As staff are coming off shifts, in their electric vehicle, they have to deal with two common issues:
1. They cannot start the charge on the vehicle
“This happens often and is just down to user error usually.” The facilities manager tells me, “We have different charging stations in each depot and the fleet drivers are still getting used to them."
This is very important to the operation of the company. The fleet drivers know each vehicle needs to be fully charged for the next day’s work. They pull up, at the end of the shift, with a car battery below 30%. It needs to be at least 70% for the next driver.
They plug-in the vehicle, activate the charge - and nothing happens. What does the driver do? Phone facilities, to say the EV charging station isn’t working.
“We then have to go through the charging process and login to our online Charge Point Management System to see if it’s working correctly. All the sites are using different ones as we have different hardware per site. We usually get it working - eventually.”
This issue will hopefully fade away as adoption increases and everyone gets used to the new “refuelling process” (their words, not mine). But it’s still using multiple systems, with different functionality and ultimately more chance of something going wrong.
His second issue is causing a lot more stress, however.
2. They cannot unlock a charging cable from a vehicle when their shift starts
“It’s a nightmare. A fleet driver couldn’t stop a charge and disengage the cable at one of our depots.”
“He rang me initially. I was on holiday but opened up my laptop to try and get it working but couldn’t - this Charge Point Management System didn’t have the unlock cable functionality. I felt powerless. I had to ring one of my employees to go to the site, as he lives close by. This was at 6.30am. He had to power down the charge point, to release the cable.”
“The driver was 50 minutes late starting his working day - and the facilities manager ended up starting his shift 3 hours earlier than planned.”
“Now you understand why I hate the EV chargers and the Charge Point Management Systems we have.”