Fleet Management

How to Implement Home EV Charging for Fleets: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Electric vehicles (EVs) offer cost savings and alignment with environmental goals for fleets. Home EV charging can reduce costs and boost employee satisfaction for fleet management companies. 

Benefits of Home EV Charging for Fleet Companies

A home EV charging program for your fleet has several benefits:

  • Cost and time savings: Charging a fleet vehicle at home reduces the number of trips to the fleet yard. This saves your employees time and reduces vehicle wear and tear. Home EV charging also ensures the vehicle is charged for the next day.
  • Lower reliance on charging stations: Public charging stations can be limited. Charging an EV at home frees up time for your employees because they’re not waiting for a station to become available.
  • Reduces infrastructure needs at the fleet facility: Home EV charging means you don’t have to invest in the infrastructure at the fleet yard to charge vehicles. 

Assessing the Feasibility of Home EV Charging

Deciding to implement a home EV charging program is a big decision. Before launching your program, assess each employee’s ability to charge an EV. Ask your employees:

  • Do you have a garage or driveway? If your employees don’t have off-street parking, they likely won’t be able to charge an EV at home.
  • Do you have sufficient electrical supply? An electrical assessment tells you whether someone’s home can charge an EV.
  • Do you own your home? If your employee rents their home, they need approval before making their home EV charging ready.

Understanding EV Charging Costs 

EV charging cost is more than the cost of the electricity used to charge a vehicle. You also consider the infrastructure of the building where the charging is happening. An employee’s home may already be outfitted with the necessary infrastructure to charge a vehicle, while another employee’s home may require significant renovations.

Electrical cost reimbursement

You wouldn’t expect employees to pay for the fuel for their fleet vehicles, so you shouldn’t expect them to cover the cost of the increase to their electric bill to charge their electric fleet vehicle. 

You can monitor and reimburse electricity used to charge a fleet vehicle at home with:

A dedicated electric meter or submeter: This meter monitors electricity consumption. You need a meter dedicated to just the EV charging circuit to monitor the electricity consumption from EV charging. If your employee has a personal EV vehicle they charge, there is no way to distinguish whether they are charging their person or fleet vehicle.

A networked meter: Networked meters can allow company accounts. Your company administrator can get usage reports sent directly to them. A networked meter will also clarify whether someone is charging their personal or fleet EV.

Telematics: Telematics lets you measure electrical usage by vehicle instead of charger or meter. 

Additional costs

Home EV charging costs may include:

  • Electrical work
  • Associated permits
  • Labor
  • Hardware for charging
  • Network fees

While offering a ‘one size fits all’ program may be tempting for your employees by providing a contractor to assess and make changes to an employee’s home, a more flexible option is better.

A flexible EV home charging option lets your employees choose from various charging options, hardware, and network activity.

You also need to consider what utility provider your employee uses. Energy rates may vary, and you may be better off using a flat reimbursement policy.  

Selecting the Right Home EV Chargers for Your Fleet

There are several home EV chargers for your fleet to choose from.

Direct current fast chargers (DCFC) can quickly charge a vehicle in less than an hour depending on the charger’s output ability. DCFCs can be wall-mounted or via a pedestal. 

Level 1 chargers can be plugged into a household outlet. They are slower than other charging options and are best used over weekends.

Level 2 chargers can fully charge a vehicle in a few hours. These chargers are best used for overnight or weekend charging. Level 2 chargers cost less than DCFC chargers.

Mobile chargers are used in emergencies when a vehicle is out on the road and has run out of power. 

Key features to look for in chargers

When evaluating EV chargers for your business, consider your budget and needs. DCFC chargers are more expensive than level 2 chargers but can quickly charge a vehicle in about an hour.  You also want to consider the total cost of ownership with each charger, including installation, operation, cost reimbursement, and operational expenses. 

Implementation and Management 

Before implementing a home EV charging program for your employees, you need to know each employee’s capability to charge a vehicle at home. 

Once you know each employee’s capability, decide whether you want to invest in any infrastructure improvements needed to prepare employee homes for EV charging.

You must also select a way to monitor each employee’s EV charging electrical consumption and choose the best charger for each home.

Training for drivers on proper usage and safety

Train your fleet drivers on how to use and charge an EV properly. Make sure they’re aware of:

  • How to properly charge their vehicle
  • What affects charging speed
  • How quickly their vehicle can obtain a full charge
  • How the outside temperature can affect a vehicle’s charge
  • How to maximize the range of each charge
  • How to submit electrical usage charges for reimbursement

Depending on the type of electric meter you use, you can also monitor the electrical usage that charges each vehicle.

Electric vehicles as well as their charging options can significantly reduce costs. You can optimize your fleet by understanding each employee’s needs, monitoring electrical consumption, which chargers are most efficient for each employee’s home, and training employees on safe and efficient use.