After residential charging of PEVs, workplace charging is expected to play the next most prominent role. The presence of workplace charging enables drivers with plug-in hybrid EVs to multiply the number of electric miles driven per day, and might enable all drivers in difficult residential charging environments to enter the PEV market. Following the model of its successful MUD research, the Luskin Center is: supporting local planning with characterizations of regional employers and workplace charging environments, analyzing complex workplace charging infrastructure cost and benefit scenarios, and assessing the impacts on driver fueling costs.
Overnight home charging is expected to be the most prevalent and cost-effective way to refuel plug-inelectric vehicles (PEVs). Workplace charging is also expected to play a prominent role and providevarious benefits, such as extending the number of electric miles driven and enabling PEV adoption bydrivers in difficult residential charging environments.
This research assesses workplace charging from two perspectives, 1) employers investing inworkplace-charging facilities and pricing their use and 2) employee drivers. It finds that pricing levelslikely to provide drivers with financial motivation to fuel at work relative to gasoline refueling mightprovide limited opportunity for station cost recovery. For example, a $0.20-per-kilowatt-hour markup ontop of average commercial electricity costs—a level some drivers may even find uncompetitive—mightonly cover $1,500 in all-in facility investment costs per PEV served. Similarly, drivers may balk atworkplace-charging prices at or exceeding $1.25/hour or $35/month, which provide comparable costrecoverypotential. Additionally, the differential, “discriminatory” impact of different pricing structures isdiscussed.
Across pricing structures, increasing facility utilization (i.e., increasing economies of scale in use)is key to improving financial viability. This might prove difficult, however, given associated costsdescribed herein. Solutions that increase utilization while minimizing per-vehicle costs (e.g.,“multiplexed,” perhaps lower-power facilities) might help address these constraints.
Monte Carlo simulation is presented to highlight key uncertainties of both station profitability andrefueling costs. Importantly, it indicates that employers’ choice of pricing structure will differentiallyaffect their ability to remain financially viable in the face of uncertainty.
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As part of CEC- and DOE-funded regional PEV readiness planning, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation developed a variety of tools to support workplace charging. For employers and policymakers, these include analysis of facility cost recovery and the implications of pricing for employee fueling costs. For planners, our work includes land-use opportunity assessments and recommendations for city planning reforms and stakeholder outreach.
The following provides references to workplace charging guidance that can be found in the Southern California PEV Readiness Plan, available for free download here.
Financial viability of workplace charging (Chapter 7, page 80)
Assessing land-use opportunities for workplace charging
Siting workplace charging in high-demand locations (Chapter 7, pages 75-77)
Targeting employers for workplace charging
Developing employer outreach campaigns (Chapter 15, pages 169-170)
For maps of workplace charging opportunities in the six-county Southern California region and projections of PEV growth in utility service territories, please consult the Southern California PEV Atlas, also available for free here.