PALO ALTO, Calif.
-- An increasing
number of electric-vehicle driving employees at Silicon Valley companies are
finding it hard to access car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of
"charge rage" among drivers.
Installation of electric vehicle
charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand,
creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Peter Graf, chief sustainability
officer for German software company SAP, says the company's 16 charging
stations are now not nearly enough for the 61 employees who drive electric
Graf says cars are getting unplugged
while charging, creating animosity between employees. A charge can take as little as 30 minutes.
"Cars are getting unplugged while
they are actively charging, and that's a problem," Graf told the
newspaper. "Employees are calling and messaging each other, saying, 'I see
you're fully charged, can you please
move your car?'"
The company is drafting guidelines for
ChargePoint, which operates
a large EV-charging network, says companies should provide one charging port
for every two of their employees' electric vehicles.
Companies everywhere will probably
begin facing similar problems.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. expects
800,000 electric vehicles to be on state roads by 2020 - there are only 20,000
now - creating a high demand for charging stations. Currently, there are about
5,000 public and workplace charging stations in California and 20,000
"Having two chargers and 20 electric cars is worse than
having no chargers and 20 electric
cars. If you are going to do this, you have to be willing to continue to scale
it," said Pat Romano, CEO of ChargePoint.
can be expensive, especially at sites where companies are leasing space and
don't want to invest in permanent charging infrastructure.
Some Valley companies have already
taken steps toward alleviating charge
rage in the workplace.
About 10 percent of Infoblox's 260
employees have electric vehicles, with only six charging stations.
So, the company set up an EV user
distribution list and a shared calendar for booking time at the charging
"You can only book for a two-hour
window. But Rule No. 1 is: No one touches anyone else's car without
permission," said David Gee, the company's executive vice president of