With the world taking a step towards a cleaner and greener future, more and more businesses and organizations are opting for using electric vehicles in their fleets.
And with battery-electric vehicles come the need for charging infrastructure, making charging stations an essential part of the electric vehicle ecosystem.
Like any other piece of infrastructure, electric vehicle charging stations also need regular maintenance to function smoothly.
- Proper planning and design of electric vehicle charging stations is essential for easy maintenance
- Understanding the importance of electric vehicle infrastructure as a long-term investment can decrease overall ownership cost
- The number of charging stations, power requirements, and location are all key factors to consider during planning and design to avoid maintenance issues
- Regular maintenance checks can prevent downtimes, reduce repair expenses, protect reputation, enhance the user experience, and save time and effort associated with repair work
- Lack of expertise can be overcome by partnering with established EVCI providers, hiring experienced professionals, or developing a maintenance plan
- Proper training of maintenance personnel is crucial to avoid safety hazards and ensure compliance with adopted standards
- Ignoring manufacturer guidelines can result in decreased performance and lifespan of the infrastructure put in place, as well as voided warranty claims
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Poor Planning and Design:
The first reason why the maintenance of EV infrastructure may fail is due to poor planning and design. If the charging station has been installed without proper planning, it is likely to lead to problems down the line.
Consider factors such as the number of charging stations required, total power requirements, and the location of the charging spaces in advance. Proper planning and design are essential for ensuring easy and smooth maintenance.
Understanding the Importance of planing:
The first reason why poor planning and design can lead to maintenance issues in EV charging infrastructure is the lack of understanding about its importance.
Businesses and organizations should understand that EV infrastructure should be treated as a long-term investment. Proper planning and design can ensure that these investments last longer, decreasing the overall cost of ownership.
For example, considering factors such as load management, power levels and cable management can ensure that the infrastructure can handle the demands placed on it. By focusing on these factors, businesses can ensure that their EV infrastructure operates effectively throughout its lifespan.
Number of Charging Stations:
The number of charging stations required is another factor that can affect maintenance issues for companies.
A common mistake that businesses make is underestimating the demand for charging spaces, leading to inadequate charging opportunities being installed. Therefore, it is essential to consider the number of charging spaces required based on factors such as the number of electric vehicles owned by employees and the maximum capacity of the charging spaces.
Consider these factors from the beginning, businesses can ensure that they have enough charging stations to keep up with the demand.
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Total Power Requirements:
Another critical factor that businesses should consider during the planning and design process is total power requirements. Lack of power can lead to numerous maintenance issues, such as the infrastructure not operating as intended.
Modern EV charging requires a sturdy power supply. The total power requirements should consider how many vehicles need to be charged simultaneously, the type of equipment used, and the station’s overall capacity.
By ensuring that the battery-electric vehicles and the plug in hybrid charging places has sufficient power, businesses and organizations can have less maintenance issues and ensure the smooth operation of the infrastructure.
Location of Charging Stations:
The location of charging spaces is another factor that businesses need to consider when installing charging equipment. It can affect maintenance issues negatively, such as accidents, vandalism, and misuse.
It is vital to consider factors such as accessibility and security in the location of charging stations. EV charging should be placed in well-lit areas or monitored by security cameras to prevent theft and damage when placed in public.
The availability of publicly accessible charging stations is a crucial matter for most drivers. It is essential for such stations to be widely accessible and offer enough space for EV owners to park and charge their cars.
These factors are a must-have for an EV charging station to be convenient and practical for EV owners.
Inadequate Maintenance Schedules:
EV charging infrastructure needs regular maintenance to ensure smooth functioning. Many fail however to put in the effort to set proper schedules.
Deferring maintenance can lead to breakdowns and even permanent damage to the charging stations, reducing their lifespan. It is essential for the charging companies and networks to establish a regular maintenance schedule for ev charging stations and adhere to it.
Prevent Downtimes and Reduce Repair Expenses
Regular checkups help identify potential issues before they turn into major headaches. The cost of replacing a small component could be significantly lower than repairing major damage.
By establishing a schedule, businesses can avoid unplanned downtimes, reduce repair expenses, and save money in the long run.
Protect Your Reputation
Imagine the frustration experienced by an EV driver arriving at your charging station, only to find out it is not charging? Such a faulty experience could harm your company’s reputation and deter potential customers from patronizing your business.
By maintaining your charging stations at regular intervals, businesses can ensure that their infrastructure is fully operational and avoid the negative feedback that comes with downtime.
Enhance the User Experience
For the EV drivers: electric vehicle maintenance checks help identify user experience issues, such as worn-out connectors, brake fluid levels, brake pads, damaged cables, battery maintenance or non-functional touch screens.
By doing this EV maintenance, drivers can ensure that everything is safe and easy for them to use, with all systems, a good battery life and components in good working condition.
Save Time and Effort
By having a proper maintenance schedule for charging spaces, businesses can save time and effort associated with organizing, scheduling, and managing repair work.
With a schedule, maintenance teams can predict and anticipate maintenance needs, ensuring quicker and more efficient repairs.
