News, more big news, and even bigger news. And annual elections too. We had some new faces to start with, over pizza and snacks.
The Workplace Charging Challenge held one of its updates in Alexandria on Tuesday; several club members were in attendance. This is very significant, because workplace charging has been a consistent and major enticement to EV adoption. Yet, there are still major issues to be tackled, and not just at Federal offices. So far, 150 employers are officially signed up to the program (though of course there are others below the radar). These large companies claim over three thousand EVSEs, both Level 1 and Level 2; L2 at 240V seems to be on the rise. Utilities attended too, including Pepco (hi Barbara!).
Vehicle rotation and allocation is clearly an issue; Jill from EVI suggests we establish an etiquette while the problem is still fresh. Some companies have a system for rotation, while some simply demand their employees work it out themselves. An option already on the table is a card in your window, with scheduling information. Some people have been doing this for a while; some have their contact info on the card, or for privacy a QR code (there’s a Kickstarter project for this). One option for EVSEs that charge a fee is a massive increase after a few hours, to force vehicle rotation. All the while, free L1 outlets for engine block heaters still exist; this is taken for granted in Alaska, with no assignment or cost issues. Meanwhile, ‘peak power’ and brownouts are largely not an issue; it was reported that demand spikes are only a few hours, a few times a year. A breakout session discussed leased properties; Alan from the Virginia Clean Cities Coalition is seeking liaisons, for recruiting more workplaces.
On a related note, we discussed shops and hotels allowing charging, to attract and retain customers- it’s just good business. Member Dennis reported on the new MOM’s location on New York Avenue, with charging included from the start. DC has a policy, ‘for all modes of transport.’ Developers must consider bike parking and Metro accessibility as well as handicapped access, and now EVs. The airport parking/charging question was floated, with many similar possibilities.
Auto show season is fast approaching. We’ve certainly had great outreach at the DC show, for decades now. This time, the Baltimore Auto Show in the Convention Center has a receptive leader. Volunteers are needed, both for DC (Jan 23-Feb 1) and now Baltimore too (Jan 1-4). Display EVs are certainly appreciated (limited charging is available near both venues). At least as important are enthusiastic e-vangelizers to answer questions, particularly on weekdays- see Dennis to volunteer. Continue reading