There are currently 32 models of electric vehicles available for purchase in the United States. By the start of the next decade, it’s projected that more than half of new car sales will refuel by plugging in.
At that time, conservative projections from Wood Mackenzie predict that there will be about 100 million electric vehicles on the roads. Beyond the fact that this is great news for air-quality, why should anyone outside the automobile and oil industries care?
Electric vehicle drivers bring a new opportunity for many businesses to increase their value by re-imagining the role their parking lot plays in their business. Parking will no longer be a typical feature of a shopping mall, office building, grocery store, hotel, or multi-family residence. Parking lots fitted with electric vehicle charging stations can be a marketing tool to attract desirable clientele, tenants, and employees.
Who are electric vehicle drivers, and why are they worth targeting?
Electric vehicle drivers are an incredibly valuable group of retail customers.
Electric vehicle drivers use apps to seek out businesses that offer charging. A typical charge can take around 60 minutes, which means that these drivers also tend to stay longer than other shoppers. One grocery retailer found that electric vehicle drivers spent three times as long in-store, resulting in receipts that were three times that of typical shoppers. Generally speaking, businesses providing electric vehicle charging are well-positioned to attract desirable, repeat customers who spend more money.
All of this, in and of itself, would be enough to install charging stations, but wait, there’s more! The apps that electric vehicle drivers use to find charging stations provide information about the nearby business such as photos, amenities while charging, restrooms, restaurants, etc. Essentially this is free advertising for your business.
Electric vehicle drivers are desirable tenants.
According to research conducted by ChargePoint (the largest electric vehicle charging network), between 5-10% of apartment dwellers plan to purchase an electric vehicle in the next three to five years. In areas with higher densities of electric vehicles, it’s closer to 10-20%. Adding electric vehicle charging stations to multi-family properties can attract tenants willing to pay higher rents with less turnover.
Electric vehicle drivers make great hotel guests.
When electric vehicles were introduced, their range between charges was limited, making it difficult to go on a road trip. However, their limit has substantially improved, allowing guests to travel farther away from home. But they still need to charge every 150-300 miles, making a nightly hotel stop an ideal location to rest and recharge both the driver and car. For example, the Hilton chain has decided to offer free electric vehicle charging to its guests. The company can now achieve its sustainability goals, attract new groups of guests, and elicit brand loyalty.
Electric vehicle drivers are engaged, committed employees.
A survey conducted by PwC found that nearly a quarter of employees say that the most important aspect of their career is doing a job that makes a difference. They want to work for a company that shares their deepest-held values (which often includes environmental concerns). Offering employees EV charging solutions is a great way to engage and retain your best workers and attract new, top talent.
An excellent example of this idea in action is LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network. When attracting talent to its own business, LinkedIn has recognized that they want to find and retain employees that care about the environment. Because of this, LinkedIn has committed to run its business on 100% clean energy and offer electric vehicle charging stations to thousands of its employees. LinkedIn was awarded as a Best Workplace for Commuters in 2019 because of the accessibility of electric vehicle charging stations. When corporate and employee values are so closely aligned, employees have fewer reasons to leave and additional reasons to stay, reducing the cost of employee turnover.
An Affordable Way to Plug into the Future of Business
Installing electric vehicle charging stations is not only an excellent customer acquisition and business growth strategy, but it also helps government agencies and utility providers meet their sustainability goals. As such, many are offering quite generous rebates to lower the barrier to entry for businesses that want to add electric vehicle charging options to their property. These rebates make installing electric vehicle charging stations a no-brainer.
Not sure where to get started? Partnering with WESCO Energy Solutions will take the guesswork out of the best charging station options and rebates available for your project. However, with any rebate opportunity, it’s crucial to act fast as funds are limited and disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis.