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The Business Impact of Choosing the Wrong High-Power Chargers for EV Fleets

(Rick Sander, CEO, Tuesday, June 2, 2020)

When an organization has to buy a large quantity of anything expensive (such as EV chargers), it is the first nature of the organization and its stakeholders to try to buy at the lowest cost possible. In the case where there are specific performance requirements, this impulse can be curbed. For many products, companies will not specify attributes such as reliability or availability – a warranty is assumed to be good enough. However, when the product is a mission-critical component of a larger solution, the warranty only gets a failed product replaced. It does not fix the overall system availability issue, and the costs associated with the overall system being unavailable.

A good example of this is high-power chargers for fleet electric vehicles (EVs), especially large medium/heavy-duty (M/HD) EVs. When a charger goes down, it takes down the EV with it. For fleet vehicles, there are two costs that a charger failure creates beyond the cost to repair or replace the charger, and both are often greater than the charger repair costs. The first cost is lost revenue – the deliveries that are missed or the passengers that can’t be transported because the EV is not available. The second cost is the salary and benefits for the driver, which still need to be paid even when the vehicle is down. For fleet automobiles, this cost is $79.32 per hour, or roughly $800 per ten-hour day. For delivery vehicles and transit buses, these costs are even higher. If a charger is down (on average) for a week, this cost would be $5,600. A couple failures over the lifetime of a charger would more than make up the cost difference between a low-cost high-power charger and a reliable high-power charger.

As a leader in the development and manufacturing of bi-directional, high-power energy systems for both vehicle charging and photovoltaic solar applications, Rhombus is an expert in high-power charging systems for EVs, and especially in the area of V2G charging. We have built hundreds of V2G-capable high-power, high-reliability chargers for a variety of different sizes and classes of EVs. Find out how we can help you by contacting us at sales@rhombusenergy.com, or by reading our Energy Storage Reference Architecture white paper.

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