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Sales for Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the UK are soaring and so is the demand for EV chargers. For people who have an Electric Vehicle or are planning to get one, it is worth considering installing an EV charger point in their homes.
Many workplaces are also adding multiple EV chargers to their parking lots to take full advantage of the growing demand for EVs.
Since an EV charger is an electrical installation, it requires regular upkeep and maintenance to keep it free of any faults and issues. Maintaining an EV charger is important for getting the most out of the system and is mainly the homeowner’s or business owner’s responsibility.
Read on to find out more about EV chargers, their repair and maintenance, some of the most common issues that may arise due to a lack of it, and more:
Filling up the fuel tank of your car is easy and can be done from a number of petrol stations all over the country. However, when it comes to charging an electric vehicle, the process is a little different and can be a little complicated due to different connectors, rates of charge, and compatibility with the vehicles.
EVs are chargeable and just like any chargeable device, they need to be charged to keep their battery full. To achieve this, EV chargers are used.
There are three basic ways to charge an EV: at home, at work, or using a public charging point.
Charging your EV at home is the easiest, cheapest, and most convenient way, which is why it is usually the default choice for most EV owners.
There are two ways to charge an electric car at home – using a domestic three-pin socket or installing a dedicated EV charge point.
Although electric cars can be plugged into a standard three-pin home socket, it takes much longer to charge than a dedicated EV charger and lacks the required safety features, which is why it is not considered the best practice. It should be reserved only for emergencies or occasional use but not for regular use.
A dedicated EV charger is the safest method for charging your electric cars at home. It will give you the fastest possible charging speeds and a smart charger will even allow you to take advantage of cheaper energy tariffs, which means charging the EV when the supply is high but the demand is low.
Charging at work is also another great option for employees to charge their EVs while they are parked during the day. Having an EV charge point is incredibly important from a business point of view, particularly keeping in mind the current massive shift from petrol-fuelled cars to electric vehicles.
Workplace charging is not only a great facility for employees as well as visitors but is also an essential operating factor for many businesses, particularly those with an EV fleet.
Several organisations in the UK are now installing EV charging stations for their employees and clients as a workplace benefit, to facilitate the switch to EVs, and of course, to help achieve the UK reach its goal of a more sustainable environment.
Workplace EV chargers usually offer the same charging speeds as home chargers and have universal type 2 sockets.
When it comes to deciding on the payment model for the EV chargers, the main choice is between charging a fee for the service or making it free.
Some of the most common ways to pay for EV charging at work are via contactless debit or credit cards, through a network app, and RFID cards.
The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) method is a simple method where you simply pay for the power used to charge your EV. It allows the EV owners to simply pull up at the EV charge point and pay for a charge by using their smartphone, tablet, or in-car connectivity.
Other than home and workplace charging, you can also charge your EV when it is parked in public places like at the supermarket, cinema, retail parks, and car parks.
Although it isn’t usually necessary to fully charge your EV using public EV chargers, they are a great choice for frequent top-ups so that your battery doesn’t run low while on the go.
Public EV chargers usually offer fast charging and most of them are provided free by businesses as an incentive for people to visit their premises.
There are also public charging stations, just like petrol stations, where you can charge your EVs with ease. They are usually a mix of slow, fast, and rapid charging options.
With the increase in demand for EVs in the UK, these public charging stations, along with home and workplace charging, have become a necessity.
Over the span of a few years, the number of public EV charging stations has increased significantly. Some of the most common public EV charge point providers in the UK include BP Pulse, Pod Point, Tesla, Shell Recharge, Instavolt, Fastned, and Osprey.
Before we move on to EV charger repair and maintenance, it is important to look at the different types of EV chargers and their different components.
When choosing an EV charger, some of the most important things to keep in mind are the type of connector and the charging speed. EV chargers tend to have two connectors – one that plugs into the EV and one that plugs into the charger itself.
EV chargers are available in two varieties: tethered and untethered. A tethered EV charger is simply one where the charging cable is permanently attached, whereas an untethered one can be detached.
There are pros and cons to each, with some people opting for a tethered cable for convenience since you can simply plug it straight in and don’t need to store the cable in the EV. On the other hand, some people prefer an untethered charger due to its simple and clean look.
