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Power Up: The Benefits of EV Charger Maintenance

Updated: Jun 11

ev charging station maintenance

Many electric vehicle (EV) drivers are dissatisfied with the experience of charging their cars, according to a JD Power study. Charging station equipment failure is one of the main culprits, especially due to its unpredictable nature and inconvenience to users. Understanding the importance of EV charger maintenance is crucial in promoting their longevity and reliability. This directly impacts user satisfaction and the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Regular EV charging station maintenance and upkeep ensures that equipment remains functional, safe, and efficient, minimizing downtime and maximizing the convenience for EV drivers. As more individuals and businesses shift towards sustainable transportation, the demand for a robust EV infrastructure grows. Therefore, keeping these stations in top working order not only supports the present needs but also encourages a more sustainable future. 

Why Do EV Chargers Stop Working?

Commercial EV charging stations are generally built to be robust and reliable, but like any piece of electronic equipment, they can experience issues from time to time. While specific problems can vary by make, model, and usage patterns, the following are some of the most common reasons that commercial EV charger maintenance is needed:

1. Charger Vandalism and Physical Damage: Publicly accessible EV charging stations are sometimes targets of vandalism, which can result in broken screens, cut cables, or other physical damage that makes them inoperable. Adequate lighting can help prevent vandalism.

2. Electrical Charging Station Issues: Faults in the electrical components, such as issues with the circuitry, failing capacitors, or overloaded systems, can lead to breakdowns. Surges in the power supply or improper installation can also damage the charging station.

3. EV Charger Wear and Tear: Regular use over time can lead to wear and tear. Connectors, cables, and buttons are especially susceptible as they are the parts frequently handled by users. Repeated plugging and unplugging can cause strain and, eventually, failure of these components.

4. Environmental Factors: Exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as extreme temperatures, snow, rain, or UV radiation, may impact the charging station's integrity and functionality. This includes water ingress that can lead to short circuits or corrosion of internal components.

5. Charging Station Software Issues: Software glitches or outdated firmware can cause charging stations to malfunction, leading to various problems, such as vehicle communication errors, user interface issues, or charging session interruptions.

6. Lack of Maintenance: Lack of regular maintenance can lead to the accumulation of debris and dirt, potentially clogging connectors or causing other issues that can interfere with normal operation.

7. EV Charging Station Manufacturing Defects: Though less common due to stringent quality control standards, defects in manufacturing can lead to early failures of components within the charging station. Most EV charger manufacturers offer warranties against defects for a certain period of time.

EV Charger Maintenance Checklist

EV charging station maintenance involves several tasks to ensure proper functioning, safety, and user satisfaction. The specific requirements may vary depending on the type of charging station and manufacturer recommendations. Here are some common EV charging station maintenance tasks:

  •  Regular Charging Station Inspection: Visually inspect the charging station, checking for physical damage, loose connections, or signs of wear and tear.

  • Cleaning: Keep the charging station clean from debris, dirt, and other contaminants that can affect performance.

  • EV Charging Station Software Updates: The charging station's software must be updated to ensure compatibility, functionality, and security.

  • Testing and Calibration: Conduct routine testing to verify proper operation, charging speeds, and connectivity. Calibrate equipment as necessary.

  • Component Checks: Test and inspect various components such as the display screen or touchscreen, connectors, cables, and payment systems to ensure they are working correctly.

  • Networking: Regularly check the network connectivity of the charging station, ensuring it is connected to the management system for monitoring and remote diagnostics.

  • Charger Safety Checks: Assess and address any safety concerns, such as ensuring proper grounding, integrity of electrical connections, and protection against environmental factors.

  • Charging Station Maintenance Logs: Keep detailed records of maintenance activities, inspections, and any issues identified for future reference. This provides a history of maintenance work and enables proactive problem-solving.

Effective EV charger repairs and maintenance involve a proactive approach to identifying and addressing potential issues before they escalate. This helps prevent equipment downtime, which impacts the customer experience. It also helps ensure compliance with relevant safety regulations or electrical standards. To assist with meeting EV charging station safety and compliance, join the GreenLancer platform.

