The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has quickly changed how we live, work, and travel. In just a few short months, schools and businesses have closed, and most states have ordered residents to stay at home. Because most people are driving less, they’re also refueling their cars less.
Surprisingly, electric vehicles and EV charging are easily adapted to our current situation. Even if you are driving less often, it is still important to maintain your vehicle or take care when filling up the battery. This week, we’re sharing some practical information about taking care of your electric vehicle and your EV charging stations during Stay At Home orders.
Social Distancing While Charging at Home
In the United States, around 80% of households located in owner-occupied housing have access to a garage or carport. This means that while most EV drivers can probably install their own home charger, those who rent an apartment or condo still need to charge their vehicles in the community. Apartment communities, condominium HOAs, and other multifamily properties can serve their residents by installing smart charging stations for their residents.
One benefit to driving an electric vehicle is especially apparent during COVID-19: the ability to refuel at home. Rather than driving to a gas station to handle a gas pump that has been touched by hundreds of other drivers, EV drivers can plug into a charging station installed at home or multifamily community. If your community has shared charging stations, only other EV drivers or staff members will have reason to touch the equipment. And with dedicated charging stations, even fewer people will have contact with the plug. Fewer users means lower risk of transmitting pathogens, especially if drivers disinfect the plug handle before and after charging.
Less Maintenance, Less Worry
Although the overall usage of both internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and EVs may be cheaper than usual since most people are staying home, general maintenance is still necessary. In fact, for drivers who have been putting off maintenance on their vehicle, a pandemic is one of the worst times to suddenly need repairs. Though automotive repair shops are largely considered essential businesses and remain open for business, it’s difficult to avoid contact when bringing your car in for service. Even if you manage to stay six feet away from other people, mechanics will still need to work on your car. With all the moving parts on an internal combustion vehicle, a visit to the auto shop may be unavoidable.
On the other hand, electric vehicles generally require far less maintenance than ICE automobiles. With a more simple mechanical design, they have fewer moving components that could break down suddenly. An EV owner is less likely to need to schedule emergency maintenance during the pandemic. For your daily EV maintenance, check your owner’s manual. Some drivers may want to turn off certain software features to preserve the battery while it’s parked. Especially as temperatures heat up, you’ll want to park your EV in the shade. You may need to check your tire pressure or top off your battery, but your vehicle’s maintenance during stay at home orders should be limited.
EV Charging Stations Are Still Open for Business
While every state has its own regulations on stay-at-home orders and essential business designations, fueling stations are considered vital. That means both gas stations and electric vehicle charging stations are open during the pandemic, so all drivers can operate their vehicles. Many electrical contractors and technicians are also considered essential, which means that if your station does require repair, you can get it fixed without delay. And if you need to call SemaConnect customer service, we’re here to help.
One benefit to smart EV charging stations is that they do not require any person-to-person contact. Depending on the station settings, drivers can authorize a charge at a SemaConnect station with an RFID card, their cell phone, or simply by plugging in. Because there are no buttons or keypads, station owners just need to disinfect the plug handle twice a day (and encourage drivers to also wipe the handle before and after use). And that’s it. This reduced contact helps limit the risk of infection and supports your tenants and employees.
Though this is an uncertain time, you can depend on your electric vehicle and SemaConnect charging stations. Click here to learn more about how our team supports our drivers and customers during COVID-19.
Ready to learn more about powering your clients and tenants with smart EV charging? Request your quote today!