable and boost EV technology adoption rates over the next 10 years.
Workplace charging challenge participants have to complete three steps:
- Commit – Assess employee charging demand and develop a plan to install at least one electric vehicle charging station on site.
- Take action – Implement the plan
- Share progress – A big part of the program is sharing milestones and best practices with other challenge participants as well as the DOE
There are already more than two dozen companies and 10 ambassador organizations participating in the challenge. Many of the companies are well-known brands, which will help in the promotion of EVs, including The Coca-Cola Company, Dell, Facebook, Ford, General Motors, Google, Siemens, Tesla and Verizon.
Ambassador organizations working with the DOE on the challenge include the California Center for Sustainable Energy, the Green Parking Council, Plug In America and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
I don’t own an electric vehicle but I’m one of those consumers that are concerned about range anxiety, even though a recent extended test drive of a Chevrolet Volt
put my concerns to rest. Even though the Volt has a gasoline engine that kicks in at the end of the EV driving range, the electric-only mode was more than enough to meet my daily back-and-forth driving.
If I knew that an EV charging station awaited me at my destination then I know that my range anxiety would be lessened, if not completely eliminated. I imagine that the same would hold true for others that want to explore EVs but are concerned about the charging infrastructure
. I hope that the results from the Workplace Charging Challenge help counter range anxiety concerns and speed up EV adoption rates.