Discover how EV chargers are win-wins for stores, shoppers, and sustainability.

Key Takeaways:

  • EVs are influencing retail strategies and infrastructure
  • EV charging stations can enhance customer engagement
  • Stations can lead to increased revenue and competitive advantages

Electric vehicle (EV) adoption is increasing; they will eventually become the dominant form of transportation, driving need for retail locations to integrate EV charging infrastructure by 2030.

Accommodating this technological shift presents challenges, but it’s easier when retailers understand how mutually beneficial EV charging stations can be for shoppers and stores. Read on to learn how they could positively impact your business model and customer experiences!

EV adoption: a retail game changer

EV adoption may not be widespread quite yet, but it’s quickly gathering momentum. There are currently 2.4 million EVs in America, with Florida accounting for 167,990 of them. When we consider that one million of that nationwide EV number were sold in 2023 with some EV watchdogs projecting a 50% sales increase year over year, it’s easy to see how significantly adoption trends upwards.

In short, the future of retail and EV charging is increasingly interconnected. The obvious implication for retail is that they’ll have to add some EV charging stations to accommodate demand.

The importance of aligning retail strategies with evolving consumer behaviors simply can’t be ignored. This changes the game for stores, which must alter their locations, learn more about the technology, and learn how much accommodating EVs will cost.

Integrating EV charging stations into retail spaces

Incorporating EV-charging infrastructure in retail locations requires key considerations. Adding the right type of charger is one. For commercial sites, this would be either Level 2 AC chargers or DC fast chargers — possibly a combination of both, depending on your retail model and budget.

Level 2s are increasingly present at retail locations, require a 208- to 240V power source, and can add roughly 25 miles for every hour of charge. DC fast chargers – also known as DCFCs or Level 3s – typically use a three-phase AC input and account for over 20% of public EV charging stations, according to the Department of Energy.

DCFCs have outputs from 15kW to more than 350kW and deliver power straight to the vehicle’s battery, unlike Level 2s, where the AC power is more time-consumingly converted by the vehicle’s onboard charger. The fact that AC is converted to DC inside DCFCs allows them to fully charge an EV in under an hour — sometimes less than 20 minutes. They’re great for customers in a hurry!

Partnering with EV-charging providers can provide great benefits, including ongoing maintenance and tailored price plans, and more. Many providers exist, so shop around to find the best value.

Positioning EV chargers

The prime concern in positioning chargers is providing enough power to support each unit. This may require the addition of new power outlets, or repositioning and rerouting old ones. Such electrical work may briefly cause some inconvenience and disruption, but providing customer convenience will be worth it.

On that note, EV chargers must be clearly visible and accessible to customers. It’s also wise to place chargers in view of security cameras (which again may require repositioning existing cameras or purchasing new ones). EV owners who see that their cars will be safe while charging are likely to be more impressed by that retail site’s security.

Enhancing customer experience with EV charging

EV charging extends customer dwell time, meaning those using your EV stations are more likely to buy something before they leave. Earlier reports highlighted how one retailer added EV chargers and tripled customers’ time in store while tripling their expenditures.

Retailers could also explore loyalty programs and incentives linked to EV charging. Discounts on charging during off-peak hours, store vouchers, or points toward free charging are possible ways to engage EV owners.

Sustainable retailing and EV Infrastructure

Embracing EV charging shows you’re committed to sustainable business practices, and supporting eco-friendly transportation can increase the odds of EV owners favoring your store. You don’t have to advertise your green credentials either; just driving by will show the public where you stand. Some statistics:

  • 77% of businesses connect sustainability with increased customer loyalty
  • 75% of US consumers care about environmental impact
  • 66% of shoppers are seeking out eco-friendly brands

Those are three persuasive benefits of aligning with wider government environmental goals and evolving consumer attitudes!

Financial and Operational Considerations

Installing EV chargers will increase the amount of electricity your retail site uses, in turn increasing your utility bills. Some of operational costs may be offset by partnering with EV charging companies who could absorb that extra expense

Installing DCFCs will be more expensive than older-technology chargers, Fast chargers need a 480V circuit. Fortunately, retailers don’t have to fund EV charging stations alone. Government incentives and grants promote EV charging with $7.5 billion in pro-EV initiatives to support expanding infrastructure.

Florida offers a potential $5,000 rebate per charging port for Tampa retailers who install public EV charging stations. The Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) also offers rebates if retailers install EV chargers before September 30, 2025; a minimum of $1,000 for Level 2 charging stations and $5,200 for DC fast chargers.

Here’s a more comprehensive guide to how Florida’s supporting retailers’ EV-charging adoption, and a state-by-state guide for resources outside Florida (just select your location using Step Two).

Extensive electrical work will be required to install EV chargers. We can inspect your current electrical system and  let you know if you’ll need any repairs, upgrades, or alterations before taking further steps.

Stay plugged in with UES

Adjusting your retail site to offer EV charging presents a real opportunity for financial growth and improved operational sustainability. Why not embrace a change that could attract more customers, boost your bottom line, and support a greener future?

Follow our blog for more expert EV insights and give us a call at 954-792-5444 or use our contact form if you have any electrical questions!