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Retail Secret: Charge Cars, And Shoppers Follow

Orange County Retail

Charging cars is leading more customers to head inside and charge credit cards. That's one reason retail behemoth Simon is getting into the EV charging game. (Perfect excuse for shopaholics: I'm not shopping for me, I'm shopping for the car.)


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 shopping centers: The Shops at Mission Viejo, Brea Mall, Westminster Mall, and The Outlets at Orange. (It's now easier to find a car charger than your missing phone charger.) “We've been closely watching the evolution of electric vehicles in the US and felt the platform finally had momentum,” Simon VP of operational efficiency Ron Hanson tells us.


EV stations are a national initiative for the firm, and Ron says it hopes to expand. 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, given the time it takes to fully power up the vehicle. “That extended stay is especially important to our retailers,” he says. The Freedom Stations are designed to support both current and future charging technology, regardless of what model shoppers drive.