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Why EV Charging is the Missing Puzzle Piece for Retailers

Posted 05/05/2023

Parking spots are getting a makeover thanks to the rise of electric vehicles. Now parking lots and parking garages are a place where EV drivers charge while shopping and running errands. With a new shopping season beginning, now is the ideal time for big box retail stores, shopping malls, and other retail locations to survey customers and consider ways to increase foot traffic. Here are five reasons why you should consider installing EV charging equipment at your retail property. 

Increase dwell time

Shoppers who need to top up their EV batteries must find public charging stations with entertainment nearby. If your shopping center provides EV charging as an amenity, EV drivers are more likely to choose your business versus your competitor.  Depending on the station installed, EV drivers may need between 30 minutes to several hours to receive a full charge when using a public charger. This presents an opportunity to increase the amount of time that your customer spends at your location. Drivers who need a full charge will spend more time shopping as they wait for their vehicle, which means more time for upselling and cross-selling.  A driver who wants to top up their battery charge to full might expand the amount of time they were planning to spend in your shopping center from half an hour to two hours. What can your sales teams sell in two hours?

Attract disposable income

Generally speaking, the average EV owner has more disposable income than an average internal combustion engine (i.e. gas) vehicle owner. Whether you manage an outlet mall or a luxury mall, disposable income and impulse spending are important to your basket size. According to Slickdeals' 2022 Impulse Spending Survey, 64% of Americans had increased their impulse spending, and 73% said that "most" of their purchases were spontaneous. With a longer dwell time and more disposable income, EV drivers are an opportunity to increase sales at your retail business. Give them a place they can reliably charge their vehicle, and they will likely reward you by spending some of that disposable income at your store. 

Advertise to customers

Many shopping centers already display advertisements on websites, billboards, and indoor displays. Now you can display advertisements in your parking using your mall's Level 2 charging stations. Give your customers ideas on where to spend their disposable income by installing the Blink Vision, which comes with a 55-inch LCD screen.  Whether you are a big box retailer advertising sales and deals on the charger screens, or a shopping mall that sells ad space on the units, your EV charging stations are an opportunity to increase revenue. 

Monetize your parking

If you choose to charge drivers money for use of the chargers, they can become an extra revenue source for your business. While 80% of EV charging is done at home, meaning most local shoppers may not need to charge, it is likely that customers driving a longer distance will want to top off. This is especially true if your shopping center is located near a highway or hotel, as travelers may have difficulty finding charging stations during their travels. With 48 million estimated EVs on the roads in 2030, the US only has a few years to increase its total public and private EV chargers to support all drivers. Level 2 chargers, which are compatible with all plug-in EVs, are perfect for stores that want drivers to stay for over an hour. With the Blink Network, you can offer free charging or charge users a usage fee based on energy consumed or time plugged in. We recommend researching other nearby EV chargers to determine the average charging fees in your community. Thinking about something that will increase parking turnover or attract EV drivers from the highway? DCFCs are capable of fully charging a vehicle in under an hour (compared to a few hours for a Level 2 charger). Even drivers who live nearby would probably be willing to pay for the use of a DCFC, like Blink’s 60kW - 360kW DC Fast Chargers, on occasions when they need a quick charge. Note that the costs of DCFC installation and energy consumption are much greater than for a Level 2 charger. Because plug-in hybrid EVs cannot use DC fast chargers, we also recommend installing a few Level 2 chargers nearby to serve those drivers.

How to get help with EV charging installation

Depending on where your retail business is located, you may be eligible for federal government tax incentives for EV charging equipment installation, or state-level tax incentives for charging infrastructure installation. 

Charging revenue at no cost to you

If your business sits along an alternative fuel corridor within one mile of a designated state or federal highway, you may be eligible for funding under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. How it works: Blink's turnkey business model can help eligible businesses take advantage of NEVI funding. Our team guides business owners and managers of eligible NEVI projects through the funding process, provides you with 4+ DCFC chargers, and adds you to the Blink Network, all at no cost to you. 

  1. Blink coordinates the site evaluation, all the permitting, and the contracting.

  2. Blink operates the DCFC chargers and provides you with monthly reports about their usage.

  3. You enjoy guaranteed minimum revenue per parking spot with higher future revenue as demand rises.

What do you need to do?

  1. Qualify for the NEVI program (must be located within one mile of a designated state or federal highway)

  2. Sign a 10-year hosting agreement with Blink

Learn more about Blink’s NEVI program support.


Now is the best time to install charging stations to accommodate current EV drivers, entice them away from your competitors who are slow to invest in EV charging infrastructure, and give them a reason to spend more time (and more money) in your store or shopping center. With a charging station that is capable of displaying dynamic advertising like the Blink Vision, you are also able to advertise to drivers and help them find the best deals. Ready to get started? Contact Blink today for a consultation.  

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