According to the Edison Electric Institute, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on US roads is projected to reach 18.7 million by 2030. More than 250,000 charging points are needed to support this effort, which is a happy – and profitable – opportunity for restaurant operators.
The biggest problems for electric car drivers are that the charging stations are too far apart and take too long to fully charge their batteries. At the same time, restaurateurs are working in a new environment that is less reliant on indoor dining and more focused on driving through and picking up at the roadside.
Cleantech company ChargeNet Stations offers a brilliant solution for brands looking to pave the way for mainstream EV deployment. The ChargeNet Stations system allows drivers to find restaurants with EV charging stations through an application on their phones and charge them while they wait for food.
“For EVs to sustain the growth we will see, charging needs to blend in with the way consumers live,” said Tosh Dutt, CEO of ChargeNet Stations. “Americans in all regions and populations eat fast food – it’s part of the culture – and just like fast food, EV charging must be quick, convenient, and good value.”
When the driver drives into one of the parking spaces reserved for ChargeNet stations, he can connect his vehicle quickly and easily and order his favorite dishes via the restaurant app or a stationary digital screen. Or, once the restaurants reopen, customers can charge their electric vehicles while they dine inside.
The ChargeNet stations are located under a solar system that provides shade and protection from the elements in bad weather. Currently, the chargers provide around 160 kilometers of driving in 15 minutes – just enough time for restaurants to prepare a warm, fresh meal and deliver it by hand.
In addition to alleviating the “range fear” that discourages many consumers from buying electric vehicles, the ChargeNet station solution offers several advantages for quick service operators.
“Our software consolidates data from a brand’s native app and POS to create an anonymized consumer profile for every EV driver,” says Dutt. “Based on past orders, operators can carry out targeted promotions and receive metrics on the menu items that EV drivers order most frequently.”
Some operators worry about long EV dwell times, but this is managed intelligently with fast charging capabilities and targeted incentives.
“We monitor usage at all times,” says Rebecca Wolkoff, CTO of ChargeNet Stations. “With high usage, we can encourage customers to leave this place and open up this place to others by offering a lower price. Conversely, if there is little use, we can encourage customers to linger, which can help to distribute the guest traffic to other parts of the day. “
In addition, operators can save 20–40 percent electricity in their restaurants by using the energy generated by the solar panels and stored in the battery system. In the event of power outages or natural disasters, restaurants can use this stored energy to continue operating. No maintenance is required for the operator – if a charger or solar panel should fail or need to be replaced, a service provider will be dispatched on the same day. EV chargers also take the strain off utility companies’ energy supplies and show a brand’s commitment to sustainability.
Converting unused parking spaces into charging stations can delight consumers, increase profits and help the environment – a win-win situation for everyone involved.
To learn more about how EV charging can monetize your parking space, visit chargenetstations.com.