Although electric vehicles were once seen as a bit of an anomaly, they’re now becoming more popular with each passing year. There are already over 1 million EVs on US roads today, and millions more on the way. Understandably, the increasing demand for electric cars also means an increasing demand for electric car charging stations. It’s no wonder, then, that EV charging stations are increasingly starting to appear at stores, restaurants, hotels, and office buildings.

Charging While Shopping

Electric car charging stations are already popping up at grocery store locations including Kroger, Whole Foods, and MOM’s Organic Market. Naturally, other big-box stores have followed suit. In 2006, Costco began to partner with EV charging companies to install charging stations for club members. And with the help of Electrify America, Walmart recently announced its plan to add 300 new charging stations to their store parking lots by the end of 2019. Since most Americans make at least one trip to a Walmart store each year, it makes sense to encourage them to visit the store that will allow them to charge their vehicle while they shop. That is why leading chain retailers are using EV charging amenities to stand out from the competition and attract new regular customers.

Refilling Pantry and Battery

A 2014 survey of American and Canadian motorists found that the gas stations at Kroger and Costco were the top two preferred stations for fueling. What’s more, the big-box retailers throughout the U.S. that sell fuel account for 14.5% of all gasoline purchased nationwide, with sales volumes nearly double those of other types of retailers. Ultimately, that means that American and Canadian customers prefer to fuel up their cars and buy groceries in the same shopping trip. Adding stations at retail parking from EV charging companies is the next step in serving the next generation of drivers.

Since the advent of the internet and online shopping, brick and mortar retailers have been searching for new ways to bring customers back into stores. By installing EV charging stations in their parking lots, future-forward stores can increase their customer base, show off their commitment to making a better world, and ensure foot traffic for years to come.

The case for EV charging at retail stores is strong. Click here to read three more reasons why retailers are installing charging stations.