Skip navigation
BMW i4 M50i at charger.jpg
Video technology can improve EV charging stations’ reliability.

Helping Build a More Reliable BEV Charging Network

As America’s public charging network grows, automakers can use video tools to provide support services at scale. The long-term benefit: a charging network that BEV drivers trust – and may even be as profitable as a gas station.

Earlier this year, the White House set aside $5 billion over five years to fund a nationwide electric-vehicle charging network. The goal is to have a total of 500,000 public charging stations by 2030.

Automakers are racing to install charging stations and establish themselves in this space. But before they install any new units, they need to fix the reliability problem with existing ones.

J.D. Power research found that 20% of EV owners reported charging issues at public stations; 72% of the time, these stations were broken or out of service.

Such widespread error is more than an inconvenience. It can create “charging deserts” that leave people stranded for hours.

As more consumers go electric, automakers need the tools to build a more reliable EV charging network. One solution: using app-free remote video support software to help with installation, maintenance and troubleshooting. Here, I’ll explain three ways automakers and consumers can benefit from this technology.

On-the-job Training for Installation and Maintenance

EV charging stations rely on a complex electrical ecosystem to regulate power, interface with users and measure electricity consumption. That’s why many automakers contract certified electricians to handle installation and maintenance.

But certified doesn’t always mean skilled. Not every electrician has the field experience needed to install and maintain each station properly. If an inexperienced worker uses a damaged breaker or outdated wiring, the station may become inoperable – and even a fire hazard.

Automakers can use app-free video support software to connect electricians with more experienced supervisors. The result? Safer, more accurate work. Here’s what a video support scenario might look like:

An electrician uses their smartphone or tablet to video-call an experienced supervisor via an SMS link – no app needed.

The electrician points out key areas of concern via their device camera to double-check their work.

Throughout the process, electricians can ask questions to inform future installation and maintenance jobs. And with each video-assisted job, they’ll learn from each other and close the charging-station knowledge gap. 

The benefit for automakers: reliable stations from the get-go and the right infrastructure to maintain them.

App-free Video Tools Enable Fast Troubleshooting at Scale

When public charging stations aren’t working, EV owners usually report problems, including blank screens, transaction hiccups and faulty charger connections. In a best-case scenario, that might mean driving to a working station nearby. But often, EV owners encounter a string of inoperable stations that leave them frustrated and low on power.

When automakers provide access to app-free video support, EV owners can receive the assistance they need to get back on the road fast. The result: a top-tier customer experience that leaves customers satisfied – and builds trust between automakers and drivers.

Imagine an EV owner who has trouble charging their vehicle at a public station. Instead of wasting energy ttrying another spot, they can use their smartphone to scan a QR code on the station. They’ll get a link to a video support platform and connect with an agent in seconds.

After describing the issue at hand, the EV owner will receive expert troubleshooting tips. The agent might ask them to fully plug in both charger connections. Or maybe they’ll instruct the driver to check their vehicle’s charging settings.

Thanks to video tech, the agent can actually see each piece of equipment through the driver’s device camera. That makes troubleshooting much easier than it would be over a voice call. And if the issue requires more hands-on support, the agent can dispatch a local electrician to the station. In fact, even an on-site technician can video-call an expert to receive guided visual assistance.

Remote Video Software Ensures Quality Support During an Electrician Shortage

Like many trades, the electrical contracting workforce is aging. Electricians are retiring in droves, and replacing them with skilled workers is increasingly difficult. What’s taking shape is a labor shortage that’s only set to get worse.

With fewer electricians available, automakers often have to defer station maintenance. This can leave stations inoperable for months. When electricians can offer support, they may rush through jobs to work through their queue.

To establish a reliable nationwide charging network, automakers have to find ways to provide high-quality support using the workforce they have. One solution: Equip electricians with remote video support software to help them triage their work.

With video support tools, electricians can remotely – and quickly – resolve charging issues with, say, a restart code or charging-cord adjustment. This helps them reserve field visits for more complex jobs. What’s more, they’ll have the time they need to consistently deliver top-notch support.

Rama S.jpgReliability is Key to a Profitable Charging Network

To deliver on President Biden’s EV promise, top automakers are investing millions in a sprawling public charging network. They’re partnering with local businesses and dealership owners to set up stations in high-traffic areas. And they’re using installers such as SEAM Group and QMerit to facilitate a seamless rollout.

As America’s public charging network grows, automakers can use video tools to provide support services at scale. The long-term benefit: a charging network that EV drivers trust – and may even be as profitable as a gas station.

Rama Sreenivasan is cofounder and CEO of Blitzz, a live, remote video support and inspection platform.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.