The Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution is not in its projection phase anymore. It's here. And for fuel retailers, the rise in EV ownership means that gas stations are competing for a shrinking number of gallons. As fuel and convenience retailers get ready for a new marketplace, they’re in need of a way to integrate EV into their business models and monetize it.
EV companies are aggressively strategizing to make more charging stations available throughout the country. That also entails developing ways to help customers find those charging stations and make it as easy as possible to own and operate an EV without disruption.
The growing EV footprint nationwide can be attributed to big moves by companies like EV charging network EVgo. They’re partnering with General Motors to build 3,250 DC fast-charging stalls in 52 metropolitan markets. Plus, PlugShare is a free EV driver's app that helps 300,000 monthly active users to find charging stations, leave reviews, and connect with other plug-in vehicle owners. In July 2021, EVgo acquired Recargo— the company behind PlugShare. It looks like the wheels are turning.
In the future as fewer people need to go on-site to fill up with fuel, retailers may lose the opportunity to bring customers in-store to sell higher-margin products. A recent Alix Partners report put it well:
"(T)he rise of the EV market is likely to disrupt the economics of existing gas stations by draining revenue and profits related to direct fuel sales, and eliminating the fueling occasion that brings customers into the store. In addition, an increase of EVs on the road will force consumers to visit c-stores and gas stations longer due to charge times — resetting expectations for the fueling environment — and require retailers to make additional investments in their sites."
Industry consensus is that for gas stations and c-stores to stay in the market, they must develop an electrification strategy that optimizes footprint, invest in digital engagement, and renovate existing business models.
Yes. Now is the time to lay the foundation for future success by making data-driven decisions and leveraging your physical space for more customer engagement. Retailers can diversify their business and increase profits by taking all remaining gallons from competitors in this shrinking market and creating new revenue streams to offset rising costs. Plus, fuel retailers may also plan to become a hub for EV. Explore options for investing in charging stations, and sign with apps like PlugShare so consumers can find you first.
Fuel retailers who want to win the market today need to focus on the factors that compel customers to choose them. Oil and gas are not the main drivers anymore. So, what can fuel and convenience stores offer to meet customers’ evolving needs? Create more opportunities for customers to choose you and stay onsite longer-- for more reasons.
Learn more about how Upside can help you create those new revenue streams and boost your bottom line as the industry dramatically changes. Fill out the form below.
How grocery retailers can thrive amid economic uncertainties with personalization
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