Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, not only are the production lines in most electric car plants at a standstill but now first effects on charging infrastructure are becoming apparent. This concerns both the production of charging points and the maintenance and distribution of the pillars.
Ubitricity and Pod Point, for example, are postponing charging point installations in the UK that are currently not necessary. The responsible Ubitricity manager announced that the installation of new lantern charging points in London would be suspended as the work was not considered “essential”. However, the existing charging points will continue to be maintained.
The same applies to Pod Point, but in some “critical” cases the company announced exceptions in a statement. For example, home chargers ordered will continue to be installed at homes of people who were classified as “key workers” in the coronavirus crisis or if the household only has battery-electric cars and no more ICEs. Orders are still possible for all customers, but installation will take place at a later date.
The same applies to commercial installations; here too, companies that rely exclusively on electric cars and charging points installed at the workplace for “key workers” will continue to be served. Maintenance work at Homecharge customers and the public Pod Point network will continue. However, for the time being, maintenance work on charging points at the workplace will only be carried out for those working in the health or logistics sector.
In response to the pandemic, charging point manufacturer EVBox has introduced stricter hygiene and safety regulations in all offices and factories. In an open letter, CEO Kristof Vereenooghe writes that the current situation “has a significant impact on the ability of our employees and partners to provide their usual support and field services”. If on-site work is unavoidable, it must be ensured that there is no direct contact between employees and customers and that only hygienic materials and tools are used. For all other cases, remote support will be expanded.
This, too, is currently difficult, as more than 600 employees are now working from the home office. Only in a few exceptional cases are employees still on-site, for example, in the laboratories. Vereenooghe did comment in the letter about the effects on the production of the charging stations.
Also, the Swiss fast-charging network GOFAST states that the team “is not on the road as often”. However, the rapid charging stations are not affected and can still be used, says GOFAST.
Now also the fast charging network operator Ionity has spoken out: All charging stations should continue to work as usual without any significant service interruptions. Ionity has also put together some tips for customers. Among other things, the network recommends using gloves while using the touch screen, the charging cable and the plug.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.