The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) has brought about the need for more charging stations, leading to a shift in the way gas stations do business. With the possibility of losing a quarter of their locations in the next 15 years, many stations are facing challenging decisions on how to adapt in order to stay relevant. In this post, we will explore how the economics of gas stations will change in an EV-charging future.
To accommodate the growing EV market, gas stations are investing in Level 3 chargers that can charge vehicles in 20-30 minutes. While these chargers are at the higher end of the cost spectrum, ranging from $500,000 to $1 million, the convenience they offer can bring in more customers and justify the investment in the long run. To encourage more gas stations to invest in EV charging, there are a number of federal, state, and utility-based incentives businesses can take advantage of.
However, not all existing gas stations are making the switch. While some are choosing to add EV charging stations to their existing pumps, others are going all in on EV charging. RS Automotive in Takoma Park, Maryland, and a Shell station in Fulham, England, have already made the full transition from traditional fuel pumps to EV charging. The ability to offer a unique experience and become a destination for EV drivers can be a major draw for businesses looking to make this transition.
Oil and gas companies are also taking note of this shift and are starting to make changes. BP and Shell are already supporting franchise filling stations. The move to EV charging can represent new revenue streams for these companies, allowing them to remain profitable as the market continues to shift towards environmentally-friendly transportation.
Aside from the investment in EV chargers, gas stations will need to adapt their business models to appeal to the evolving EV market. Offering additional amenities, such as EV-specific convenience stores and clean restrooms, can make a business stand out and attract more customers. Some stations are also exploring integrated mobile apps that will allow customers to pay for their fuel and access charging stations from their smartphones.
Given the growing demand for EV charging stations, it is easy to see why gas stations are adapting their business to accommodate this shift. While investing in Level 3 charges and adapting business models may seem like a daunting task, it is clear that there are a number of incentives and benefits for businesses that choose to embrace the EV market. In the end, those that do will be the most successful in the new energy landscape.