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Workplace charging could be key to widespread EV adoption

Public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is expanding, but it is difficult to make a profit on and drivers do most of their charging at home. Charging at the workplace could increase the scale of EV adoption but it would come at the expense of public infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Energy has deployed numerous initiatives to encourage widespread acceptance of electric vehicles. Possibly the most significant of these was the EV Project, where the D.O.E. tracked over 8,000 electric vehicles and their charging habits over three years by monitoring residential and public ECOtality Blink charging station usage. The project discovered that current Nissan Leaf drivers do 74% of their charging at home while Chevrolet Volt drivers charge at home 80% of the time.

While those results are expected given most early adopters have a garage in which to charge and an additional vehicle, this month the D.O.E. released some important results from the EV Project concerning workplace charging.

A group of 707 Nissan Leafs with access to charging at work were monitored for a two-year period that concluded at the end of 2013. These drivers only did 65% of their charging at home, while 32% of charging events occurred at the workplace and the remaining 3% at public locations. The breakdown for the amount of energy consumed to charge the vehicle was 68% at home, 30% at the workplace, and 2% elsewhere.


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