Do you drive an electric vehicle (EV) or plug-in hybrid to work? Would you like to be able to charge your car at Fermilab? The Sustainability Committee wants to hear from you if you do, or even if you plan to in the future. Take a minute to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you drive, how often, the distance you commute, and if you would be interested in on-site charging stations if they were available for a nominal fee. If you know of anyone else who commutes electric, let us know so we can contact him or her.
Part of the new Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, urges federal facilities to encourage employees to commute to work in electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles to decrease the amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Having a charging station available at work can be valuable by ensuring that your vehicle is topped off and ready to go when it’s time to leave work. A complete charge with a 240-volt charger can take as little as an hour, and a “quick charge” to 80 percent of capacity, less than a half hour. The fee for charging at other DOE sites ranges from zero to $1.25 per charge — certainly less than topping off the petroleum tank!
Several DOE sites, including DOE Office of Science headquarters at Germantown, Maryland, have instituted this service for employees. Although there are a number of obstacles, including how to pay for the electricity, other DOE sites, including Argonne, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest, have found various means to overcome them. If Fermilab is to consider making charging stations accessible to employees and users, we need to have a better idea of the potential demand among our population, and you can help by providing us data.
Driving an EV helps the environment by significantly lowering the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the air per mile, and the vehicles can potentially save money for the owner, since electrical power is relatively inexpensive. Although EVs are more expensive to buy, the cost can be offset by the cheap power and various tax incentives. The federal tax incentive can be as much as $7,500. Although Illinois has suspended the tax incentive program, electric vehicles are eligible for a special two-year license plate registration for $35, which is a substantial reduction from the usual $101 per year fee.
So, please respond to the above email soon and weigh in on the desirability of charging stations on our site.