Benefits of Routine Maintenance for EV Charging Stations

Operators must adhere to a comprehensive maintenance schedule. This contributes to a seamless charging experience that reinforces consumers' confidence in electric mobility. By combining proactive management with rapid response to any issues, EV charging stations can deliver on their promise of a cleaner, more sustainable mode of transportation for everyone.

Ensures Optimal EV Charger Performance

Regular upkeep is necessary to preserve the efficiency and reliability of EV charging stations. Without it, stations might deliver slower charging times or experience technical issues, deterring users.

Prevents EV Charging Station Breakdowns

Just like any piece of machinery, EV charging stations need periodic checks to detect and remedy budding problems. This proactivity saves time and money by avoiding the higher costs of emergency repairs or full-scale breakdowns.

Enhances User Safety

The electrical components of charging stations pose potential risks if not properly managed. Scheduled maintenance activities ensure these systems are functioning in accordance with safety protocols, thus protecting users and equipment.

Increases EV Charger Equipment Lifespan

Proactive measures to address wear and tear can significantly elongate the service life of these stations. This not only maximizes the return on investment for charging infrastructure but also contributes to environmental preservation by reducing the demand for new materials.

Supports User Confidence in EV Charging

A well-maintained charging network instills confidence in users, encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles. Reliable and convenient charging experiences reassure drivers that EVs are a practical alternative to traditional gasoline-power vehicles. Therefore, reliable EV charging infrastructure encourages EV adoption, which helps protect the environment. 

EV Charging Station Maintenance & Operations Costs

Let's explore the various expenses related to maintaining EV charging stations, which are primarily electricity, networking, and maintenance and repair costs. The level of electric car charger use will also impact the station's operations and maintenance costs.

Electricity Costs for Electric Car Chargers

The primary ongoing expense for operating an EV charging station is the electricity consumed by charging sessions. The cost will vary depending on the local electricity rates, charging speeds, and the number of charging sessions. Users usually pay for the amount of electricity they use at the EV charging station on a cost-per-kilowatt-hour basis, but others charge a flat fee. 

Networking Costs

For networked EV charging stations, there may be fees associated with connecting to a charging network or service provider. These fees can cover services like remote monitoring, billing, customer support, software updates, and access to charging networks across different locations.

ev charger maintenance

 Some of the most popular EV charging networks include:

  • ChargePoint: With over 31,000 locations and 56,000 total Level 2 and Level 3 charging ports, ChargePoint operates the largest EV public charging network in the United States and is headquartered in California.

  • Tesla Supercharger: As part of Tesla's network, Tesla Superchargers are proprietary charging stations that offer high-speed charging for Tesla vehicles. Tesla Superchargers are strategically placed along major highways and travel routes, with the highest concentration in California.

  • Blink Charging: Blink is another well-known EV charging network offering both Level 2 and DC fast charging stations. They have over 15,000 charging stations in their network across the country.

  • Electrify America: Electrify America operates a growing network of EV charging stations, focusing on DC fast charging. It currently has thousands of charging stations across the United States.

  • EVgo: EVgo is one of the largest public fast-charging networks in the United States, offering over 1,200 fast chargers in their network. The charging stations are powered by 100% renewable energy, contributing to a more sustainable transportation system.

EV Charger Maintenance and Repair Costs

Regular maintenance and occasional repairs are necessary to keep EV charging stations operational and safe. Maintenance costs include equipment inspections, cleaning, software updates, component checks, calibration, safety checks, and other preventive measures. 

Issues with connectors, cables, payment systems, and other components can cause repair costs. However, commercial EV charging station equipment typically comes with manufacturer warranties that can offset or possibly eliminate repair costs for a certain amount of time. 

Charger Payment Processing Costs

If the charging station offers payment options, there may be fees associated with payment processing services. These fees can vary depending on the payment method used (credit card, mobile payment, etc.) and the payment processing provider chosen.

