Electric vehicles have the potential to save their owners hundreds, even thousands, of dollars each year in energy costs. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a broad adoption of electric drive vehicles would also reduce U.S. foreign oil dependence by 80 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent.
But many consumers are reluctant to buy because electrical charging stations are scarce. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are 5,894 electric charging stations in the U.S, compared to approximately 121,000 gas stations in the U.S. That creates a lot of uncertainty — no one wants to be stranded in their car without power.
So, the Department of Energy recently launched its Workplace Charging Challenge program, seeking to increase the number of employers offering the service by tenfold within five years. The workplace is a crucial part of the solution. That’s because most work shifts are about eight hours and the typical electric charging station can fill a car battery in about half that time.
Verizon Wireless recently installed two charging stations at its Southern California Region headquarters in Orange County. The 240-volt EV ChargePoint Station in the employee parking lot can provide a full charge for most electric car batteries in about four hours.
“Saving money and time by not going to the pump excites me,” said Shawn Tiqui, an associate director-network services at Verizon Wireless. “But it’s more than that; I’m lowering greenhouse emissions and that’s good for the environment.”
Nationally, Verizon Wireless has installed 12 other charging stations at office locations across the country under its own initiative to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.