Maintaining Service Levels in an EV World
Posted 9th June 2022
In November 2021, Storm Arwen wreaked havoc on electricity supplies in the North of England and Southern Scotland. Thousands of consumers were left without power, many for several days, leaving the local electricity network operators unable to fulfil their committed service levels. Hundreds of engineers were deployed to repair damaged cables and infrastructure in the struggle to reinstate electrical supplies to the regions.
Storm Arwen is an extreme example, but it raised an important question. How would you maintain the availability of key personnel and their vehicles to achieve committed service levels if their vehicles are electric?
Here are some of the elements to consider:.
The utilisation of the vehicle will largely determine the selection of the type of electric vehicle and the charging infrastructure required.
- What is the maximum number of miles a day that the each vehicle will travels?
- When, where and for how long are the vehicles available to charge – the ‘dwell time’?
- What are the exceptions (e.g.e.g., Storm Arwen) and how will you manage them?
Most of the vehicle criteria –, such as size, payload, range, cost of ownership –, are the same as a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle, but EVs introduce some new ones:.
- What is the maximum recharge rate in miles/minute) on anusing an AC fast charger or a DC rapid charger?
- Will chargers be available that can recharge the vehicles at their maximum rate?
- Is the charging rate adequate or could it impact on your response times?
The availability of optimum charging rates for each location within the charging infrastructure will have a direct impact on the availability of the vehicles and of the personnel driving them. The key factors affecting availability of the chargers include:
- Infrastructure design; – location, charge rates.
- Reliability of the chargers and the quality of installation.
- Functionality and integrity of the chargepoint management system. Management information available to measure the performance of the charging infrastructure and help drivers to deal with exceptions.
- Appropriate maintenance support and response times.
- Provision for the exceptions – e.g., callouts, power loss.
The design of the EV charging infrastructure should be primarily determined by vehicle utilisation. It will be constrained by factors such as cost, the limitations of the vehicle selected, and the power available at each of the sites.
Training for drivers and other stakeholders, such as site management and support staff, can dramatically improve the efficiency of the vehicles and the availability of the chargers.
Few organisations have to deal with events on the scale of Storm Arwen, but most organisations have committed service levels that must be maintained after the migration to EVs. Their reputation, relationship with their clients, and often financial penalties are at .stake. An EV charging infrastructure which is, tailored to the vehicles and utilisation – and , managed and maintained to maximise availability –, will minimise any risk of disruption to the service levels that your company is committed to delivering.