EV Updates

Electrify Your Fleet: ReVision's Tips for Optimal EV Charging
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Electric Vehicles (EVs) and vehicle fleets are the perfect pairing; with lower maintenance and operating costs, direct control over the fuel source, and added environmental benefits, EVs offer fleet managers more control over their vehicles. However, operators can only capitalize on the benefits of electrifying a fleet with reliable charging infrastructure. 

One of fleet managers' primary responsibilities is ensuring their vehicles are ready for deployment. For electric fleets, this readiness relies on the availability of well-maintained charging stations. Although these stations are easier to maintain than traditional gas pumps, their upkeep is still vital for sustaining operational efficiency. 

At ReVision Energy, we install and service charging stations for various applications. Our entire residential sales fleet is electric, with twelve Level 2 chargers constantly in use throughout the day at our headquarters. Josh Baston, ReVision's EV Infrastructure Operations Manager, shares some lessons we've learned about EV charging service in our fifteen years of installing charging stations. Here are six key takeaways fleet managers should consider for keeping their charging stations running smoothly: 

Barry Woods Plugs In An Electric Car In Portland, Maine. Photo Courtesy Portland Press Herald.User Education 

Josh emphasizes that educating vehicle users is critical to minimizing servicing needs. "It boils down to making it easy for the fleet users to do the right thing."  Proper handling of the chargers is essential. Here's how we do it at ReVision: 

  1. Easily accessible instructions:

    One of the easiest ways to ensure people are informed is to place user instructions on the chargers themselves. This placement will help guide and remind users of best practices when handling the chargers. These instructions should include elements like step-by-step charging instructions (how to plug the vehicle in), troubleshooting tips (what to do if the charger doesn't start and indicators of a successful connection), and maintenance reminders (keeping the area clean and conducting regular visual checks). Instructions should include specifics unique to your fleet as well. At ReVision, we use RFID cards to activate and collect charging data. When first implemented, we had some issues with users not understanding how to activate the chargers with the RFID cards. Clear and accessible instructions solved this problem.

  2. Cable management:Proper cable management is another way to minimize misuse. Many installers, ReVision included, offer a retractable cable system that automatically coils the cable back into the charger, ensuring the connector isn't left on the ground, where most of the damage occurs.

Hillside CenterPreventative Measures

Adopting proactive preventative measures is crucial in managing an efficient charging station network. By staying prepared, fleet managers can safeguard against unexpected issues and maintain high service reliability. Here are some tips: 

  1. Power-sharing chargers:

    To address electrical capacity concerns, fleet managers should consider chargers that share power rather than requiring additional capacity. This approach allows for the expansion of charging infrastructure without significant and potentially costly electrical upgrades. Power-sharing chargers can communicate with each other in a closed network, reducing their power output to stay below an established threshold. These chargers enable operators to set power limits for an entire group of chargers.

  2. Contingency plan:Having a backup plan in case of an outage will ensure fleets are still prepared to operate in unexpected situations. This plan could be as simple as knowing the location of the closest non-network or public fast charging stations.

  3. EV charging service provider:Maintain direct communication with your charger provider to know who will service your chargers, especially since many providers outsource their servicing. If a maintenance contract is established, it should specify response and repair times, as well as uptime requirements.

  4. Spare chargers:Keep a spare charger on hand to minimize the charger outage time. This strategy will also reduce maintenance costs, allowing immediate replacement without waiting for repairs. If a broken charger is under warranty, the replacement charger sent by the provider will act as the new spare.

Effective management and maintenance of EV charging stations are fundamental to harnessing the full potential of electric vehicle fleets. Through user education and preventative measures, fleet managers can increase the lifespan and reliability of their charging infrastructure. 

Interested in learning more about fleet electrification? Register for an upcoming Zoom webinar on August 20th at 12:00pm EST. 

Want to get in touch with our EV team to electrify your fleet? Fill out the form on our commercial EV charging page or send us an email hello@revisionenergy.com and we'll reach out.

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