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Electric Vehicle Charging Station Reliability – How to Meet Uptime Requirements

June 20, 2024
Electric vehicle plugged into a charging station by a body of water with windmills in the background.

The average uptime of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, an essential metric for assessing the reliability of EV infrastructure, has become a focal point for both users and operators. A recent study analyzed the performance of chargers across various networks, revealing a notable discrepancy between claimed and actual uptimes. While EV service providers (EVSPs) often report an uptime of 95 to 98%, independent studies, including a field study in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, have found that only about 72.5% of chargers were functional at any given time1,2. This discrepancy underscores the challenges faced in achieving the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s mandate for an average annual uptime greater than 97% for each charging port3.

Improving the reliability of public charging infrastructure is crucial, with the responsibility of monitoring and enhancing uptime data falling primarily on charge point manufacturers4. The increasing utilization rates of fast-charging stations in the U.S., which doubled from 9% in January to 18% in December 2023, further emphasizes the need for reliable charging solutions5. Prioritizing and achieving high uptime percentages ensures user satisfaction and confidence and also supports the broader adoption of electric vehicles by mitigating one of the primary concerns of potential EV owners — charging reliability.

Using a protective conformal coating is a known solution to help improve the reliability of electronics used in automotive and harsh outdoor environments. Conformal coatings offer protection against some of the major failure issues that are observed with EV charging stations, including moisture, corrosion and electrical shorts. Parylene, acrylic, silicone and urethane conformal coatings are commonly used to protect against some or all of the issues impacting charging stations.

Achieving and maintaining high uptime rates for EV charging stations is paramount in advancing electric vehicle adoption. SCS leverages its extensive expertise in conformal coatings to aid EV charging station manufacturers in developing systems that are not only highly reliable, but also meet the stringent uptime standards set by both the government and manufacturers. Through the strategic application of conformal coatings, components are protected against common failure modes, thereby enhancing the reliability and performance of EV charging infrastructure. This commitment to quality and innovation positions SCS as a critical partner in the quest for sustainable and dependable electric vehicle charging solutions.


  1. Franklin Electric EV Systems. (2022, October 31). 2 NEVI hurdles: Uptime and bottlenecks. Utility Drive. https://www.utilitydive.com/spons/2-nevi-hurdles-uptime-and-bottlenecks/634971/
  2. Rempel, D., Cullen, C., Matteson Bryan, M., & Vianna Cezar, G. (2023). Reliability of Open Public Electric Vehicle Direct Current Fast Chargers. Human factors, 187208231215242. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/00187208231215242
  3. Kennedy, P. (2023, April 14). Is EV charger uptime beyond 97% a reasonable goal?. Is EV charger uptime beyond 97% a reasonable goal? | Electric Vehicle Charging & Infrastructure. https://www.evcandi.com/feature/ev-charger-uptime-beyond-97-reasonable-goal
  4. Bernard, M. R. (2023, March 31). IMPROVING PUBLIC CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE RELIABILITY. International Council on Clean Transportation.
  5. Stock, K. (2024, March 6). EV Charging Stations Are Now Busy Enough to Make Money in the US. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-03-06/ev-charging-stations-in-the-us-are-finally-getting-busy

Global Coverage Issue 98, Spring 2024