As electric vehicle sales continue to grow and more charging points are installed across the country, a range of opportunities for businesses to attract new customers is emerging.
Last year the real estate services provider Savills worked with ten clients to roll out electric vehicle charging points across 29 retail locations.
A review of the project found that 76 charging points were used 11,648 times, leading to a 50 per cent increase in average dwell times, with 31 tonnes less of CO2 from visitors’ travel.
The charging points attracted new shoppers, encouraged repeat visits and increased dwell times.
The UK will outlaw the sale of petrol and diesel engines by 2040 and Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2025, EV sales will hit 7m a year and make up 7 per cent of vehicles on the road.
Businesses that haven’t previously been able to take advantage of the short time consumers spend refuelling will see new opportunities on the forecourt.
Pure EVs can use rapid charging points that top up the batteries to 80 per cent capacity in around 30 minutes – a much more significant dwell time than the few minutes required to fill a petrol tank.
Fuel station operators will be forced to radically expand and redefine their offer, because they will have a captive audience with time on their hands which can be used to encourage drivers to spend on additional goods and services.
Ambitious businesses will see that charging stations have the potential to become a focal point for retail and leisure activities in communities across markets with significant EV uptake.
EV giant Tesla has plans to expand its network of 145KW ‘supercharger’ stations to 10,000 in the coming years.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has described his vision for charging stations to include ‘an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA…and an outdoor screen that plays a highlight reel of the best scenes in movie history.’
Although Tesla is an industry leader, other, smaller businesses must now address the changes that electric charging stations are set to bring, or risk missing out on significant opportunities.
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