Energy Secretary Chu poses the Workplace Charging Challenge to US employers

Thirteen major US employers and eight “stakeholder groups” have joined the DOE’s new Workplace Charging Challenge.


Thirteen major US employers and eight “stakeholder groups” have joined the DOE’s new Workplace Charging Challenge, a collaborative effort to increase the number of US employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years. This Challenge is part of the broader EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, announced by President Obama last March, which aims to make EVs as affordable and convenient for the American family as legacy vehicles within the next 10 years.

In a speech at this week’s Washington Auto Show, Energy Secretary Dr Steven Chu outlined the new initiative: “The market for electric vehicles is expanding dramatically, giving drivers more options to save money on gasoline while reducing carbon pollution. These 13 companies are taking strong steps to make charging infrastructure more broadly available to their workforce – setting an example for others to follow and helping America lead the global race for a growing industry.”

(UPDATE: Secretary Steven Chu announces his resignation)

The 13 corporate partners (3M, Chrysler Group, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly and Company, Ford, GE, GM, Google, Nissan, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Tesla, and Verizon) have agreed to assess workforce charging demands, and to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location.

The eight stakeholder organizations are: California PEV Collaborative, CALSTART, Electric Drive Transportation Association, Electrification Coalition, International Parking Institute, NextEnergy, Plug In America, and Rocky Mountain Institute.

“The new generation of plug-in vehicles offers employers an unprecedented opportunity to step forward and be leaders in the fight to prevent climate change and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil,” said CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel. “EV-friendly workplaces can make plug-in vehicles practical and affordable.”

CALSTART is managing a national campaign, the Employer Electric Vehicle Initiative (EEVI), which will act a central point of information on best practices, and enable facilities managers to exchange information about the practical issues associated with workplace charging.

“Many employers are interested in the concept and want to support employees who buy EVs, but they want to do it right and at the lowest cost,” Boesel said. “Our campaign is targeting one workplace charger for every three plug-in EVs sold because the number of chargers should keep pace with the overall growth of the market. Yet, not all plug-in drivers go to work every day, so a one to one ratio is not critical. If EV sales increase at a rate similar to [that of] hybrid cars, that will result in a need for 300,000 workplace chargers by 2017.”

Employers interested in becoming part of the EEVI may contact CALSTART’s Jasna Tomic at (626) 744-5695 or

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