By Kameale C. Terry
Welcome to the RaaS Chronicles, where I aim to shed light on the many intricacies and realities of the world of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) in the EV charging realm.
Misconception: EV Charging Repair is Simple and Deterministic.
Reality: Dive deep into the world of EV Charging Repair, and you'll quickly find it's anything but. Repairing error codes isn't as simple as reading a manual, and issues can be complex and unpredictable. It's not always a one-size-fits-all kind of solution.
Story Time: I recall a particular instance from a year or two ago when I was at an event. An ATM repair company was considering expanding into EV charging station maintenance. One attendee questioned what their technicians would do if confronted with a software or app issue on the charging station. The response? They'd revert it back to the network provider. It was an epiphany moment for me: there’s a significant gap in field services. Having someone on-site capable of rectifying those software hiccups is invaluable. Network providers often depend on technicians to be their eyes and ears, discerning and fixing issues.
Let's delve a little into what happens when there's an issue. Conventionally, a technician receives a work order detailing the problem, often with instructions to call a specific number for troubleshooting. But here's where inefficiencies come in. Sometimes, they get an immediate response; other times, they might be waiting on hold, burning daylight. At ChargerHelp, we've circumvented this process. We directly collaborate with partners, leveraging real-time data, allowing our technicians to identify and troubleshoot issues more proactively. Instead of waiting for someone to guide them, they hit the ground running.
This change in approach drastically reduces wasted time and unnecessary truck rolls, which can be a significant strain on resources and, most importantly, on our promise of reliable service. The myth that O&M is merely about attending to the site and resolving simple problems is a detrimental one. To effectively manage O&M for charging infrastructure, you need more than just reactive solutions. You need a proactive approach enriched with data from the field and a robust set of guidelines that technicians can lean on.
Our experience at ChargerHelp has taught us that while there are "low-hanging fruit" issues that can be addressed quickly, it's the more complex, persistent problems that can keep stations down for extended periods. And tackling these requires a blend of technology and skilled field service, well-versed in both the hardware and software aspects of EVSE. It's not as easy as "just cycling breakers."
In wrapping up this edition, our mission remains clear: We need to dispel these myths and ensure our industry grows with a realistic understanding of O&M. Our commitment is to continue being at the forefront, learning from each interaction, collecting valuable field data, and refining our approach. So the next time one of our technicians arrives at a site, they're not just troubleshooting—they're implementing a well-informed, data-backed solution.