I sat with the Head of Facilities at a prospective customer a few weeks ago, shaking his head.

“I hate electric vehicle chargers and the login platforms to manage them. They are nothing but a pain. When they don’t work, it’s always me that’s being called. What am I supposed to do?”

Not all meetings start this way, and it's fair to say I was pretty much on the back foot. Was this a business meeting or a therapy session?

After a coffee and a chat about football, we finally got to discussing the EV charging stations that he says runs (and ruins) his life.

Becoming an out-of-hours EV charge point help-desk


The Facility Manager in question works for a large private organisation in the UK. Under his remit are the site depots and car parking facilities across 20 sites in the UK - predominantly in Wales and the South West of England.

This is a role they have been working in for several years - from lighting maintenance to ensuring lock up of each facility. The head of this department has multiple facility managers reporting to them.

Out of hours phone calls were not uncommon before the switch to an electric fleet. Their drivers worked different shifts throughout the day - one starting at 6pm and another at 6am. The head of facilities (and the facility managers that report to them) are now very aware of these times.


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.”

The Clenergy EV charge point management system

The above conversation is something we’ve dealt with often at Clenergy EV - but never to the extent of the above. I explained how we could help:

  • One OCPP charge point management system

The Clenergy EV platform is able to monitor all charging stations, regardless of the hardware used on each site. This means the facility management don’t need separate systems per brand and can consolidate all functionality and data, in one place. Only one location to monitor charging sessions or unlock cables

  • Direct communication between CPMS and charging station
      • Need to unlock a cable remotely, or start a charge? The Clenergy EV system allows for this per individual charging station. Hopefully it won’t be needed though, because…
  • 24/7 EV charging help-desk
      • Baked into the Clenergy EV platform is our support system. This provides every client we work with a 24/7/365 EV Driver support facility. A phone number on the EV Driver app and at point-of-use on the charging station. Ringing it gives you the support a fleet driver needs - to get charging or to unlock a cable remotely.


Luckily the procurement department at the organisation had done a good job with the physical hardware - the charging stations themselves were Open Charge Point Protocol  compliant. 

This meant our CPMS could control and monitor all charge points, from one platform. It also meant we could utilise the Clenergy EV platform and give a great end-user experience to fleet drivers, with charges activated per RFID card across every depot and estate. This is exactly what our customer support team uses to solve issues for drivers, 24-hours a day.

I ran through the above and showed our OCPP platform with the now reassured Head of Facilities.

“A full 24/7 help-desk with a real person at the end of the phone? You can unlock cables, start a charge, soft/hard reboot the charge point and diagnose issues remotely? And the help-desk can do that too?”


Roll on a month later - and we have onboarded Clenergy EV’s solution to one site depot. The late night/early morning calls have stopped. The facility team can finally concentrate on their actual job role with no out-of-hours calls. Meanwhile, the fleet team gets specialist help for EV charging if they need it.

A help-desk should be exactly that. A specialist centre that an EV driver can ring, with a human to speak to and a resolution that helps the customer. 

We pride ourselves on customer service at Clenergy EV - that extends both to our end users and the organisations we work with.

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