July 25, 2023

EV Charging System Design and Maintenance for Electrical Contractors


7 Min. Read

As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular, the need for reliable charging systems will also continue to grow.

To ensure they are able to perform these services and build their business for the future, electrical contractors must understand the design and installation of EV charging systems.

This understanding ensures they meet safety standards while also providing customers with the necessary charging capabilities and infrastructure. Otherwise, there is a risk of safety issues or poor performance that could lead to unhappy customers, loss of property, and other devastating

In this article, we’ll help electrical contractors understand how to maintain EV charging systems to determine and fulfill customer needs, while also guaranteeing safety standards are being met. With this information, you can design and maintain reliable EV charging systems that meet all requirements and satisfy the needs and expectations of your customers.

What Electrical Contractors Must Know About EV System Design and Installation

Electric contractors must comprehensively understand EV charging system design, maintenance needs, and installation to ensure safety, performance, and customer satisfaction.

The Basics of EV Charging System Design

A well-designed EV charging system improves electrical vehicle owners’ accessibility and ensures efficient and reliable charging. As an electrical contractor, you must consider various factors when designing an EV charging system that will meet your customers’ needs.

Keep these key factors in mind:


The location of the charging station plays a crucial role in its usability and convenience. Considering these factors ensures that the charging station is optimally situated, providing an enhanced experience for EV owners and promoting the adoption of electric vehicles.

  • Proximity to parking spots minimizes travel distance for EV owners, enhancing convenience.
  • Easy accessibility ensures quick and effortless access to the charging station.
  • Assessing safety concerns near the charging station ensures user and infrastructure security.
  • Visibility and adequate lighting enhance security and usability, especially during evening charging sessions.
  • Considering weather impact helps select suitable infrastructure and prevent efficiency or equipment issues.
Charging Speed

Consider how fast the charging station should charge EVs. Level 1 charging delivers 2 to 5 miles of range per hour, Level 2 charging provides the recommended 80% battery charge in 4-10 hours, and Level 3 or DC fast charging offers up 180-240 miles of range added each hour, taking approximately 20 minutes to 1 hour to charge an EV to 80%.

While Level 1 charging or “trickle charging” is insufficient for most EV drivers, it may be adequate for drivers who have short or infrequent commutes. Alternatively, Level 2 charging, also known as “overnight charging” is a convenient option for residential installations and commercial installations for businesses, fleets, and attractions such as parks, hotels, malls, and any other location where drivers will expect to spend more than an hour. Level 3 charging is best suited for high-traffic areas such as along highways, public spaces, and anywhere drivers are less likely to spend lengthy periods of time.

Keep in mind that the charging speed and recommended station type may depend on the expected use of the charging station, the location, and electricity availability, including the panel capacity.

Number of Charging Stations

The expected usage of the charging station depends on the circumstances. While a single charging station may suffice for a small business, larger establishments or multi-unit residential buildings may require multiple charging stations to accommodate the demand.

Load Capacity

You should ensure that adequately sized electrical systems and circuits are in the building to help support the charging station. Performing a load calculation will determine if you can add the load to the existing electrical services. If you cannot, you may need to upgrade the electrical services or install a load management system.

Legal Requirements for EV Charging System Installation

Specific legal requirements govern EV charging system installations, and you must follow them to ensure the safety and reliability of the charging station.

Here are some of the legal requirements that you must consider when you’re installing an EV charging system to prevent legal issues:

  • Local Building Codes — Different cities and municipalities have electrical codes that ensure the charging system installation complies with the relevant local regulations.
  • Permit Requirements — Be aware of permitting requirements for home EV installations to avoid delays and ensure you install the EV system correctly the first time.
  • Utility Interconnection Requirements — You must connect the EV charging system to the electrical grid through the electrical panel on the property and get approval from the local utility company before connecting.
  • Safety Standards — You must follow the safety standards designed to prevent fires and safe charging stations by the National Electrical Code (NEC) and maintained by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
  • Liability Insurance — Electrical contractors must have liability insurance to protect themselves from unexpected accidents.

