Transportation electrification is happening rapidly. Businesses and government agencies are installing more electric vehicle chargers each year than ever before, however, procurement is not the finish line. EV chargers require regular maintenance and monitoring after installation.
When and if chargers develop issues and go-out-service, there are immediate negative effects. Public agencies that provide charging as an amenity suffer damage to their image and loss of charging revenues, and fleet operators endanger their ability to adequately recharge vehicles between shifts. Despite large capital investments in vehicles and charging infrastructure, few organizations have prepared adequately for how to maintain and operate chargers after purchase. Fewer still track and manage chargers as key assets, although they should.
Common Charger Problems
Four common issues require charger repairs:
Like all equipment, chargers are subject to component failures. Understanding the root cause of the problem, however, requires expertise and knowing the history of the equipment. A model failure, for example, may not be immediately obvious.
The most common issue is with the charging station’s software providing access control for the charger, billing, and adjusting the speed of charging to minimize costs. When the charging station manufacturer and network provider fail to coordinate, over-the-air software updates to either solution can cause a fault.
Manufacturing and Design Failures
Quality issues in the manufacturing and design of equipment should be rare but can happen. In a new industry, like EV charging they may occur more frequently due to the number of new startups.
Accidents and Vandalism
Physical damage to chargers from accidents or vandalism is inevitable. Drivers may hit a charger, tree, or storm damage can occur, and vandalism is also a concern. Copper cables can make chargers a target. Installing bollards and improving site security are ways of proactively addressing both concerns.
How AssetWorks Can Help
Damaged chargers impact the organization’s bottom-line, external image, and internal support for EV initiatives. Tracking charger status and implementing regularly scheduled preventative maintenance is common-sense, but it is a daunting task to undertake without software. AssetWorks understands that for organizations to deploy EV chargers in large numbers, asset management software is key to maintaining high charger uptime and efficiency.
AssetWorks Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) can be upgraded with our FuelFocusEV solution to provide the industry’s first comprehensive solution for EV charger maintenance and management. EAM users that upgrade to FuelFocusEV have special access to API integrations for the industry’s largest charging networks. Charger status reports provide insight on how many stations are in use, out of service, or broke., With EAM, chargers can be analyzed by condition rating, asset age, inspection and maintenance history, and viewed on a map for a birds-eye view of charging operations.
Our Esri GIS integration eliminates having to play “Where’s Waldo” when it comes to locating chargers. Often, knowing the charger’s street address is not enough. In large facilities, a charger may be on one or more than a hundred identical units spread across a facility- essentially hidden in plain sight. We understand the value of visual data and spatial accuracy, and with AssetWorks EAM, you won’t waste time searching parking garages, surface lots, or street curbs for specific chargers. With EAM, the staff knows exactly where to go to perform inspections and work orders. For staff, having asset information automatically updated on a map means fewer data errors.
EAM is a unique tool to help organizations successfully deploy new zero-emission technology like charging infrastructure. With existing chargers starting to age and hundreds of new chargers planned in the next decade, now is the time to plan and prepare for charger maintenance. The first step is to meet with your Facility colleagues and reach out to the AssetWorks team to learn more about our EAM and EV software.