A drawback of using a tethered cable though is that it will have only one connector type. If you have another EV or upgrade to an EV with a different connector compatibility, you will have to change the cable. Even though it is not a complex job, it can be inconvenient.
With an untethered cable, you simply need to attach your EV’s charging cable to the charge point every time you need to charge the battery.
When it comes to the connector types, there are a few different types of connectors available for EVs with different charging rates.
Maintaining your EV charger is just as important as installing the right one for your needs. Regular maintenance not only keeps your EV chargers in optimum health but also avoids costly repairs due to a lack of it.
You may need to have the cables replaced as part of the maintenance process if you notice any signs of wear and tear. The cable connection may also loosen up over time causing issues with the charging speed and may even create an unsafe charging condition.
General maintenance for EV chargers typically includes replacing worn-out and damaged parts, cleaning all the components, tightening all the connections, and checking the voltage and current levels.
This is generally done by a professional service; however, you should also do your part and regularly remove any dirt or residue on the system by gently wiping it.
EV chargers may also need repairs due to prolonged use and improper charging practices, such as not coiling the charging cable properly.
The steps involved in EV charger repair and maintenance include:
Preventative maintenance is the recommended way to ensure your EV charger is safe to use and keeps working as it should at full capacity.
The best way to go about this is to have an EV charger specialist check the system and all of its components at least once a year.
Failing to do so may not only make your EV charger inconvenient and unsafe to use but may also lead to the device warranties being void. To make sure the warranties remain intact, you need to ensure all the maintenance requirements are met.
Regular maintenance for EV chargers is important for the following reasons:
Regularly maintaining your EV charger will ensure the best performance out of the system and will prevent any costly repairs down the line.
As a general rule, you should clean the EV charger on a weekly basis and have it professionally serviced at least once a year. In doing so, you will get the most out of your system.
This, however, is not a rule, and the frequency of the maintenance can be adjusted according to your use of the system. The environment where the system is installed and how properly it is being used will have a huge impact on how often it will require repairs and maintenance.
Some of the most common tell-tale signs of an EV charger requiring repairs and maintenance include:
If you notice any visible damage to the EV charger due to misuse or general wear and tear, it is recommended to have it checked by a professional as it may affect the functionality and efficiency of the system.
The wiring is supposed to be inside the cable. If you see any exposed wiring, you need to have it instantly repaired as it may turn into a safety hazard.
An average EV charger should take around 4 to 10 hours to fully charge a regular-sized battery. If you notice that the EV charger is taking longer than usual to charge the same battery size, it is best to call a professional for advice.
A typical level 2 charger operates at 240 volts, which is ideal for charging an EV battery at a fast speed. If the voltage level decreases, it may impact the charging time and the system may need to be checked.
External conditions such as extreme weather, particularly if the EV charger is installed outdoors, may damage it and cause it to not work properly. At times, even though you may not notice any physical damage, having it inspected by an EV specialist is the right way to go.
There are a few simple tips and tricks to make sure your EV charger works as safely and efficiently as possible. Other than conducting regular professional maintenance checks, here are a few simple things that you can do:
At Calder Electrical, we can install and maintain EV chargers for domestic and commercial premises in line with the current regulations and can offer a government incentive to reduce installation costs.
We are authorised and registered OZEV installers and our charge points come with a 3-year warranty.
If you own an EV or are planning to buy one, you will want to maximise recharge times and efficiency by installing an OZEV-approved charger in your home. Our team can visit you and survey your house to help determine your needs and requirements.
There are various chargers currently on the market and it can be a little confusing to choose the best one for your home. We will take out the hassle and provide you with the most suitable and affordable option, ranging from the standard systems to the smart ones that are becoming increasingly popular.
Similarly, if you have a business that is looking to help employees or customers/clients charge their EVs at the workplace, you may contact us right away.
We offer all kinds of different options to choose from such as wall-mounted to freestanding pedestal units, and from fast charging to rapid charging units.
Depending on the size and demand of the premises, our experts will help assess the best solution for your business’s needs.
We can also offer a PAYG (Pay-as-you-go) charging system and token-fed chargers with features focused on both the user and operator. This is something a lot of businesses are looking at currently as the market for EVs and chargers increases year after year.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for a quick consultation with our leading industry experts and more information on EV charger repair and maintenance.
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001