We love convenience stores – McColls, Budgens, Best-In, Spar, KeyStore, Costcutter and many more. This is where many of us are regularly doing local shopping, browsing the magazines and newspapers, and generally spending 20 minutes of our time. Even in cities they are a godsend: in rural areas they are a lifeline, but often their finances are on a knife edge.
What could they do to get visitors to stop of for 20 minutes and make a few purchases?
Get a fast EV charge post.
This is the type of existing network that could be a huge springboard for electric vehicles. And it’s where the government should be putting some of its electric vehicle investment. Local authorities are keen to install charging points, but they manage few and fewer of the key sites where they can be used (like libraries – or public toilets) and there is a tenancy to group a lot of points in a small area.
Instead, why not work through other organisations? There are a number of convenience store fleets – getting them to bid for a subsidy pot to roll out across their sites could allow for deployment of hundreds of points right across a region. It would address the range anxiety problem and give the stores a new source of passing trade.
Time to look beyond local government to roll out electric vehicles and start thinking about how the growing EV network could help support other sectors. Convenience store groups had better start getting a foot in the door before the major supermarkets start seeing it as a great addition to their ‘local’ stores.