Recently, we hear a lot about increasing popularity of electric and plug-in hybrids vehicles. The reality is that almost every car company is racing to the new market demand. Audi, BMW, Volvo, Kia, Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and obviously Tesla are now offering plug-in options not only for on car but most of their models. In less than a year, Tesla has pre-sold over 400 000 model 3 which are supposed to hit the streets within a year or two. Even though this is more of a mainstream car, the model 3 is still set at $35 000 US which is what the average car sale price in the US and Canada is. After government incentive, which in Canada can go up to $8250, the price drops significantly than the average car. Now that you have purchased an electric car, there is no more cost for oil change, engine maintenance, and gasoline. That is another roughly $2000 extra annually in EV cars owners’ pockets. As shown on this graph, it is undeniable that the EV market will be taking overin the upcoming decade and that the amount of charging stations has no choice but to increase to meet market demand.
How can we make a business case from more EV charging stations you may ask? Retailers, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, gyms, and business in this type of industry, have a great potential for benefiting from the situation. As more individuals drive EV cars, more charging stations are needed. This is where an amazing opportunity for business owners arises. A regular curb side charging station costs anywhere from US $5000 to $10 000 installed. As people need to charge their car, they are looking for convenience. A restaurant or grocery store who want to attract more people, it is time to tap into that market. Having charging stations will not only bring new clients but also keep clients in the store for longer, as the car is charging resulting in growing sales. This scenario can easily be applicable to a hotel chain where the competition does not offer the service. History trends always seem to reborn from a different industry. In this case, it reminds me of the Wi-Fi growing service within hotels and coffee shops where early adaptor gained the most as it was a special service that only few offered. As the EV market grows, this concept will become the norm outside every store.
At this point in time, that ROI on this opportunity has not been clearly calculated as it is still early stage. However the potential is definitely there and the early adopters will benefit the most as traffic will significantly increase as new EV models are becoming more affordable and available to the public. Keep in mind 400 000 new Tesla will be hitting the road in the next few years not counting all plug-ins and EV vehicles from other brands.
The overall impact will be major. Trying to put a price on this opportunity is necessary as the world is becoming electrified and being the first few to tap into this business opportunity will benefit the ones who tapped into it first.
Bottom line, taking this initiative does not only help your organization but also helps greening your business and improve the EV charging station network removing the fear of running out of battery from the population. This is one way that you can serve your organization and the environment at the same time.