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Service Level Agreements for workplace EV charging

Paul Winchester, Director of Fleet at Mer UK, explains why service level agreements are an excellent accompaniment to your workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Service Level Agreements for workplace EV charging

If you are a fleet operator with charge points in your depots or a business with workplace EV charging, you could benefit from a fixed service, maintenance and repair agreement for your charge posts.  

In this quickfire FAQ, Paul Winchester, Director of Fleet at Mer UK, explains everything you need to know about: 

  • What service level agreements are 
  • How an EV charging SLA works 
  • If there are any legal requirements to have an SLA 
  • The benefits of an SLA for workplace EV charging 
  • What SLA packages Mer offers 

What is a service level agreement?

A service level agreement, often shortened to SLA, is a contract between your company and a service provider. They are typically used to cover critical assets by providing service, maintenance and repair. This helps protect these assets and minimise their down time. Fleet operators will be very familiar with this type of SLA as they most likely use them for their vehicles already. 

EV charging service level agreements

How does an EV charging SLA work?

Our SLA is a contract in which we promise to achieve minimum response times to emergency call-outs. It also covers regular inspection and maintenance of your chargers, as well as firmware updates.  

Is it necessary to have an SLA for my workplace charge points?

There is no legal requirement to have an SLA. However, charge points are electrical appliances, so it is good practice to maintain them for health and safety reasons above all else. In addition, you could invalidate your business liability insurance if you do not take the necessary steps to maintain your EV charging infrastructure. If the worst happens and this leads to a driver being injured or killed, your insurance might not cover it. 

What are the benefits of an SLA for workplace EV charging?

Safety – an SLA helps ensure that your chargers are safe, protecting users and protecting your business. 

Efficiency – well maintained chargers are less likely to fail, minimising down time. 

Profitability – if keeping your EVs on the road is critical to your business, you need immediate support if a charger goes offline. 

What does an SLA from Mer cover?

As part of your SLA you will get:  

  • Inspection of each charger every six months, where we inspect for damage and conduct tests for safety and functionality. Think of it like an MoT for your car, it’s a health check really. This includes carrying out a full electrical test on the residual current device (RCD), the life-saving component designed to prevent electrocution, 
  • Unlimited engineer call-outs – and the first engineer visit is always free as it is covered by your plan, 
  • Guaranteed times for completion of repairs so you can have peace of mind that your chargers will be quickly back on stream, 
  • Firmware updates, 
  • Confidence – Mer is one of only two UK companies trusted by the leading manufacturers ABB and Alfen to repair their charge points. We’re experts in this technology. 

Can I just rely on the manufacturer’s warranty?

Typically, the manufacturer’s warranty is a return-to-base agreement. This means that, if a charger breaks, you have to wait for it to be taken away, sent back to the OEM, repaired and reinstalled. Many businesses simply cannot afford that amount of down time. 

Mer is an authorised partner for its charge post suppliers, meaning we are allowed to repair the chargers and we also stock the spare parts in our warehouse. A customer relying on warranty will have their charger shipped back to mainland Europe for repair while a customer who has taken out an SLA with us has their charger repaired on site, or at our UK facility. 

Can I go with a cheaper deal from my local electrician?

There are several reasons why this is a bad idea:

  1. It is highly unlikely that your local electrician will be authorised to repair the chargers. This means they will not have access to the pass codes required to access the firmware.  
  2. They will not carry spare parts in stock. 
  3. They will also probably not have a relationship with the charge post manufacturer, so even if they can get a hold of a replacement part and fit it, they cannot set it up without the access codes. 

All of this adds up to delays in getting the chargers back online, meaning extended down time. 

Workplace charging and SLAs with Mer

What SLA packages do you offer?

At Mer, we offer an SLA and an SLA+. The SLA+ is a bespoke offering depending on the customer’s response time requirements, and can be discussed with our Sales team. 

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