EV drivers are a coveted demographic: they have high average incomes, own smartphones, and are well-educated.

They also tend to be good customers, spending lots of time in charging station-equipped stores and returning on a daily basis.

And since not every storefront has a charging station, they’ll go back to the same place multiple times.

2014-12-09

Having A Charging Station In Front Of Your Store Is Good For Business

You know who brings in the bucks? People who drive electric cars waiting for their car to charge.

Stick an electric vehicle charging station in front of your shop, sit back, and wait for the affluent shoppers to pour in on a regular basis. It really is that easy, according to an infographic from EV charging network company ECOtality.

The infographic, which pulls together demographic data from ECOtality’s Blink network of charging stations and outside research firms, shows why it makes economic sense for retailers to have EV charging stations nearby.

EV drivers are a coveted demographic: they have high average incomes, own smartphones, and are well-educated.

They also tend to be good customers, spending lots of time in charging station-equipped stores and returning on a daily basis. That’s because it takes time to charge EVs, so drivers linger for long periods of time. And since not every storefront has a charging station, they’ll go back to the same place multiple times.

"I’m a good example. I drive a 2013 Nissan Leaf and travel between 80 and 100 miles every day, almost exclusively in the Leaf," says Ravi Brar, CEO of ECOtality. "If I have to travel slightly out of my way to go to a particular location to charge, I’ll go in for 20 minutes, buy a cappuccino that I might not otherwise buy, read my e-mails, and hop in the car."

There’s another bonus for retailers that isn’t mentioned in this infographic: ECOtality can provide basic demographic info to retailers on their EV-driving customers. "Retailers that we work with are finding there is a significantly longer stay among EV drivers than the overall average customer," says Brar.

Keep in mind that this all hinges on a few things. First, it takes a little while to charge an EV. If that changes at some point in the future (though certainly not in the near future), customers won’t linger as long. Second, people will travel out of their way to visit charging station-equipped shops because, as mentioned earlier, they aren’t always easy to find. If charging stations become more ubiquitous, that will also change.

"As we transition and there are millions of EVs—which there will be—and hundreds of thousands of chargers, then I think this moves from being something that’s somewhat unique and attracting a unique and valuable demographic to something that’s an expectation," says Brar.

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