Over the last few days we have seen the likes of IKEA announce plans to ramp up the number of the EV charging stations outside of their shops in the U.S. While it is not necessarily a stampede at the moment, we are starting to see more retailers take a genuine interest in the EV market and the potential to attract customers in the short, medium and longer term.
There is now a growing debate as to whether the EV industry could be kickstarted by the supermarket sector, which has by far and away the largest footfall in the retail industry. Is it now time for EV manufacturers to tie-up with supermarket companies?
There is no doubt that supermarkets around the world attract by far and away the largest footfall of the retail industry, this is as a consequence of years perfecting marketing techniques. If supermarkets were to use these techniques in favour of the EV industry, and in particular the EV charging sector, this could have a massive impact upon consumer confidence in the electric vehicle industry.
The fact is that the more often you see a recharging station the more likely you are to consider a possible switch to EV technology. It becomes almost second nature and with this comes an improvement in the trust factor as well as the opportunity for EV manufacturers to promote their wares.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "As we see more and more electric cars on the roads perhaps we now need to look more closely at electric car charging stations. How far away from you is your nearest car charging station?"
Missing out the middleman
For many years now fuel stations have been the crux of the motoring industry, allowing you to travel the length and breadth of the world by simply filling up at the nearest gas station. As a consequence, the relationship between gasoline stations and the major oil companies has strengthened over the years as has the relationship with the oil companies and traditional vehicle manufacturers.
In simple terms, by introducing supermarkets and other major retail sectors to the mix we could effectively miss out the middleman in the shape of the fuel station. This is perhaps something in the back of the minds of politicians across the U.S. as they are looking to make electric vehicles slightly less attractive compared to their traditional fuel counterparts, at least in the minds of the general motoring public.
New era for travel
If the movement, which has seen the likes of IKEA showing great interest in the EV charging sector, continues to gather strength it will become something of a powerhouse. The more major retailers who sign up to this particular area of the industry the more need for their competitors to follow suit. There will come a time when major retailers will be scared that their competitors, who are utilising EV charging stations, are getting something of a head start in the minds of the public and the mass media.
We are starting to move towards very exciting times in the EV industry as slowly but surely a number of problem factors from the past are resolved. The increase in the number of charging stations across the U.S. will breed confidence, ongoing improvements in battery technology will also help going forward as will the reduction in the cost of electric vehicles. Interesting times for the EV sector!