EV Infrastructure

4 Case Studies Making the Case for Installing EV Chargers in Parking Lots

June 27, 2024

As more consumers opt for the advantages of driving an EV, businesses are beginning to provide their EV-driving customers with EV chargers in their parking lots. Who wouldn’t want the convenience of fueling their car while they shop, enjoy a manicure, or get their annual checkup?

It’s a new concept, but it’s catching on. Now that several forward-thinking companies have installed EV chargers on their premises, case studies on EV chargers in parking lots have begun to pop up. Here are some of the success stories coming out of these early efforts.

Price Chopper and Partners’ EV Charging Venture Provides Convenience, Monetization

Image via Freepik

One of the first supermarkets in the country to see the potential benefits of installing EV chargers to increase traffic, New York State’s Price Chopper chain partnered with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and a local planning board to install EV chargers in several of its parking lots beginning in 2014. The chain installed the first chargers near main transportation corridors, making them convenient for local EV drivers and vacationers alike.

The Price Chopper team installed two or three Level 2 EV charging stations at each site it chose for its first deployments. With Level 2 charging, customers could add about 32 miles to their cars’ range for every hour they spend inside the store. Taking care of two boring tasks at once? Yes, please.

Even better, many locations the supermarket chain chose include other retail businesses. This move allowed Price Chopper to further monetize their EV charging investment through shared charging — for a fee, of course.

ChargePoint Installations Boost Major Retailer’s Revenue

Image via Freepik

What happens when the world’s largest EV charging station network joins forces with a legacy North American retailer? Three words: customer service magic.

More than a century after its founding, “RetailCo” (ChargePoint anonymized the company’s name for privacy) needed to take its customer service into the 21st century. Its sixties retool, giving the brand a facelift by becoming the continent’s retailer of choice for “upscale discount goods,” grew the company to the 1,700-store regional power it is today. However, to compete in the 21st century, it needed to provide “value-added services” to keep its loyal customers and attract high-paying new ones.

After looking at the high incomes of most EV drivers, the company decided to install EV charging stations in the parking lot of one of its California stores. This pilot project aimed to increase dwell time — the time an average customer spends in the store. Since studies show that increasing dwell time also increases revenue, the company’s leadership wanted to see if EV charging would cause customers to spend more time inside its doors.

The retailer enlisted ChargePoint in the project, purchasing six Level 2 dual-port charging stations in the store’s parking lot. With ChargePoint’s cloud-based customer tracking, pricing, and cost analysis software, the retailer could receive all the data needed to assess the project’s success. Customers, too, benefited from the leading-edge driver services, including a 24/7 call center that could handle any problems that might arise.

Since ChargePoint has such a broad reach, all six stations served customers on the very first day of business. Even better, the average charging session was 72 minutes, well over the store’s average dwell time of 22 minutes. Revenue grew — to the tune of $56,000 — with only $430 in electric bills to pay. It’s a story worth repeating for retailers of all stripes.

EV Charging Ups the Luxury Factor at The Oaks Hotel & Suites

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Already loaded with amenities, The Oaks Hotel & Suites wanted to provide its high-end guests with even more white-glove services. Its solution? EV charging stations.

Located in Paso Robles, California, this premier facility had the advantage of being in an EV-friendly state, so chances were good that many of its wealthy guests would drive EVs. However, it only had enough electrical infrastructure for five charging ports.

That could be a problem once the word got out that the hotel offered EV charging. If more EV drivers booked a stay than the number of charging stations available, that amenity might turn into a nightmare — with bad reviews that never die. The internet is forever, after all.

However, with the help of smart power management company CyberSwitching, the hotel was able to leverage CyberSwitching’s Advanced Load Management tool to provide power for six dual charging stations, enough to charge 12 vehicles. With that kind of charging capacity, they could breathe a sigh of relief — and enjoy all the EV-owning guests coming their way.

IKEA Sets the Big-Box Standard by Installing EV Chargers at Most Stores

As Consumer Reports points out, Brooklyn’s IKEA store had a huge parking lot — unlike many retail outlets in the Big Apple. However, only four of their 1,400 parking spaces sported EV charging stations. As EV ownership increases, large cities like New York will face an even more massive challenge in creating enough charging stations to accommodate the new cars.

Big-box stores can provide a solution to that problem. With 1,400 spaces, the Brooklyn IKEA provides an ideal location to install enough chargers to handle the coming EV onslaught. And if all the other big-box stores in the city would follow suit, it could make a dent in making up for the city’s lack of adequate EV charging infrastructure.

Even though it doesn’t have enough chargers at its Brooklyn location, IKEA still sets the standard for big-box stores, having at least some EV chargers at “almost all their locations.” Other large retailers, such as Costco, Walmart, Target, and BJ’s Wholesale Club, have installed EV chargers at fewer than 1% to 10% of their locations. As the Consumer Reports piece found, only 7.3% of all big-box stores offer EV charging in their parking lots.

Although IKEA should earn EV owners’ commendation for its outreach efforts, it’s still not good enough — especially in major urban centers, where EV ownership is rising. With state and federal funding available to install charging stations and the possibility of boosting revenue, it’s in big-box stores’ best interests to get in on the ground floor of the coming EV boom.

Capture Your Share of the EV Charging Market at the EV Charging Summit & Expo

Now that you see the advantages of installing EV chargers in your parking lots, it’s time to learn all you can about EV charging technology, available installation funding opportunities, and clever ways to market your chargers once they’re up and running. At the EV Charging Summit & Expo, you’ll hear all the latest information from the finest minds in the business.

Don’t miss your opportunity to make your parking lot more than an asphalt slab. Reserve your place at the next event today!

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