Plug-in vehicle drivers may be associated with the oh-so-warm and fuzzy and peaceful green movement, but there's apparently some static being caused at offices with on-site vehicle chargers and the frustration that happens when all the chargers are in use. Enough so that someone coined a new phrase: "charge rage." To the rescue comes the largest maker of said chargers with a new set of solutions to try and keep the peace.

ChargePoint, the company formerly known as Coulomb Technologies, has come up with a list of commandments for workplaces to follow. Naturally, the first of the five suggestions is, wait for it, buy more chargers for your employees. Slightly less obvious is the suggestion to locate the chargers within reach of multiple parking spots, and add some signage. Enacting some sort of reservations system is also a good idea that goes hand in hand with an e-mail communications system, so that plug-in vehicles that have been all charged up can be moved appropriately. Finally, there's the idea of "throwing the keys in a bowl" at the office so that anyone can move a fully-charged vehicle.

ChargePoint says it has installed more than 15,300 US charging stations, and more than half of those are in workplaces. Check out the company's press release below and note that the file image above is totally unrelated to charge rage but we liked it anyway.
Show full PR text
ChargePoint Offers Five Tips to Avoid "Charge Rage" and Congestion at Workplace EV Charging Stations

Campbell, Calif. – Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular and as that happens, congestion at charging stations is bound to happen. Just at the end of 2013, EV and plug-in sales had reached nearly 170,000 with about 10,000 sales in December alone. For the majority of these EV drivers, charging at work is the second most popular location to plug in after home charging.

ChargePoint, the world's largest electric vehicle charging network in the world, has over 15,300 charging locations nationally, over half of which are located at workplaces. As such, we have collected a list of how companies are dealing with a high demand for charging at work keeping drivers happy and plugged in.

1. Scale Up

Workplaces have recognized they need one charging spot for every two EVs. This allows people to plug in when they get to work and then move their charged car at lunch so others can plug in during the afternoon. As EV popularity rises, it's also important to anticipate the future need for charging stations. Don't just install the number of ports needed now, pre-wire and install for what you will need in the years to come.

2. Location, Location, Location

Install the stations in a place that multiple parking spots can access the port. Ensure there is adequate signage that makes it clear the parking spots are for plug-in vehicles. For drivers - don't hog an EV parking space - only park in designated charging spots if you need to charge.

3. Valet 'Bowl'

Many companies have a bowl at the front desk where employees leave their keys so that their car, once charged, can be moved to make room for another employee.

4. Get on the List

Companies have found that creating a community dashboard or email list connecting EV drivers within a company is a good way to ensure cooperation and efficiency in getting everyone plugged in and charged.

5. Book Your Spot

Some companies treat EV parking spots like a conference room. Also, through ChargePoint, companies can also set up a reservations feature that drivers can access on the mobile app and website.

For the most part, EV drivers are very respectful and we'd like to keep it that way! Don't unplug people even if you're in desperate need for a charge. On the other hand, if you don't need a full charge, leave a note letting folks know it's OK to unplug you.

About ChargePoint

ChargePoint is the largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network in the world, with more than 15,000 charging locations and a 70%+ market share. Ranked #1 by leading independent research firm, Navigant Research, ChargePoint makes advanced hardware and best-in-class cloud based software. ChargePoint's open network is utilized by many leading EV hardware makers and encourages all EV charging manufacturers to join.

ChargePoint's real-time network information including the availability of charging locations throughout the nation is available through the ChargePoint mobile app, online and via the navigation systems in top-selling EVs including the new BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf. Every 10 seconds, a driver connects to a ChargePoint station and by initiating over 3.7 million charging sessions, ChargePoint drivers have saved over 3 million gallons of gasoline and driven 65 million gas free miles.

For more information about ChargePoint, visit www.chargepoint.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Chuck
      • 4 Months Ago
      I've been driving a LEAF for three years now and have arrived at the conclusion that level one charging at the workplace is probably best. It's cheap to install for the employer and most of us are at work for at least eight hours and some of us as much at twelve. My range in normally more than enough so I seldom need to charge at work but in order to take advantage of the climate control timer it would be nice to be on grid power. There have been times when I had to make a trip to a city about 50 miles away and really needed that charge point at work not because there weren't charge points along the way but because I didn't have time to stop and charge.
      atc98092
      • 4 Months Ago
      No way in heck I'd leave my keys around for anyone to pick up. I'll happily move it myself, but no one else is going to do it.
      jebibudala
      • 4 Months Ago
      Rich people problems.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'll repeat my previous suggestion: Hire a valet to handle the logistics of shuffling the vehicles. Cheaper than adding more EVSEs, and adds a job to the economy.
        Mart
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        How much do you think a valet earns in a year? How much for a L1 or L2 charger?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Mart
          Depends on how many EVSE, and which sort. But, you do make a point.
        DarylMc
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Hi Letstakeawalk When it comes to DC fast chargers I absolutely agree. They are not cheap and should be utilised as well as possible. If available and installed in suitable locations, a DC fast charger is going to double the useful range of vehicles like Nissan Leaf..
      Ducman69
      • 4 Months Ago
      Or just buy a damn plugin hybrid and not deal with this nonsense, and just charge it when you are at home.
      • 4 Months Ago
      we have a pedestal at work with 4 110 and 4 220 volt plugs. we have 8 EV's but only 5 can park close enough. we created an email group list - if you need a charge, you ask. if you get full, you vacate your space (e.g. for lunch) and email it's available.
      Aaron
      • 4 Months Ago
      The picture shows the i-MiEV L3 DC fast charging while the LEAF is using standard L2 even though there is another L3 connector available. Guess he didn't get his LEAF with the DC fast charger.
        Naturenut99
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        Yes, he may not have the DC option. But it's possible he didn't need DC charging at that point. Why stress the battery for no reason ? Also if it's a pay station, the DC costs more.
        Naturenut99
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Aaron
        Plus, rarely are the pics specific to the story. They had this pic and it was close enough to what they were talking about.
      TurboFroggy
      • 4 Months Ago
      Best thing to do would put in 5x as many dumb EVSEs for the same $ as a Chargepoint station costs. That way there are plenty of plugs for everyone involved. Chargepoint EVSEs are $5000 a piece, a regular dumb EVSE, around $1000.
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