Employees could soon find it easy to keep plug-in electric cars charged because 26 major corporations and government entities will start offering charging in their parking lots.
Last month, 13 U.S. corporations signed on as charter members to the Department of Energy's Workplace Charging Challenge, which commits them to installing EV charging infrastructure at the workplace.
Workplace charging is an untapped resource that presents a significant opportunity to vastly expand the country's plug-in charging infrastructure.
The idea is to make EV charging easily accessible to encourage people to buy these vehicles. Since cars are parked in employer parking lots much of the day, the ability to charge while at work can potentially double the driving range.
The first to sign on were Google, 3M, GE, Siemens, Verizon, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly, Chrysler Group, Ford, GM, Nissan, San Diego Gas & Electric and Tesla.
Now, 13 more companies will join them: Coca-Cola, Dell, Facebook, Hertz, AVL, Bentley Systems, Biogen Idec, Bloomberg, Hartford Financial Services Group, National Grid, NRG Energy, Osram Sylvania, Raytheon and Southern California Edison. It's also open to government agencies: The city of Sacramento and New York Power Authority have signed on.
It's part of DOE's EV Everywhere program, announced by President Barack Obama last year, to make plug-ins as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.
Electricity is much cheaper to power a vehicle — generally equivalent to about $1 per gallon; these cars need to catch on to make a dent in climate change.