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Will You Invest in a Charging Station?


2009 Volvo V70 Plug-in Hybrid Demonstrator

2009 Volvo V70 Plug-in Hybrid Demonstrator

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Chances are, you know someone who drives a gas-electric hybrid, like the iconic Toyota Prius, or you’re driving one yourself.  Prius owners haven’t had to change their habits to enable them to re-fuel their cars. They re-fuel the same way they always did, at traditional gas stations. They just re-fuel a lot less often. The next phase in our automotive evolution is the pure battery electric vehicle (BEV). Most automakers are busily preparing their BEV offerings for the market, and the markets they’re hitting first are scrambling to install a re-charging infrastructure to support them. Why? Because you can’t re-fuel them at any of the estimated 117,000 gas stations across the U.S., and maybe not even in your own garage. Without the re-charging infrastructure visibly in place before the release of BEVs, a big chunk of consumers may wonder how they’ll make it from home to work and back without re-charging. They might shy away from a purchase, citing “range anxiety.” So it is vital that there’s an infrastructure, a dynamic and significant and convenient infrastructure, in place soon. Very soon.

Many infrastructure manufacturers are targeting places consumers frequent every day already — big box retailers, fast food restaurants, and large office buildings. The manufacturers are trying to sell their charging stations to existing Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, among others, because for them, the investment and maintenance of the charging stations is only a tiny fraction of their annual revenue. And where better than Wal-Mart for the driver of a BEV to wait for the fifteen minutes it will take their batteries to re-charge? They’re bound to spend most of that time inside, shopping, purchasing, consuming  — spending money. If you’re a franchise owner, you’re probably thinking that installing a re-charging station is a fantastic idea, better than the Happy Meal. You’d be attracting new customers who will spend at least 15 minutes in your store, happily spending money, plus you’d be helping promote an environmentally-friendly cause.

Still not sure if investing in a charging station is right for your KFC or McDonald’s franchise? It may not be. To help you decide, The Rocky Mountain Institute’s Project Get Ready has just released “Plugging In: A Stakeholder Investment Guide for Public Electric-Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.” A copy of this incredibly detailed and informative publication can be found here. Even if you’re just a fan of the BEV, and not a franchise owner, it’s an interesting read.

Source: Project Get Ready

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  1. I see a Wallmart or Mall owner retrofitting 5% of parking spaces with electric outlets that are similar to RV parking spaces at a campsite. Plug on a pole. Maybe a coin op box. Later placing a couple of 2 Kw wind turbines here and there to supply power back to the grid.
     
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