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Challenges Triangle businesses must consider before installing EV charging stations

Triangle employers that already offer free charging for their employees’ electric cars know the hurdles of installing charging stations at workplaces.

On Wednesday, Advanced Energy, an engineering services firm located at N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus, hosted a panel on the campus that consisted of business leaders who discussed their experiences with installing charging stations.

Panelist Chuck Alley, an electrical engineer for San Diego-based Qualcomm, a semiconductor company with Raleigh operations, says charging stations were installed when only seven employees had EVs. Now, there are 35.

“We have to work hard to get everyone charged,” says Alley, despite there being 10 chargers.

He says a system of communication within the company has been established through email and social networking to let employees know when their cars are charged and need to be moved.

“I just leave my keys in the car and people know they can move it,” he says. “I’m not worried about anyone stealing my electric car; there’s only so far they can go.”

Jeff Barghout, vice president of transportation services at Advanced Energy, also sat on the panel. As an owner of both a Tesla Model S and a Nissan Leaf, he recommends business owners consider having more charging spaces than chargers, or they could run into parking issues. Within his work community, EV drivers “self-police” and unplug cars when they are fully charged.


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