By Jonathan Duncan
Vizient Consultant, Facilities and Construction Solutions
In recent years, the world has witnessed a significant shift toward sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation solutions, with electric vehicles (EVs) at the forefront of this movement (11% of new cars sold globally are now fully electric).
As EV adoption continues to rise, the need for a robust and accessible network of EV charging infrastructure has become increasingly apparent. That’s certainly true for healthcare organizations, which can benefit from implementing EV charging infrastructure to meet the increasing EV demand of staff and patients in four important ways.
EV charging infrastructure has a net-positive financial impact. There are several different acquisition models organizations can use to purchase EV charging infrastructure, but all typically allow the organization to generate revenue by charging a fee for use. The initial cost to implement the infrastructure can be recouped over time, essentially making it so the charging stations pay for themselves.
For instance, Vizient’s supplier partners that sell and maintain EV charging infrastructure offer options that may be customized based on the needs of an organization. Below is a table that provides an overview of different acquisition models and how the cost and revenue can be allocated under each.
An additional positive financial impact can be obtained through tax incentives and rebates. The types and amounts vary depending on city, state, county and even electricity provider, but almost all states and many cities have programs that offer such incentives. (Learn about three ways sustainability can drive cost savings in this blog.)
Impact on green initiatives
Many healthcare organizations have sustainability initiatives and programs to address their impact on the environment. EV charging infrastructure promotes the use of EVs throughout an organization’s campus, which increases the use of EVs among staff and patients. Increased use of EVs reduces exposure to vehicle emissions, which can have a measurable impact on public health, including fewer respiratory illnesses and a reduction in related healthcare costs.
EV charging stations also can harness energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind, which reduces an organization’s carbon footprint and supports the growth of green energy initiatives. Some charging stations are equipped with advanced energy management systems that optimize the charging process to minimize energy waste. These systems can monitor the charge level of the EV battery and adjust the charging rate accordingly to maximize efficiency, effectively managing the energy consumption of the charging infrastructure.
Many EV charging stations are equipped with smart charging technology that allows users to schedule charging during off-peak hours when electricity rates and grid demand are lower. This not only reduces the cost of charging but also helps distribute the energy load more evenly, making better use of existing electrical infrastructure (and could be ideal for charging fleet vehicles). This is particularly important in states challenged with meeting energy demand.
Impact on data-driven insights
EV charging networks are typically administered and managed by the implementing organization’s own staff. This allows the organization to collect, analyze and use the data from EV charging stations, which can provide valuable insights and benefits. For example, electricity demand patterns can be forecasted using this data, allowing for more efficient grid planning and management, which can also have a positive impact on an organization’s sustainability initiatives. Data obtained from EV charging stations also can be used to estimate the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from EV adoption and charging from renewable sources.
Impact on staff retention, recruitment and organizational image
Investing in EV charging infrastructure can increase the use of EVs by employees, which allows them to save on maintenance costs and reduce their personal carbon footprint. Making EV charging infrastructure available to staff means employees can now confidently switch to an EV without fear of running out of electricity when they come to work. EV charging infrastructure also can be attractive to prospective employees who already own an EV.
Additionally, networked EV charging stations are viewable on public EV charging maps and locator apps such as PlugShare and Google Maps, increasing the likelihood that prospective patients hear about these amenities.
EV charging stations are a vital component of the growing electric mobility ecosystem. They provide a convenient and efficient way for EV owners to charge their vehicles, offer numerous benefits, and play a significant role in advancing green initiatives and sustainable transportation.
About the author
Jonathan Duncan brings more than 10 years of experience in supply chain management, six of which have involved supporting construction projects in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Vizient, Jonathan worked as a sourcing and contracting manager at an academic medical center, where he was integral to developing and implementing a sourcing strategy for a $2.5 billion project portfolio. Duncan’s areas of expertise and professional skills include construction management and program management in the healthcare construction industry, change management and consensus building, and developing and executing strategic customer solutions. He earned a Bachelor of Science in supply chain management at the University of Texas at Dallas.