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⚡ Getting EV Charging Stations to Work

Watt It Takes

Photo by Ernest Ojeh / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Host: Emily Kirsch
Guest: Kameale Terry | Co-Founder | ChargerHelp!
Category: ⚡ Renewable Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:21] EK: “Global electric vehicle sales doubled from 2020 to 2021. And they're on track to nearly double again this year. All of those new EVs on the road mean more demand for charging stations in parking lots, highway rest stops, office buildings and other places we visit on a daily basis. There are 46,000 public EV charging stations, and 120,000 charging ports across the United States. They seem simple enough, a plug in some electricity, but maintaining them is more complex than it seems. Differences in manufacturers, network providers and utilities can mean a wide variation in hardware or software between two different stations. And that complexity can make fixing technical problems a challenge”

[2:11] KT: “We see anywhere between 32% of the current charging stations can be offline at any given time and that 80% of the issues that they experience are non-electrical. And so what we do is we go on site, we utilize our app in order to troubleshoot the charging stations that are currently being deployed across the United States.”

[3:29] KT: “The goal of ChargerHelp! is to ensure that folks have confidence in our infrastructure and that they know that if there is an issue, that there will be a technician or someone […] there to fix that immediately.”

[24:34] KT: “At ChargerHelp!, what we do is we receive tickets in real time to dispatch and when we receive that ticket, we receive the error code. And so we ground all of the workflows that we do in that error code. And then we document […] the steps that maybe the manufacturer told me to take. Did it work or did it work right? How long did it take? Did the part actually fix the issue? And the cool thing about this is that we then are able to then give the industry a lot of important information as we switch to the fuel source, like what are the true costs of operations and maintenance? Are there bad players in regards to manufacturers? Are there parts that consistently go down? Are there issues that should be covered underneath warranty that hasn't been covered or underneath warranty? And so for us, we say that we are a technology enabled solutions provider, because more than anything, it's one thing to fix the station, but if you don't know how you fix the station, or how they can help not have the station break, then you really aren't adding too much value to the industry. But if now I can tell you that information in such a way that you get it, you understand it, and we're all better for it, to me that is of true value added.”

[25:51] KT: “We have three pricing models today. With manufacturers, we do an ad hoc, so we follow a lot of what they were doing with electricians, which is just an hourly rate. And then we also have what we call dedicated technicians, where you have folks that may need to not experience any downtime. And so you think about mission critical businesses, you think about school buses, or fleet operators are even utilities. And so we say, we can guarantee an immediate dispatch with parts on hand to fix this station within the day, which is quite different than what the industry is seeing, where some stations can be down for months. And then the other model […] is ChargerHelp! as a service. So just have a monthly fee that a site host can pay, that takes care of all the labor that they may need on the charging stations and just preventative maintenance, cleaning the station, making sure the environment is well taken care of. With gas stations, you have attendants that do this, however, when we decentralize fuel, we have to figure out, how do we want to take care of this infrastructure and ensure that people continue to adopt EV cars?”

[41:15] KT: “Where we see ourselves is really being a technology enabled service provider for smart IoT assets that are publicly deployed. EV charging stations are the first of its kind, that is so software enabled. When we look towards the future, we know that we're going to have smart cities and that we're going to need interconnected devices. And that there will need to be a service provider that understands the complexity of that software. And I can aggregate such data in order to improve on the software. So I really see ChargerHub!, stepping into that space to serve as not only a model but also the standard of what that could look like when you employ people locally, when you utilize technology, when you have good business practices.”

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google (Original Title: "ChargerHelp! Co-Founder Kameale Terry")
🕰️ 47 min | 🗓️ 09/02/2022
✅ Time saved: 45 min

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