The Silicon Valley Energy Summit (SVES) 2013 last Friday focused on the energy landscape, best practices, emerging technologies, and the future of government policy.
The session on electric transportation charging infrastructure convened executives from three large corporations in Silicon Valley: Brian Glazebrook, Senior Global Sustainability Manager from NetApp; Jessica Herrera, Transportation Program Manager from Facebook; and Claudia Rodas, Senior Manager, Corporate Real Estate and Workplace Services from Juniper Networks. The panel was moerated by Josh Boone, Senior Manager of Business Development & Programs at the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative. The speakers discussed Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at their corporate campuses, shared their implementation statistics, program management and engagement considerations, lessons learned, and future deployment plans.
Here are the numbers as reported last Friday:
Facebook has 3200 employees in the Menlo Park, CA campus. 3200 parking spots. Charging stations today: 12 Level 1 ( 120 Volt AC), 25 Level 2 (240 V AC), 1 DC Fast charger with high voltages (300-600 V DC). Facebook began installing the stations in April 2012. Today, there are 133 registered EV drivers at Facebook.
Juniper Networks has 3500 employees in the Sunnyvale campus. 3650 parking spots. Charging stations today: 4 Level 1 AC; 20 Level 2 AC. Installation start date was in December 2012. There are 80 registered EV drivers at Juniper.
NetApp has 4000 employees in Sunnyvale. Almost 3000 parking spots in the campus. Charging stations are as follows: 12 Level 1 AC; 31 Level 2 AC. The installation date is relatively recent: April of 2013. There are 95 registered EV drivers at NetApp.
Charge stations are usually installed in employers parking lots or in their parking garages on-site. The above three corporations support green transportation and want to meet their employees requirements for electric charge stations. Tesla Model S has increased employee interest in EVs, and that trickled into purchasing other less expensive plug-in (PEV) and hybrid-plug-in (HPEV) cars, such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. Further, with new EV models coming out in the market and with the Nissan’s new leasing Leaf options, more people have been transitioning to EVs, increasing the demand for more chargers at the workplace. The employers have been conducting surveys to gauge what the employees want in terms of charging.
While today, investment in employers’ charging infrastructure is driven by workers demand, there are other factors involved, especially in attracting and retaining high tech talent, where early EV adopters are likely to be from this slice of the population.
The cost of installing a charging station is not small change: today it is in the range of $ 6 – 8 thousand per station, plus the cost of infrastructure. In addition, there are on-going operational and management costs. However, new technologies and players are coming out all the time and corporate buyers need to keep frequent and open eyes to what goes on in the electric transportation market. Industry ratio is two-to-three drivers per station, requiring allocation of two parking spots for a charger. Dual-chargers require four parking spots.
When you visit corporate campuses, you’ll notice that electric charge stations are located nearest to buildings. The reason is cost: the closest the charger to the facility, the less investment is needed in building the infrastructure and the associated networks.
Main lessons from the implementation and operations:
- Conduct employee surveys to gauge demand and to plan for additional charging infrastructure
- Employers cannot just build the charge stations and leave them; management of the project goes beyond the installation and requires on-going management of the entire operation.
- Many employees (EV drivers) are involved and challenges will pop all the time and would require the transportation management team to respond, devise or change policies, etc.
- Having a communication platform for the drivers is important, as well as having a feedback system to enable drivers to comment, alert, and discuss challenges.
- Employers need to track who uses the charge stations, how often in a week/a month/etc., how long does each driver charge, and more.
Based on employees demand, all the three corporations above have plans to expand. Along with shuttle programs, shared car rides, and employers’ encouragement to bike to work, in the next few years there will be more chargers at the workplace; another incentive for employees to transition to alternative, non-gasoline base, cars.
Convened by Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, The annual Silicon Valley Energy Summit (SVES) traditionally benefits more than 500 investors, facilities managers, regulators, researchers and others dealing with energy economics and environmental impacts. The event features thought leaders in sustainable and economical energy, as well as business leaders and academic personnel.
Event website: http://peec.stanford.edu/events/2013/sves/
The Precourt Energy Efficiency Center promotes energy-efficient technologies, systems and practices, emphasizing economically attractive deployment. PEEC works to understand and overcome market, policy, technology and human behavior barriers, and informs public and private policy-making.
PEEC website: http://peec.stanford.edu/index.php