Do Supermarkets Hold the Key to the Electric Car Industry?

The future of transportation
The future of transportation

One of the main problems with regards to the electric car industry at the moment is the distinct lack of charging stations to make up for the relatively short journey capacity. While interest has been growing, and there is momentum, there is also a growing suspicion that supermarkets in the UK, which attract millions of visitors every day, may well be the best way in which to promote the industry and to promote the use of electric charging stations.

There have been talks in the past between the government and various international companies in the UK and across the world which have yet to really come to any great fruition. The idea is that, as electric car charging technology improves, you quite literally park up, shop for your weekly requirements and by the time you finish paying, your car will in theory have been charged.

Financial incentives

As the use of electric cars continues to grow in the UK it will place a greater burden on the national grid, although at this moment in time this is not a major problem. Whether or not electric car owners will be charged to use various electric charging points in the future is a matter for debate because we could see supermarkets offering these as a free service. What would supermarkets get from that deal?

As we have seen in the gasoline/petrol market, many supermarkets in the UK are prepared to make a minimal profit on their fuel sales as a means of attracting the attention of consumers. It is highly likely, assuming that the electric car market does move to the mass market, that such strategies may well be replicated in this particular area. When you take into account the significantly lower cost of charging your electric vehicle as opposed to the cost of gasoline/petrol, there will be minimal cost to businesses offering free charging facilities.

Are motorists just lazy?

If you look at consumers and motorist, the fact is that many consumers shop in supermarkets simply because everything is there together. The ability to shop in one place and to get the vast majority of your weekly requirements, or daily requirements, should not be underestimated and this is something which will likely impact the electric car market.

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "In a move which has grabbed the limelight from London, the City of York Council has today announced plans for a pay-as-you-go electric car charging network within the city. There are already 12 such free charging points dotted around the area but this new network will take in a variety of public access areas."

While it would be incorrect to suggest there are sufficient charging points around the world, and around the UK, the fact is there are probably more charging stations than you realise. However, unless these charging stations are literally under our noses the vast majority of us would rather ignore the industry and retain our gasoline/petrol counterparts. If, as seems highly likely, supermarkets and other national companies (and international companies) do decide to offer such charging facilities in the future then this will take the industry into a whole different ballpark.

Conclusion

Slowly but surely, interest in the electric car market is growing and we are seeing more and more charging stations emerge but we need to bring these two elements together. If you were to visit your local supermarket on a regular basis and see readily accessible charging stations, would this encourage you to even look at the electric car industry?

The ability to have everything in one place, food, products, fuel supply, etc., could play a major role in expanding interest in the electric vehicle market and ultimately increasing sales.