February 9, 2024

An EV Charging Maintenance Guide for Commercial Building Owners

5 Min. Read

Widespread EV adoption is transforming mobility and making the development of a reliable EV charging infrastructure more critical than ever.

Commercial property owners have an important role to play by offering onsite EV charging to employees and customers so they can fill up while they’re parked, but having functional EV charging stations goes beyond customer and employee retention and satisfaction.

Commercial EV charging stations are an investment that will make your property stand out, add value to your business, establish your company as a tech-forward leader in your industry, and provide an additional revenue stream to boost your operations.

To take full advantage of the many benefits of installing EV charging stations at your property, you need a maintenance plan to keep this perk in working order and maintain as much uptime as possible. In this article, we’ll explore the key maintenance tips commercial building owners should keep in mind for their commercial EV charging stations.

The Benefits of Installing Commercial EV Charging Stations

Offering onsite EV charging will position your business or property as a local leader in the electrification revolution and can even increase the value of your property. EV chargers are highly visible and send a strong ESG message that can help you connect with employees, partners, and consumers who share your values.

Commercial EV charging has multiple use cases. Shoppers, employees, or even your own company fleet can utilize your EV chargers and benefit from the installation of on-site EV charging stations.

Revenue generation is another benefit. You can bill EV owners via a subscription or on a usage-based model, or offer free charging to increase foot traffic and loyalty. Additionally, if you offer free or subsidized EV charging to employees, this can build employee satisfaction and boost retention rates.

Keeping your charging infrastructure in working order is crucial for unlocking these benefits. Downtime is a widespread issue affecting the public charging infrastructure, with 20% of EV drivers reporting equipment malfunctions. The federal government recently invested close to $150 million to repair or replace stations to increase the reliability of the charging infrastructure.

Adopting a preventive maintenance plan for your commercial EV charging stations can ensure a positive experience and prevent downtime from affecting your brand image.

Maintaining Uptime With Regulation Inspection and Cleaning

You can prevent many issues by regularly performing visual inspections and routinely cleaning your commercial EV charging stations. Look for signs of rust or corrosion, clean and remove debris, and ensure cables are properly coiled.

Your maintenance plan should also include routine checks performed by a licensed electrician. A professional can check the wiring and connections, test the current and voltage, and ensure the stations can charge electric vehicles efficiently and safely as intended.

Your approach to maintenance should account for usage patterns and seasonal challenges such as leaf or snow removal.

Software and Firmware Updates

EV charging stations are connected devices that communicate with the power infrastructure and charging network if applicable. These smart features can regulate how much power the station draws, collect data about usage, and handle billing.

Firmware updates are important because they ensure the charging equipment is compatible with the latest EV models. Running the latest version of the firmware also helps optimize performance and protects the EV charging equipment against cyber risks.

With 55% of downtime resulting from connectivity errors, incorporating software and firmware updates into your commercial EV charging station maintenance plan is crucial.

You can prevent most issues linked to software and firmware through remote monitoring of your commercial EV charging stations. Your maintenance plan should include a process for rolling out updates remotely, checking that stations are online, and rapidly escalating and resolving the issue if an EV charging station isn’t responding.

AI can streamline this process and automatically flag your EV charging stations for maintenance. You can also partner with equipment manufacturers or explore third-party management solutions to develop an effective remote maintenance process.

Electrical Safety Checks: A Property Owner’s Priority

A Level 2 EV charging station can deliver a voltage of up to 240V, while a DC Fast charger or Level 3 EV charging station can draw up to 1,000V. In both cases, malfunctions can result in shock, electrical fires, or even damage to EV batteries. Proper EV charger installation is crucial to ensuring your EV charging stations are safely and efficiently installed, but having regular maintenance will ensure that your EV chargers continue to be a sound investment on your property.

The right maintenance plan for commercial EV charging stations can mitigate risks by incorporating safety checks. Focusing on safety will protect users as well as your investment. Documenting the steps you take to ensure safety can go a long way in addressing potential liability issues if the charging equipment malfunctions.

Make it a point to actively review and assess changing safety risks and keep up with new compliance requirements. These include ADA rules for accessibility and electrical safety requirements implemented by the NEC.

Besides performing a visual check to identify wear and tear on wires, EV charging cables, and ports, a licensed electrician can use specialized testing equipment to measure current and voltage during routine checks to ensure your EV charging stations are operating efficiently.

Don’t wait for EV charging stations to malfunction. Taking a proactive approach to maintenance and partnering with a professional who can use their knowledge and expertise to assess risks will support a safe and reliable charging experience while protecting your investment.

Develop an EV Charging Maintenance Plan With Qmerit

Commercial EV charging stations are a vital component of the growing nationwide charging network. As a commercial building owner, you can reap the benefits of installing EV charging stations, but preventive maintenance is an essential consideration for delivering a safe and reliable charging experience.

You can ensure uptime, mitigate risks, and prevent costly repairs by developing a comprehensive maintenance plan. This should include cleaning, testing, visual inspections, safety, and firmware updates. Partnering with a licensed contractor is a crucial step in developing an effective maintenance plan.

Qmerit’s network of certified electricians is here to support your electrification goals with EV charging station installation, maintenance, and other services. With more than 269,000 EV charging stations installed, our network is actively helping top brands, business owners, fleet managers, and homeowners on their electrification journey.

Contact us today to learn more about EV charging station maintenance for commercial properties.

Author: Tom Bowen Tom Bowen President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification