market, I’m not sure that that is a role for the commission.” Looking past the inevitable regulatory and technical roadblocks, Wood anticipates that, “utilities will one day have vehicle-to-grid (V2G) arrangements with EV owners, so that when a utility needs to shave peak demand on its system, it can pull a little bit of power from all of its cus- tomers’ EV batteries to help manage peak loads, using soft- ware in the cloud.”
Retailers Are Buying It Retail constitutes a third promising target for EVSE sales, especially since a growing body of anecdotal evidence indi- cates that EV charging stations do, in fact, draw customers to retailers’ locations. Gina Coplon-Newfield, Huffington Post blogger, offered two anecdotes in Why Small Businesses Are Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: • Guests of the Carlisle House Bed & Breakfast in Car- lisle, Pa., have told the owner that his charging stations make the B&B more competitive with nearby big chain hotels that lack chargers. • The owner of Nauna’s Bella Casa restaurant in Mont- clair, N.J., has heard from customers that they choose his restaurant because of the charging stations, while others said they learned of the restaurant through their EV charg- ing app. “We have a ChargePoint EV charger at our Columbia branch, available to the public at no charge,” Wood offered. “When drivers with the ChargePoint app look for a charger, our name pops up. The ChargePoint listing is a great tool for marketing and advertising. We often see Tesla drivers stop in and charge up.” One of the few empirical impact reports is a case study published by ChargePoint. The unnamed retailer, with 1,700 locations across the United States and Canada, sells high-quality goods at discount prices. Eager to attract high- end customers—and knowing that more than 85% of EV drivers have average household incomes above $100,000 and that nearly 50% are members of the ChargePoint network—the retailer installed six ChargePoint stations at a new store in California. The findings: • While spending a total of $430 for electricity over nine months, the store enjoyed an increase in gross revenue of approximately $56,000. • Dwell time—how long the average customer spends inside the store—increased by 327%. As EV sales go—and they are continuously accelerating —so go EVSE sales. It’s one of the easier markets for elec- trical distributors to shift into. ;
Niehaus, LEED GA, is the president and founder of Communi-
cation by Design ( communicationbydesign.net). She can be
reached at 314-644-4135 or Jan@CommunicationByDesign.net.
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