Posted on December 15, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Retail chains are beginning to cater to electric vehicle owners with dedicated charging stations. Much of this can be attributed to the high-profile efforts of electric car company Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA]. Most recently, Teslarati reported on a partnership between Tesla and the Hy-Vee grocery store chain in the midwest. John Brehm, Hy-Vee's director of site planning explains: “The time it takes for an average shopper to get through a grocery store to get groceries is about the same time it takes to get a full charge on a decent fast charger like this... so it’s a marriage made in heaven."
Above: First Tesla Supercharger Station in the Twin cities opened in September at the Hy-Vee grocery store in Oakdale, MN (Image: Lillie News)
Gas station chains are also partnering with Tesla to provide charging on-site. This summer it was reported that Sheetz, a gas station chain that operates hundreds of retail outlets across six states would add Tesla's charging infrastructure to the mix. CleanTechnica (via Gas2) goes on to predict that, "the gas station of the future will look radically different. It will be more like a restaurant or highway rest stop than a convenience store. It will focus on more inviting interiors where customers can relax while their cars recharge. It will sell a selection of higher priced products like high end coffee and prepared foods. Tesla is driving the coming changes and wants to be part of the action, which is why it is talking with Sheetz."
Above: Behind-the-scenes look at construction of a Tesla Supercharger Station in Miner, Mo., just north of a Ruby Tuesday (Youtube: SEMO Electric Cooperative)
Restaurant chains are also partnering with Tesla. This summer, Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain announced it will be proudly hosting Tesla Supercharger Stations across the US. "We’re thrilled to partner with Tesla Motors to offer our guests a place where they can charge their Tesla vehicle while enjoying a delicious meal," stated David Skena, chief marketing officer of Ruby Tuesday. “Expanding the Supercharger network to include Ruby Tuesday is good for both Tesla owners and our restaurants alike. We look forward to deepening our relationship with Tesla and opening additional Supercharger Stations in Ruby Tuesday markets around the country."
Above: Tesla Model S getting charged up at IKEA (Image: @toddington_h)
And, in Norway, the worldwide epicenter of electric vehicles, IKEA representatives recently announced, "We are proud to expand IKEA charging stations at all its stores. Now it has become even a little easier for people to choose electric cars." The General Secretary of the Norway's Electric Vehicle Association Christina Bu added: “It’s great that IKEA contributes to the development of [reduced] road transport emissions. Several industry [executives] should open their eyes to electric vehicle development and providing charging for their customers.” Although IKEA's charging stations are not Tesla-specific, they'll certainly be fantastic for Tesla owners (and all electric vehicle drivers) in the country. Could this be a sign of things to come? Indeed... we're hopeful these corporate chains set the precedent for other companies to follow around the world.