Businesses Bet on Charging Stations to Energize Customer Traffic

Businesses Bet on Charging Stations to up Traffic

When they’re topping off the power on their electric cars away from home, drivers often find themselves with spare time on their hands — a fact more and more retailers are using to their advantage by installing charging stations outside in hopes of turning down time into sales.

“We’ve long believed that combining the road trip amenities drivers want with fast charging is critical to making driving electric beyond a driver’s battery range a great experience,” ChargePoint President and CEO Pasquale Romano said Tuesday (May 31) during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

ChargePoint promotes its charging stations as a way for businesses to attract and retain customers, for employers to provide a perk to employees and for landlords to draw and keep tenants.

The company sells hardware, software subscriptions and ongoing support to those who want to host a charging station. This includes a software platform that helps drivers find, use and pay for charging their electric vehicles (EVs). The company will not sell the hardware without a software subscription.

“Because our business model is all about enabling and marrying a business to charging, and not about owning charging ourselves, everyone’s our friend in the F&C business — in the fueling and convenience business,” Romano said.

Providing Amenities Along With Charging

During the last quarter, ChargePoint announced a partnership with Goldman Sachs Renewable Power to offer tailored financing solutions that enable retail and fueling and convenience operators to reduce the upfront costs of installing EV charging infrastructure.

In addition, ChargePoint began providing the chargers being used in a partnership between Volvo and Starbucks in which charging infrastructure is being installed at 15 Starbucks locations.

Read more: Automakers Partner With Third-Party Networks, Apps to Ease Electric Vehicle Ownership

“Charging has to be married to the amenities drivers want when they’re driving beyond their battery range,” Romano said.

Building out the Infrastructure

The nationwide buildout of EV infrastructure by ChargePoint and other charging networks is being accelerated by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, which is part of the federal government’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will provide $5 billion to the states to deploy EV charging infrastructure.

See more: EV Charging Network Firms Seek Contactless Payments at Charging Stations

“We’ve built some understanding of how to manage programs like that, and how to coordinate effectively the collection of amenity brands that drivers want to avail themselves to along a corridor, and how to organize that and bring that to a state,” Romano said.

Because NEVI aims to support the installation of an infrastructure that will allow drivers to charge their EVs away from home — when they’ve driven beyond the range that was enabled by their home charging — it will boost the already growing demand for charging stations, apps that enable drivers to find, use and pay for them, and retail businesses that will give drivers something to do while their vehicle is parked.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to accelerate the buildout of charging along our highways in our communities in a way that delights drivers and the businesses that want to serve them,” Romano said.