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Efficiency Technology Energy Fall 2017

Workplace Charging at MGE

Electric vehicles (EVs) are on track to make up 54% of new car sales by 2040. That means more employees will be buying EVs and looking for workplace charging. It may be a good time for employers to consider installing EV charging equipment.

Workplace charging

MGE employees appreciate the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles at work. The company will install a third charging station by the end of the year.

Getting started

MGE went through the process of determining whether or not to offer workplace charging for employees.

"With support from management, we developed a team of representatives from departments around the company," said Debbie Branson, MGE's New Market Manager. "We then surveyed employees to gauge their interest and learn about any concerns."

The survey revealed that most respondents support workplace charging stations at MGE. Additionally, many indicated they would be more likely to buy an EV if MGE had charging stations onsite.

"Our survey confirmed that our employees understand the benefits of EVs and would value having the option to charge at work," Branson explained. "Employee support, combined with our corporate initiative of advancing the growth of alternative-fuel vehicles, reinforced that we should proceed with workplace charging at MGE."

Charger type and location

MGE installed its first workplace charging stations in March. Selecting a charger type, deciding on the number of chargers and finding an installation site are important considerations.

  • Chargers: MGE installed two Level 2 chargers. These chargers have a faster charging time and allow for multiple users at a time. Each has two ports, which means four EVs can charge from our workplace chargers simultaneously.
  • Installation site: The key factor in choosing an installation site is proximity to power supply. MGE's two chargers were installed in a corner of the employee parking ramp at the General Office Facility. "We chose this location because it was an area close to the electrical panels that serve the parking ramp, making it a cost-effective location to install the chargers," said Tim Bliefernicht, MGE's Director of Facilities Management.

Employees are pleased with MGE's workplace chargers, including Denise Hilleshiem. She drives her Ford C-Max Energi to work daily.

"I have an all-electric driving range of up to 20 miles, and a gas-plus-electric driving range of 570 miles," she explained. "Since my commute to work is 23 miles, I was excited about our workplace charging. I can charge when I get to work in the morning and again after lunch if I run an errand. It’s very convenient."

MGE installs third charging station

In addition to reduced emissions and lower maintenance costs, EVs are less expensive to drive.

"In fact, driving an EV in Wisconsin is equivalent to buying gasoline at $1.34 per gallon. That is 46% less than the current price of gasoline," said Dave Toso, MGE Senior Engineer. "As more people want to reap those benefits, they will buy EVs and look for workplace charging."

This is happening at MGE. Due to increased interest in workplace charging, MGE is installing another Level 2 employee charging station at its West Campus Cogeneration Facility (WCCF).

"Through our survey and other feedback from employees, we learned that we have employees at our other company locations who are interested in workplace charging too," Branson said. "We're responding to that interest with the new installation at WCCF."

MGE can help

Workplace charging offers many benefits including employee attraction and retention and support for sustainable initiatives. If you are interested in learning more about or establishing a workplace charging program at your company, MGE can help. We will:

  • Assist with employee survey development. MGE has worked with several employers in the area to implement workplace charging. The employee survey has been an invaluable tool. "They (employers who have worked with MGE) report more than 90% of respondents believe their employer should install EV charging stations for employees," Branson said.
  • Discuss benefits of workplace charging.
  • Go over charges and the impact on your utility bill.
  • Help develop policies and procedures for the program.
  • Help determine an installation site.
  • Hold employee information sessions.
  • Connect businesses that have workplace charging so they can learn from each other.

Call MGE at 252-7007 or visit our website to get more information about workplace charging.