What to Do When an EV Charging Station Fails

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What to Do When an EV Charging Station Fails

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more common, the reliability of charging infrastructure is crucial for ensuring that drivers can charge their vehicles when needed. But what happens when an EV charging station goes out of service? Understanding the implications and available solutions can help EV drivers navigate these situations more effectively.

Immediate Impacts on EV Drivers

1. Inconvenience and Delays

1.1 Charging Plans Disrupted

When an EV charging station is out of service, it can significantly disrupt an EV driver’s plans. This is especially problematic for those who rely on specific charging stations for their daily commute or long-distance travel.

1.2 Increased Range Anxiety

The unavailability of a charging station can lead to increased range anxiety, where drivers worry about running out of battery power before finding an alternative charging location. This stress can be particularly acute in areas with limited charging infrastructure.

Finding Alternative Charging Options

1. Using Navigation Apps

1.1 Real-Time Information

Many navigation and charging apps, such as PlugShare, ChargePoint, and Tesla’s in-car navigation system, provide real-time information about the status of charging stations. These apps can help drivers locate nearby alternatives if their preferred station is out of service.

1.2 Filter and Search Features

These apps often allow users to filter charging stations by type, availability, and network, making it easier to find a suitable alternative. Drivers can also read reviews and check the reliability of alternative stations before heading there.

2. Networked Charging Solutions

1.1 Membership Benefits

Drivers who are members of charging networks like Electrify America, EVgo, or ChargePoint can benefit from access to a broad network of charging stations. Membership often comes with perks such as lower rates, reservation options, and customer support, which can help in case of an outage.

1.2 Cross-Network Compatibility

Some charging networks have agreements in place to allow cross-network access, enabling users to charge at stations outside their primary network. This interoperability can be a lifesaver when dealing with an out-of-service station.

Reporting the Issue

1. Contacting Customer Support

1.1 Immediate Assistance

Most major charging networks have customer support teams available to assist drivers when issues arise. Reporting the problem to customer support can provide immediate guidance on alternative stations and sometimes even remote troubleshooting.

1.2 Reporting Through Apps

Many charging apps include features that allow users to report issues directly through the app. This helps the network provider quickly address the problem and update the station’s status in real time.

2. Notifying Property Management

1.1 On-Site Support

If the charging station is located on private property, such as a shopping mall or office building, notifying property management can expedite the repair process. Property managers can coordinate with the charging network provider to resolve the issue promptly.

Long-Term Solutions and Improvements

1. Enhancing Infrastructure Reliability

1.1 Regular Maintenance

Charging network providers can improve reliability by conducting regular maintenance and inspections. Preventative maintenance helps identify and fix potential issues before they cause outages.

1.2 Upgrading Technology

Investing in advanced charging technology and infrastructure can reduce the likelihood of stations going out of service. Modern chargers with built-in diagnostics and remote monitoring capabilities can detect problems early and alert maintenance teams.

2. Expanding Charging Networks

1.1 Increasing Station Density

Expanding the number of charging stations, particularly in high-demand areas, can mitigate the impact of a single station going out of service. A denser network ensures that drivers have multiple options within a short distance.

1.2 Government and Private Sector Collaboration

Collaboration between government entities and private companies can accelerate the development of robust charging infrastructure. Public funding, incentives, and supportive policies can encourage the expansion of charging networks and the implementation of cutting-edge technology.


When an EV charging station goes out of service, it can be inconvenient and stressful for drivers. However, by using navigation apps, leveraging network memberships, and reporting issues promptly, drivers can find alternative solutions and minimize disruptions. Long-term improvements in charging infrastructure, regular maintenance, and technological advancements will help ensure the reliability and availability of EV charging stations, making EV ownership more convenient and stress-free.

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