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We must realize a reliable public EV charging infrastructure – but how?

Charging your vehicle is probably the number-one issue for people considering buying a fully electric or plug-in hybrid car right now.  Where can the vehicle be charged? What equipment is needed? How much will a charge cost you and, how reliable will a public charger be if you need to use one on a journey?

As there are so many open questions that burden the electric vehicle revolution, governments and companies all over the world try to find solutions – with a particular focus on the last point: the public EV charging infrastructure.

EV charging is among the biggest challenges of the electric vehicle revolution.

A recent study has found that EV users have experienced mixed results when trying to charge their vehicles at public charging points. Issues are ranging from broken plugs, unexpected shut off during charging and the charging station not functioning appropriately. “Not being able to charge your vehicle can lead to range anxiety and present a significant barrier to adoption of electric vehicles”, knows Patrick Moodley, Senior Vice President of Customer Service at Yunex Traffic.

The UK government, amongst others, has recognised the need for increased availability of the public charging networks. In their consultation on consumer experience at public chargepoints, they come to a clear conclusion: “It’s essential that the public chargepoint network is maintained and that faults are repaired quickly to ensure a minimum 99% reliability across the charging infrastructure.”

Thanks to state-of-the-art Service Management Tools Yunex Traffic ensures incident management with quick and efficient resolution.

One of the most important requirements of a public charging infrastructure is its availability. Downtimes must be avoided as best as possible. In case of a malfunction, things have to happen quickly. Yunex Traffic ensures this thanks to state-of-the-art technology and many years of experience in servicing road infrastructure: “Using state-of-the-art mobile app enabled incident management systems our skilled, regionally based, engineers are able to be assigned to a call and attend site within pre-determined service level agreements”, explains Patrick Moodley. “Once on site, the Engineers use a variety of tools and skills aligned to industry standards combined with any spare parts required to resolve the issue and inform the issuing customer.”

The expert also emphasizes that Yunex Traffic’s long-standing processes also pay off in the procurement of spare parts: “Spare parts are managed using Yunex Traffic’s existing fully integrated spare parts management and logistics to ensures that our Engineers always have the right components available. Replaced parts are tracked through the repair and replenishment cycle meaning our Engineers have the skills, tools and spares to fix a charger fault first time.”

Almost 4500 incidents reported and resolved in one year

From charging station operators and property owners to original equipment manufacturers and local authorities: Yunex Traffic works with a range of electric vehicle charging infrastructure customers to provide maintenance and management services that increase the availability of a wide range of charging stations. Since August 2022, Yunex Traffic has responded to almost 4500 incidents related to electric vehicle infrastructure. “These range from planned regular maintenance calls to urgent faults such as dangerous damage to chargers or stuck cables”, Patrick Moodley tells. “Our experienced engineers are able to respond efficiently and effectively to maximize charging station availability, reduce end-user range anxiety, and facilitate the transition towards an electric vehicle.”

EV Charging – what’s next?

We still have a long way to go before a comprehensive charging infrastructure for e-vehicles is in place, which is the most important prerequisite for the success of the e-vehicle revolution. With robust and proactive maintenance processes, we are already making big steps.

Another point we need to ensure is compatibility between the charging station and the car. A driver must be able to rely on the next charging station on his route being operational and compatible with his vehicle.  New technologies such as smart charging or wireless charging can be long-awaited solutions here.

There is still some work to do before a reliable charging infrastructure for e-vehicles is established, making them a real, mass-market alternative to internal combustion engines. But the combination of digital technologies and seamless service is paving the way, as it so often does in road infrastructure. So, to the question: What’s next?, we can only answer: a lot is happening. But you can be sure, that we’ll keep you up to date so that together we can drive the e-vehicle revolution forward.