If You’re an EV Driver and it’s a Public Charger
What should you do if you encounter a broken EV charger? Many electric vehicle chargers have contact numbers on labels on the EV charger. The EV charger manufacturer may be able to help in some situations, but the broken EV charger may be truly broken (not just malfunctioning) and it could take several days to fix.
So, if you’re in desperate need of a charge, you either need to find another charger (and possibly be towed there) with a site like PlugShare, find a 120V outlet if you have a Level 1 slow charger in your car, or if you don’t have a level 1 charger – buy one and keep it in your car, they don’t weigh much.
Soon there will be other options if you run out of juice and find yourself at a broken EV charger. Lighting Energy is developing a mobile charging vehicle and SparkCharge is selling the Roadie – a stackable fast charging system that could fit in a vehicle. These solutions will definitely get some use as more and more EVs start to fill the roadways and the older electric vehicle chargers in the network become the broken EV chargers in the network.
I can see the need for EV charger maintenance companies to spring up in the operation and maintenance phase of the national EV charger rollout. If the U.S. is going to build 500,000 EV charging stations, that’s 500,000 potential broken EV chargers that are going to need to be maintained (at some point or another).
If You’re a Commercial Real Estate Owner or Manager
On the flip side, if you happen to be a owner of an electric vehicle charger, or a proprietor with an EV charger on your property, the obvious thing to do is to call the charger manufacturer and/or installer. However, if your charger is beyond the point that you’re willing to repair the charger and you don’t have insurance for the charger, you could list your charger on Leptonic’s Micro-Real Estate website.
The charger itself can be listed as hardware (probably just for spare parts) and, more importantly, the tiny piece of property that that the charger sits on (the micro-property) can be listed on the site, and you can seek bids from EV charger manufacturers and installers. Hopefully, that takes some of the hassle out of finding a new charger.
There are electric vehicle charger locator services cropping up that might also be willing to find a new EV charger for your malfunctioning unit, especially if your property is one of the best places to put an EV charging station.
ICEing vandals and Anti-ICEing Laws
If you suspect that there was intentional damage to the charger, like a cut cable, then you should call the police and look into getting a security camera for your charger if you don’t already have one.
If you haven’t heard of ICEing a EV charger, then you should know that there are a lot of internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers that do not like the rise of EVs and want to continue to burn gasoline in all cars. There are EV charger vandals out there, but now some anti-ICEing laws are being passed to better protect EV chargers and reduce the hassle of broken EV chargers for EV drivers.
Broken EV Charger at Your Home
Firstly, if there is a visual issue (exposed wires, bent plugs, cracked case, smoke, bad smells, or other concerning cues) with your EV charger at home, do not try to charge your EV. It’s certainly not cheap to replace a Level 2 home EV charger, but it’s a lot more expensive to replace a EV battery pack and/or circuits.
You should call an electrician as soon as practical to get your EV charger up and running again and use a level 1 charger if you have one. If it’s your level 1 charger that is causing an issue, it’s probably a good idea to just replace the charger – a minor cost while owning an EV.
For a level 2 home charger, since the spot should already have an electrical hook up for the broken EV charger, the installation cost of the new charger should be significantly less than the installation cost of the original EV charger.