Operating and Administrative Expenses

Additional operating expenses related to administering the charging station may include site management, permits, licenses, customer support, insurance, marketing, and general administrative costs.

Commercial EV Charging Station Equipment Warranties

Many commercial EV chargers include warranties. However, the length of commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging station equipment warranties can vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific model of the charger. 

For example, Enel X Way offers a limited warranty of three years for its commercial charging stations, covering defects in materials and workmanship. Some equipment manufacturers, such as ChargePoint, Wallbox, and EVBox, offer warranty extensions for an additional fee, which can provide longer coverage for certain parts.

EV charging station warranty conditions vary and can include or exclude certain parts like the cable or connectors. Commercial electric car chargers might have different warranty terms compared to residential ones. Charger warranties often do not cover problems from improper installation, abuse, misuse, or unauthorized repairs. Manufacturers sometimes offer optional extended warranties for an additional cost, and it might be worth the additional investment. 

Why Are So Many Commercial EV Charging Stations Broken?

There are several reasons why there are so many commercial EV charging stations in need of repairs. One significant reason is improper maintenance and limited oversight in the electric vehicle (EV) charging industry. According to industry experts, there is a maintenance problem in the electric car charging industry, leading to many broken chargers. Lack of regular inspections, software updates, and preventive measures can contribute to the failure of charging stations.

Another common issue is problems with station connectivity, which accounts for a significant percentage of failed charging sessions. Issues with network connectivity can result in charging stations being unable to communicate with the central network, leading to malfunctioning or non-operational EV chargers.

Additionally, the complexity of charging station technology, including components like connectors, cables, and payment systems, increases the likelihood of equipment failures. These components can experience wear and tear, mechanical failures, or electrical issues, affecting the overall functionality of the chargers.

A lack of standardization in the charging infrastructure is also a contributing factor. There are different charging standards and connector types, which can lead to compatibility issues and frustrations for EV users. Fragmented EV charging station infrastructure and inconsistent operating procedures across different charging networks can result in higher failure rates.

EV Charger Maintenance California

Commercial EV charging stations in California are subject to specific maintenance requirements and regulations to ensure they function properly and safely. Regular visual inspection, functional testing, and software updates are recommended as part of routine maintenance. Here are some specific maintenance requirements for EV charging stations in California:

Electric Car Charger Accessibility: Electric vehicle charging stations in California must comply with state accessibility standards under California law. This includes ensuring the charging station is accessible to individuals with disabilities and meets specific accessibility guidelines.

EV Charging Station Permitting Requirements: Local jurisdictions in California may have additional permitting requirements for the installation and maintenance of EV charging stations. GreenLancer specializes in offering permit design and engineering solutions for EV charging station projects, streamlining the process for contractors and installers. 

We provide quality permit design and engineering services that fulfill California EV charging station permit requirements, with a focus on speed, reliability, and competitive pricing. 

Electrical Safety: Charging stations must comply with relevant California state and local electrical codes and regulations to ensure safe and reliable operation. Electrical components and wiring should be inspected periodically to ensure they are secure and free from damage.

Cleaning and Maintenance: Periodic cleaning of charging stations can help maintain their reliability and extend their lifespan. Charging station operators should refer to the manufacturer's recommended cleaning and maintenance procedures to ensure proper care of the equipment.

EV Charging Station Maintenance is Critical

Regular maintenance of commercial EV charging stations is essential to ensure their optimal performance and longevity. Proper maintenance helps prevent downtime, ensures the availability of charging infrastructure for customers, and minimizes repair costs. By conducting routine inspections, addressing maintenance needs promptly, and implementing proactive measures, businesses can maximize the reliability and functionality of their charging stations, contributing to a seamless and satisfying experience for EV users.

As an EV charging station professional, another critical issue is project permitting and engineering. GreenLancer has a network of certified designers, licensed engineers, and fulfillment partners ready to complete on-demand fulfillment of EV charging services quickly, such as:

Complete the form below to learn more about our services for multi-family and commercial EV charging stations.


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