The Role of Electrical Contractors in EV Charging System Maintenance

Electrical contractors play an essential role in maintenance. Contractors prevent potential EV maintenance risks associated with EV chargers and can keep them functioning optimally throughout the year by offering regular maintenance, preventive care, and emergency repair services.

Types of Maintenance Required for EV Charging Systems

The following are the types of maintenance plans for EV charging systems:

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is necessary to ensure that charging stations function correctly and efficiently. Routine maintenance includes:

  • Inspecting, cleaning, and tightening all connections and cables.
  • Checking for any visible damage to the charging station components.
  • Coordinating with the EV charging provider for model-specific maintenance checkups, software updates, and other necessary repairs as recommended by the manufacturer.
Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is necessary to avoid equipment failures, decrease the likelihood of expensive repairs, and enhance system performance.

Perform these steps as routine, preventative maintenance:

  • Test and verify that the charging system is grounded correctly and that all connections are secure.
  • Check to ensure proper voltage and charging amperage.
  • Replace failed or damaged components immediately.
Emergency Maintenance and Repairs

Emergency maintenance becomes essential when unforeseen problems occur, such as power surges or equipment failures.

One effective measure to safeguard charging stations against power surges is the installation of surge protection devices (SPDs). These devices prevent power surges from reaching delicate equipment and can be seamlessly incorporated into the fusebox or charging unit during installation.

Moreover, to shield the system from power outages, consider installing battery backup systems or ensuring the availability of emergency power designated explicitly for the charging stations.

Maintenance Plans

Offering your customers a home electrification maintenance plan to help ensure their EV charging stations remain operational and enjoyable for years to come is highly recommended. Maintaining the charging system is a long-term investment that will benefit the property owner and extend the system’s life, and creates continued business and customer loyalty, as your customers will know they can trust you to provide quality and consistent electrical services and may even recommend your services to others.

Maintenance plans should include the following:

  • Regular inspections and maintenance.
  • Cost-effective renewal and hardware upgrade plans.
  • Warranty and repair management.
  • Full transparency of the system’s performance metrics and data access.
  • On-time reporting and escalation procedures.

Electrical contractors can offer expert services to their clients by taking care of the design, permitting requirements, safety standards, and maintenance needs of EV charging systems.

Maintenance plans are essential for keeping customers safe and providing a reliable service for years. With the proper knowledge and expertise, you can ensure your clients have a reliable and efficient EV charging system.

The Future of EV Charging Systems

The future of EV charging systems looks bright as more governments, organizations, businesses, and homeowners invest in electric vehicles.

The global demand for EVs is growing, sparking a greater need for charging station installations. As this trend continues, advancements such as improved battery technology and fast-charging networks are becoming increasingly popular.

Electrical contractors must stay informed on the latest advancements in EV technology and maintain their maintenance practices to prepare for any situation. With the proper knowledge and expertise, you can be at the forefront of electrification and provide your clients with a safe and reliable EV charging system for years.

Maximize Your EV Installation Profitability

EV charging system design and installation is a lucrative opportunity for licensed electrical contractors. You can maximize your profitability and ensure customer satisfaction by understanding the basics of EV system design, adhering to all legal requirements, and providing regular maintenance.

With the right expertise, you can be at the forefront of electrification and offer clients a reliable and efficient EV charging system.

With the most trusted network of certified electrical contractors, Qmerit helps homeowners, building owners, and property managers transition to sustainable electric solutions and is a direct partner to leading auto manufacturers, EV charger manufacturers, utilities, and fleets.

Recognized by the White House, Qmerit’s Certified Solutions Partner (CSP) program allows electrical contractors to build their businesses and learn new techniques in electrification technologies through in-depth training and continuing education programs. We also provide business coaching and workforce development for electrical contractors looking to expand their company further and hone their operations.

Contact Qmerit today to open up a new customer base for your electrical contracting company, provide training and resources, and make you a leader in your local market.

Author: David Santillo

David Santillo

Senior Vice President, Contractor Support