JB Straubel, the Tesla Chief Technology Officer also stated that the carmaker intends to make efforts in order to cater to the needs of Tesla owners, in terms of additional services that would be available at Supercharger locations. In essence, Tesla may include services that are normally found in gas stations, at their Supercharger locations.
For many, this decision may not come as a surprise, considering the company’s recent change in direction in terms of Superchargers. The carmaker initially planned to only install its trademark charging stations in areas that would facilitate long-distance travel, however, it has recently decided to also install smaller Superchargers in city centers and densely populated urban areas. It is becoming quite clear that Tesla has moved from the idea of the Supercharging Superhighway to the more profitable plan of building a full-service, full-coverage network of charging stations.
However, there are other companies who see electric vehicle charging stations as a great opportunity to expand their business by offering other services.
A new partnership between ChargePoint and Royal Farms has been announced. While the latter one is a gas station chain, the two are planning to install fast-charging stations at 22 gas station locations, in order to capitalize on the growing popularity of EVs. Furthermore, the Royal Farms stations already offer other services besides giving drivers the ability to refuel. The only sensible decision that the company could have made was to use the already developed locations in order to also cater to the needs of EV owners.
In gas stations time is money. The same could be said in the case of charging stations. The difference is that a diesel car owner would only have 4-5 minutes to purchase food or drinks until the vehicle’s tank is full. EV owners would have to spend up to 30 minutes in the station, which gives more time to drink a cup of coffee, or eat something, thus increasing the gas station’s profits.
Regardless of who owns the stations, the overall concept of “truck stops” with EV charging stations is quite interesting. Companies would no longer have to build large underground tanks in order to store gas, however, they would be required to invest massive amounts of money in the development of their electrical infrastructure. Regardless what changes would be required, the world is certainly moving towards replacing diesel vehicles with electric ones, and companies will need to adapt.
As an added bonus, Tesla has also announced that between 40 and 60 new Superchargers are to be installed in one location in Shanghai.