ORANGE COUNTY: EV Charging Revs Retail
How about charging your car as you’re charging the latest sales? Retail behemoth Simon has partnered with NRG eVgo, an electric vehicle charging station provider, to install fast-charging EV stations—called Freedom Stations—at four of Simon’s Orange County, Calif. shopping centers: The Shops at Mission Viejo, Brea Mall, Westminster Mall, and The Outlets at Orange. (If only it were so easy to get a decent charge on our iPhone.) “We’ve been closely watching the evolution of electric vehicles in the US and felt the platform finally had momentum, and we wanted to be at the forefront,” Simon VP of operational efficiency Ron Hanson tells us.
It’s a national initiative for the firm, and Ron says it hopes to expand the program to as many centers as it can. Early data from its current EV charging stations—126 over 65 shopping centers in 16 states—are promising, Ron tells us: Shoppers who leave their cars charging during their visit stay an average 50% longer than your usual shopper, given the time it takes to fully power up the vehicle. “That extended stay is especially important to our retailers, and we want to encourage EV owners to shop at our centers,” he says. The Freedom Stations are designed to support both current and future charging technology, regardless of what car shoppers drive.