Top Benefits of Retail EV Charging StationsMay 22, 2023 | 7 MIN READ
When it comes to choosing a store, consumers have a lot of options available to them. Several big factors go into where they shop and when most of those factors are similar, like price, products, and service, it’s the extra offerings that can help you stand out. When more and more consumers are considering which companies get their dollars, many are starting to consider how a store’s values align with their own. One great way to demonstrate those values, provide more services for your customers, and reap additional benefits is to install EV charging stations.
- The Retail Role in EV Charging
- Retailers With EV Charging Stations
- EV Charging Considerations for Retailers
- Top Benefits of Retail EV Charging Stations
The Retail Role in EV Charging
Across the board, nearly everyone in the electric vehicle industry, from EV owners to industry leaders, agrees that one of the biggest improvements needed is the expansion of EV charging infrastructure. The great part about that is that it opens up roles for everyone to help achieve that goal. Retail locations are no different.
In fact, retail locations are an ideal spot for EV charging stations. When we’re considering where to install EV charging stations, planners, developers, and industry experts look for locations that have vehicular traffic, typically higher volume, and locations where people will park for a while, giving them the opportunity to charge vehicles.
EV charging station site selection can also involve the location or property owner’s desire to leverage EV charging stations to create another revenue stream. There are several ways to boost ROI with the addition of EV charging stations.
Retailers With EV Charging Stations
Perhaps the most exciting part of being involved in the EV charging industry is seeing charging stations “out in the wild.” Thankfully, EV charging stations sightings include quite a few retailers who are realizing the benefits for business and for customers.
For some retailers, adding charging stations isn’t a new thing. In fact, Walgreens pharmacies started adding EV charging stations in 2013. And, in the last 5 years, other retailers have either added stations or expanded the number of stations or locations. Retailers with EV charging stations include:
- Whole Foods
In addition to those retail locations, other commercial businesses such as restaurants, gas stations, and entertainment venues are adding EV charging stations. Some of those businesses include:
- 7-Eleven (DC fast chargers)
- Taco Bell
- Cinemark (movies)
And while these are mostly larger retailers, with incentives, grants, and more, smaller retailers of commercial properties may want to get in on the action. Clearly, larger retailers are seeing the benefits as many of them continue to expand their EV charging stations in number and geographical dispersion.
EV Charging Considerations for Retailers
Certainly, for many retailers and commercial property developers, there are cost considerations, but much like other charging station owners, there are some site and location factors you’ll want to consider.
One of the biggest concerns for retail locations is logistics. This includes everything from lot size and space to power management. For example, you’ll want to know what kind of power the grid can handle and that may help you determine how many and what type of chargers your lot can handle.
You’ll also want to consider how many spots you can, realistically, allocate for EV charging. This will, also, depend upon demand not just at your location, but in the area as charging stations may attract drivers who were not, initially, headed for your store. This is also a significant concern if you share a lot with other retailers or businesses.
Understanding what your location needs and can handle as well as what you want can be a bit of a balancing act and that’s why working with experts who provide a turnkey EV charging solution and will come review your site prior to discussing EV charging station installation options.
Top Benefits of Retail EV Charging Stations
As with any investment, there are considerations, but if we’re using other retailers as a benchmark, their desire to increase their investment hopefully makes it clear that there are some pretty big benefits to installing EV charging stations at your retail location.
1. Attract EV drivers and keep them there
As electric vehicles become more popular, the demographics are changing. While a few years back the average EV driver was a white male over the age of 45 making roughly $100k a year, 36% of Americans say they’re considering purchasing an EV. Further, increased adoption is skewing EV drivers younger, but still more likely among those with a higher income. So, a retail EV charging station can help your business attract these consumers. And, for EV drivers who may not be customers but who may be experiencing range anxiety, your business becomes the perfect solution.
Property developer or commercial property owner? EV charging stations also help you attract the shops and stores that will boost your occupancy rates and rent.
While you may want to add DC fast chargers to your lot to help people charge quickly, EV charging isn’t always a quick process, especially when you’re trying to manage power consumption and demand. One of the reasons retailers fit so well into the EV infrastructure picture is dwell time, or the amount of time a person spends in a single location. Many retailers have dwell times that would encourage EV drivers to charge. And, for the retailer? That dwell time translates into more money. In fact, one study found that for every 1% increase in dwell time, stores saw a 1.3% increase in sales.3. Build a positive reputation
Let’s look at some quick numbers: 44% of shoppers prefer to shop at stores that share their values. A majority of Americans (54%) believe climate change is a significant threat to the well-being of the country. And, 69% of Americans favor the US making steps to become carbon neutral by 2050. What that adds up to is that shoppers are looking for sustainability and businesses that value it as well…an EV charging station at your retail location can send shoppers the right message about your shared values.4. An additional revenue stream and advertising opportunity
Retail or not, EV charging stations offer a new opportunity for revenue. With flexible business models, you can decide how you charge, when you charge, and even who you charge. You can even create incentives for regular customers and offer free or discounted EV charging. Additionally, the charging stations and ChargeUP, the charging app from NovaCHARGE, were designed and built with location-based advertising in mind.5. Raise brand or location awareness
That charging app we mentioned? Customers use the in-app map to find charging locations, including yours. Whether it’s a new location or the desire to pull in new customers, a charging app can grab someone’s attention. And, if they were considering a competitor, your EV charging station is just one more reason to head to your business, so they can charge while they shop.
As a business owner, you know that balancing customer demand with smart business choices can be a challenge, but EV charging stations don’t have to be. With decades of experience in the EV industry and decades of business experience, we built our EV charging solution with owners and hosts in mind.
- Flexible business models to give you control
- Charging portal transparency so you can drill down and “see” individual stations
- Real-time communication with your charging station at intervals you choose
- NovaBOT AI driven predictive maintenance monitoring that alerts you to problems
- Reliability to ensure your stations are always ready to charge…and generate revenue
- Customizable reporting so you can map out the ROI
- A turnkey solution that steers you through the entire process
If you’re ready to start the discussion, get in touch with the NovaCHARGE team today. We’d love to talk about how our EV charging solution can get you on the road to the future.