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Lack of Expertise:
EV charging infrastructure is new, and many organizations do not have the necessary expertise to maintain them. In such cases, professional assistance is vital for ensuring proper maintenance.
Hiring experienced professionals can help organizations implement adequate maintenance policies and ensure all parts and equipment are checked and maintained regularly.
Overcoming Lack of Expertise in EVCI Maintenance
Overcoming the lack of expertise in EVCI maintenance is possible through the following three approaches:
Partner with Established EVCI Maintenance Providers
Partnering with established EVCI maintenance providers can help businesses overcome the challenge of lack of expertise. These providers have the necessary technical expertise required to uphold the effectiveness of EVCI.
Additionally, they provide training programs, which can help businesses close the knowledge gap, should they decide to take the maintenance in-house.
Hire Experienced Professionals Internally
Alternatively, businesses can directly hire experienced professionals to maintain their EVCI internally. Properly training and equipping professionals with the necessary skills and tools can help ensure that their experience is highly effective.
Additionally, this approach allows for tighter company control since maintenance is in-house.
Develop a Maintenance Plan
Finally, developing a maintenance plan can help businesses overcome the challenge of lack of expertise. The plan can outline points of inspection, equipment, and tools required, recommended schedules, and necessary training programs required.
The most crucial part of a maintenance plan is ensuring that all the policy’s variables align with the organization’s strategic business objectives.
EV charging infrastructure requires competent maintenance personnel to keep the charging stations running smoothly. Without proper training, staff may overlook potentially dangerous issues, resulting in equipment malfunction and even electrocution.
Organizations must ensure their maintenance personnel receive proper training on electric car charging infrastructure maintenance and safety procedures.
Safety should be a top priority when it comes to operating and maintaining electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Lack of proper knowledge and training could lead to severe accidents, including electrocution.
To prevent these instances from happening, organizations must ensure their maintenance personnel is well trained and equipped with the knowledge to work around high-voltage equipment safely.
Avoid Safety Hazards
By understanding the correct procedures in maintaining electric vehicle charging infrastructure, staff can avoid potential safety hazards caused by improper handling of equipment.
For example, going near live wires or touching equipment before disconnecting power sources may lead to serious or even fatal accidents.
Efficient Equipment Maintenance
Proper training ensures that staff knows equipment maintenance procedures and repair protocols. This, in turn, avoids the need for expensive replacements of damaged equipment, ensuring businesses come in under budget with less maintenance, and the infrastructure stays operational for longer.
Compliance with Adopted Standards
Many states, cities, and regulatory bodies have set specific standards that electric charging infrastructure should meet. Properly trained staff will ensure that your organization meets these standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure maintenance.
This not only keeps your staff and customers safe but also helps avoid any legal implications arising from non-compliance.
Ignoring Manufacturer Guidelines:
Every electric vehicle charging infrastructure has unique specifications and maintenance requirements that manufacturers provide in their manuals.
Ignoring these guidelines can lead to a decrease in rapid charging and infrastructure performance, resulting in decreased lifespans and early equipment failure.
Organizations must follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to the letter to prevent equipment malfunction and maintain its peak performance.
Manufacturers provide guidelines for charging infrastructure to maintain optimal performance. For example, the charging infrastructure equipment’s voltage requirements must be within a specific range.
If an organization ignores this guideline and provides a voltage outside the range, the charging infrastructure’s batteries could be damaged, and the energy delivered by the charging power can drop from the expected rate. This, in turn, can affect the electric vehicle’s battery longevity, causing it to fail prematurely.
Increases Usable Lifespan:
A charging infrastructure is an expensive investment, and organizations expect it to last a long time. Ignoring the manufacturer’s guidelines can decrease their lifespan. Maintenance requirements, such as cleaning the equipment, must be performed regularly, as stated in the manufacturer’s manual.
Dust, dirt, and debris can clog the charging equipment, cause it to overheat, and eventually lead to equipment failure. When an organization ignores guidelines, they risk reducing the infrastructure’s usable lifespan, requiring replacing the equipment sooner than anticipated.
Avoids Warranty Void:
In the case of any defect or damage to the infrastructure, the manufacturer’s guidelines must be followed to claim warranty. Otherwise, the warranty claim may be rejected by the manufacturer.
Remember, manufacturers are partners with organizations in ensuring the infrastructure performs optimally and lasts long. If an organization contracts a third-party technician who does not follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, this can also result in claims being rejected.
Ignoring guidelines could result in an unwanted increase in costs, and the organization is left with an underperforming, short lifespan charging infrastructure.
As we’ve discussed in this blog post, when it comes to EV charging infrastructure, proper planning and design along with regular maintenance are essential for a smooth functioning system.
It is important to acknowledge the importance of the infrastructure as a long-term investment to minimize ownership costs and disruption from any downtimes. Taking into account the power requirements, number of charging spaces, and location during planning and design can help avoid any potential issues down the road.
Regular checks must be carried out by experienced personnel, following manufacturer guidelines while taking safety precautions to identify minor repair needs before they become major problems. For those lacking expertise or resources, it is highly recommended to partner with established EVCI providers or create an actionable maintenance plan.
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