Techniche's study highlights prevalent problems for EV charging

28th May 2024
Caitlin Gittins

Techniche has announced the findings of a study on the reasons behind electric vehicle (EV) charger breakdowns, revealing that 30% of all malfunctions require an engineer visit for repairs.

The primary cause of these breakdowns was power supply issues, accounting for 24% of engineer callouts. Payment terminal problems and slow or failed charging each caused 20% of callouts, while hardware failures were responsible for 18%. Communications failures led to 13% of visits from engineers.

The study also highlighted that 70% of EV charger malfunctions can be resolved remotely through automated resets of the charger’s internal software.

Techniche analysed data from 5000 EV chargers across its European customer sites in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, and Spain over the past year. The chargers, mostly 150-175kWh fast chargers under five years old, were located in public charging areas such as forecourts, retail parks, and supermarkets.

Top reasons for engineer callouts:

  1. Power supply: 24%
  2. Payment terminals: 20%
  3. Charging speed/failures: 20%
  4. Hardware failures: 18%
  5. Communication problems: 13%
  6. Other: 5%

David Cornish, Head of Product at Techniche, said: “Analysis of our data shows that 70% of EV charger breakdowns can be solved remotely but the remaining 30% require an on-site engineer to get them up-and-running again. It’s this 30% which causes the biggest headache for operators, resulting in slow repairs, unwanted downtime and a bad experience for drivers. Better confidence in the charging process can be gained by automating resets and the maintenance process to make faulty chargers available for drivers as quickly as possible.

“The findings indicate there is much work to be done on improving the grid infrastructure with power issues being the single largest reason for callouts. This could be further compounded during the roll-out of chargers to more remote or rural locations, or the installation of power-hungry rapid chargers in urban areas, which present a challenge for power delivery.”

Issues with payment terminals accounted for 20% of callouts, though not all rapid chargers currently have contactless payment terminals. Cornish continued: “This figure could increase in the UK in coming months, with the government mandating that contactless payments be made available on all new rapid chargers, in addition to existing rapid chargers already installed, by November 2024.”

Techniche's EV software helps charge point operators maintain high levels of uptime by automating maintenance and monitoring processes, ensuring chargers are operational and delivering a superior customer experience. The software triages issues and faults, automates the creation of work orders, notifications, and alerts based on error codes, and uses charging session analytics to identify patterns and trends, leading to earlier intervention and proactive maintenance.

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