The UK needs more electric vehicle (EV) charging points at destinations like supermarkets, hotels, cinemas, retail parks and leisure facilities if we’re to make it easier for drivers to make the switch to EVs. But how can you make sure you choose – and install – the right ones, and in the right way? And who can help you make the right choices?
Why do we need more EV charging points?
If the UK is to decarbonise transport enough to reach net zero by 2050, then our country needs a huge increase in EV charging points. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimates the UK will need 2.4 million charging points by 2030 alone.
There are currently few charging points outside major cities and away from the motorway and trunk road network. This means even some drivers who are fully convinced of the benefits of EVs may still lack the confidence to make the change from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles yet.
So, what could be more convenient than installing charging points – of the right type and in the right numbers – at the destinations customers want to visit.
Popular destinations like supermarkets, cinemas, retail parks, leisure centres, visitor attractions and hotels can all help customers by providing EV charging points. Some are already doing it, but overall numbers are still too low to support major behavioural change of the kind our country needs to see.
What benefits can installing charging points for your customers bring?
Firstly, you’ll be helping UK decarbonisation. We all have a role to play in reaching net zero, and decarbonising transport in one important part to the bigger picture.
Secondly, you’ll be doing it in a very visible way. So, if you’ve committed to reducing emissions as part of your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) policies, this demonstrates you’re actually making it happen.
And thirdly, you’ll attract more visitors to your locations. It stands to reason that customers with EVs will choose to visit destinations with charging points as opposed to those without.
Knowing they can charge their vehicles while doing something else they want to do makes your locations a more desirable choice. Especially if the charging points are close to the front door and it’s free for customers to park. Time spent enjoying a film or sharing a meal with friends and family can also be time used wisely to recharge their EV.
And even for current non-EV drivers, knowing that there are charging points available at the destinations they drive to can only make the idea of switching to electric more attractive.
This attraction will be even greater during the relatively early stages of EV adoption. Range anxiety is still a concern to some to making the switch to EVs for many drivers. Knowing that there are charging points at certain locations can only serve to reduce that anxiety.
How can you make sure you offer the charging points your customers want?
Every business offering EV charging to its customers needs to be sure it’s doing so in the right way for them.
EV drivers want to know:
- That charging points are easily accessible at the destinations they visit. Not all vehicles have a charging socket in the same place, so considering your car park layout is important to allow for both front-facing or reversed parking to the charge point. Considering the type and size of vehicles that might use your charging points is similarly important.
- That charging points are available in sufficient numbers to make it simple for customers to charge their vehicles.
- Recent research by Drax revealed the recommended numbers for charging points to car parking spaces for the hospitality and retail sectors, ranging from two connectors for theme parks, to a minimum of five connectors for leisure parks.
- Where they can easily find the charging points they need. Clear signage is important along with instructions for use, and a contact number for any support.
- How they can pay for charging. All public chargers will soon be required to offer contactless charging capability. Ensure your charging solution makes payment as easy and simple as possible. (For instance, Drax offer the Charge Assist app which makes it easy for customers to pay for their charging.)