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Book your electric car charging at the same time as booking your office visit

Car Park Booking

Booking EV Charging in the Office Car Park

Unlike a petrol or diesel engine that takes just minutes to fill, a typical electric car will take at least half an hour to recharge.

Recent reports of Charge Rage in motorway service stations are only adding to range anxiety, with motorists facing long waits, arguments and lots more stress.

With this and other challenges in mind, it becomes clear why providing electric vehicle charging points in your office car park, while initially appearing expensive, makes a lot of sense for at least three compelling reasons:

1. You’ll attract and retain talent

According to research carried out by CSR experts, Cone, 83% of millennials would be more loyal to companies that care for the environment.

Along with providing cycle storage and showers in the workplace, installing charging points at the workplace reflects your company’s environmental awareness.  It can also be the impetus your workforce needs to adopt more sustainable transport.

2. You’ll remove barriers to getting your workforce back into the office

Making a visit to the office as attractive as possible is high on the agenda for employers wanting to encourage their workforce back into the office.

For those with electric vehicles, providing charging facilities at work will help remove ‘range anxiety’ that a trip into the office might cause. They will also help allay any concerns over ‘charge rage’ due to insufficient capacity and lack of grid connections on the UK highways.

It will also help where the facilities to charge an electric car at home are limited.

3. It’s not as expensive as you might think

If cost is a hurdle to installing chargers, it’s not as bad as you might think.

In the UK, the Government has introduced the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) to help organisations fund the costs of installing charge points. Of course, if your business includes operating a fleet of vehicles, by switching to electric you can reduce fuel costs substantially at the same time as enhancing your brand image.

Installing EV charging bays is just the first step…..

Have a game-plan for managing EV charging in your office car park

Whether you plan to charge a nominal fee for employees to charge up, or offer charging for free, ensuring optimal and fair use of an EV charging is your next challenge.

The last thing you want is for staff to be fighting in the car park.

Publicise your EV Booking Etiquette

Practicing good EV charging etiquette fosters a cooperative and considerate atmosphere, ensuring everyone can efficiently access charging facilities in the office car park.

To prevent instances of ‘charge rage’ in your own company car park – as well as fair access to all concerned – it’s advisable to introduce the provisioning of EV chargers along with clear guidelines on your intranet.

Your EV charging charter can be communicated on your company intranet, with points that include:

1. Pre-booking a slot: See next point below.

2. Priority: Don’t book a slot if you just need a top up – priority should be given to those that need a bigger charge to complete a return office trip.

3. Don’t Block: Promptly move your vehicle once charging is complete.  To help with this we suggest you keep swap-over bays free. 

4. Emergency Override: In case of an emergency or if your vehicle’s battery is critically low, communicate the situation to others and seek understanding to use the charging station.

5. Tidy Up: Avoid leaving charging cables on the ground and if you notice any problems with the charging stations, report them.

Introduce an EV Charger Booking System

By providing the ability to book an EV charging ‘slot’ (of say, 4 hour or am/pm sessions) you can give staff members fair access to the organisation’s available charging infrastructure.

This could be as sophisticated or as simple as you like, but should be integrated with the company’s default calendaring and email system (and ideally mobile devices) to give individuals the ‘heads up’ that their car charging session is imminent or about to end.

Discover how to set up your OWN simple EV charger booking system for free.

Importantly, it should allow employees to cancel their booking if no longer needed, or track any ‘no shows‘, as each scenario would lead to a potential waste of the EV charging resource.

According to Jim Fussell, workspace booking lead at Essential, “There’s all sorts of policies we can wrap around the booking of virtually any limited resource.  When it comes to EV charger bookings we recommend you enable booking in advance to ensure that no-one is left high and dry without enough charge to get home. 

We also suggest sending reminders, both the day before their visit (in case they no longer plan to come in) and perhaps 30 minutes prior to their booking is due to start so they don’t miss their window of opportunity.

The ability to see immediate and future availability of charging bays at-a-glance via an interactive car park map also makes it convenient to book a charging bay that matches in with your planned activity.  The map approach also makes it easy to actually locate the charger in what can be a large and sprawling car park.”

Other benefits of managing EV charger bookings include

  • Utilisation tracking to help you plan any future expansion
  • The ability to release a charging slot in the event of a ‘no show’ within a pre-defined time
  • Pooling a bank of chargers, so that bookings are not necessarily tied to a given charging facility
  • The ability to reflect a reduction in availability in the event of a faulty charger.

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