Electric vehicles (EVs) have been on our roads for a while now, and with government targets, electric vehicle incentives, and manufacturers promoting their electric models there’s a steady rise in the popularity of EVs. The demand for electric drive vehicles, whether it’s a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric, will only continue as consumers search for ways to save money at the pump and reduce their impact on the environment. With this high demand and more EVs on our roads, it’s now extremely important that we have more charging points in convenient locations like shopping destinations.
Why install EV chargers in your shopping destinations?
- Stand out from your competitors as a forward-thinking, sustainable company
- Attract new customers, increase your clients‘ loyalty, and get additional revenue
- Get support from policy makers and enjoy the new public investment in electric charging
- Reduce your CO2 footprint
Is the time to install EV charging now?
The car parks of shopping centres and retail parks should be considering electric vehicle charging points today to prepare for the legislation that the UK government set to meet their 80% reduction in carbon emission target by 2050. However, there’s far greater urgency because the UK already had 1 million forecasted sales for plug-in vehicles by the end of 2020 and the EV uptake in 2021 is only getting stronger. Statistics suggest a 10:1 ratio of electric vehicles to fast charging points and a 50:1 ration of electric vehicles to rapid charging points. There’s a clear need for more EV destination charging points to satisfy the quantity of EVs on our roads.
Opportunities and challenges in retail destination charging
Besides increasing customer experience by allowing shoppers to leave their car charging while doing errands, installing charging points could have significant benefits for the landowners. On the one hand, they’re going to be able to offer extra services to their customers and increasing users’ satisfaction but also increase their revenues because EV drivers will spend longer at these places while they’re waiting for their vehicles to charge.
Destination charging offers a serious opportunity to scale up and generate secondary revenue streams. Retail destinations typically have high levels of footfall and prolonged dwell time (hence higher utilisation of the charging infrastructure) making destination charging an opportunity with high potential for retailers to exploit.
One potential trend could be for supermarkets to supply free charging. By using the chargers as a loss leader, supermarkets can attract customers in the same way they discount fuel sales to increase sales.
These facilities could also be very different regarding, for instance, its size or location. That’s the rationale as to why a number of different EV chargers might be installed: from wall-mounted chargers and posts, to rapid chargers. Needless to say, it is going to be essential for a load management and monitoring solution to avoid grid overloading, reduce installation and operational costs, manage the charging more efficiently, and monitor chargers remotely.
Speed Of Charging
Speed of charging in this context becomes particularly important. Rapid charging would be too short (and expensive) for customers to linger. Slow charging may equally discourage customers from staying longer. Getting the proper balance in charging speed is going to be important. Moreover, retailers can explore other options, like setting a fixed price for charging, in exchange for a voucher where the charge is redeemed if the EV driver shops in store.
Rapid charging would be the perfect replacement for traditional petrol pumps within retail car parks. Many supermarkets currently offer the facilities to refill a tank of petrol, however the speed of charging necessary for a fast top-up would need to be substantial. Where a smaller charger could also be advantageous in parking bays, rapid chargers would need to be installed in charging forecourts.
Rapid charging is more expensive to install. As a rule of thumb, a 7kW charger costs about £1,000 to put in a socket, however this is dependent on charger location and if civils are required, whereas a 50kW charger is probably going to cost upwards of £30,000. Moreover, as chargers go beyond 50kW, the costs multiply as grid-related and site costs are factored in.
Given the potential strain on the grid presented by electric vehicle charging (in particular rapid chargers), obtaining the consent and support of a regional distribution network operator (DNO) is often a lengthy and possibly a prohibitively-expensive process. This is often where companies like Clarke EV can help guide you on your EV journey.
Our solution for retail and shopping destinations
Our solution is scalable and upgradeable as electric vehicle uptake grows. The Clarke EV team have the experience to design your install, assess the power capacity, undertake any civils works required, and install and commission your charge point. Our installers are qualified EV electricians who are trained to award-winning safety standards and who consistently adopt a right-first-time ethos.
There are typically six key fundamental factors when considering electric vehicles and associated infrastructure. Each of the six pillars are important to achieving the best EV solution for each client, each of whom have differing needs and requirements. Our expert team can help guide you through the whole process and advise on the right approach for you. Need to add the six pillars graphic or list what they are?
Our turnkey service provides the reassurance that the most appropriate solution is delivered to you and all charge points are maintained and monitored by us. Customer service is at the heart of our delivery, providing you with the confidence that you have a team to support you, answer any questions, and ultimately make sure that your solution consistently meets your needs.
If you’re curious about exploring retail destination charging please visit our contact us page or call 0800 170 0276.