Have you ever considered the time we waste filling up our gas guzzlers at the petrol station? Or the subpar amenities offered in the cramped “convenience” store filled with overpriced junk food, a broken bathroom, and enough plastic bottles to fill a small landfill? Elon Musk has.
Electric Vehicles have changed the way we drive and, if Elon and a few forward-thinking retailers have their say, will change the way we shop.
Ask any EV owner and they will tell you: EV charging changes behavior. For the urban-dweller without a residential charging station of their own, the question of “where to plug-in?” is often top of mind. With a full charge taking up to an hour, the EV owner has plenty of time on their hands.
While some owners may consider this a nuisance, others see it as an opportunity. A chance to slow-down and to take the extra time doing the things they enjoy: grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, having dinner out with the family, or shopping for the latest gadget at Best Buy.
ChargePoint, an electric vehicle infrastructure company based in Campbell, California with over 57,000 charging stations throughout the world, points out that “…drivers’ decisions about where to shop will start to be based on whether a store offers EV charging.”
A few retailers have already recognized this change in shopper behavior and have placed charging stations in their lots to drive foot traffic to their stores:
Kohl’s offers 210 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in 22 states, creating an easy experience for customers to charge their cars while they shop
Walmart has nearly 100 EV stations with a plan to double the number by June 2019
Macy’s has 35 free electric car charging stations located at 19 locations with plans for more in the future
Although retailers may not have the visionary flare of Elon’s old school drive-in Tesla charging experience, the opportunity to fulfill a much-needed service to shoppers, with the added benefit of being a go to retail destination while they wait, is too good to pass up.
With exponential adoption of Electric Vehicles expected over the next decade, retailers who offer this added convenience for their customers may just find their profits fully charged.