|More ways to recharge EVs and their drivers|
Electric vehicle owners are turning to retail chains to play the role gasoline stations have long fulfilled for drivers — a place to recharge the car and the body.
Both Starbucks and Ikea recently announced deals with charging networks to install banks of chargers. They are looking to attract customers who need something to do while their vehicles recharge.
"Get a little coffee, hang out, listen to music," said Gary Silberg, KPMG's global automotive sector leader. "If you can charge your car at the same time, why not?"
Tesla pioneered the trend by locating much of its proprietary Supercharger network near chain restaurants and retail centers. But as the number of EV owners from other brands grows, drivers are looking for charging stations that work with their vehicles.
Charging infrastructure is among the most significant issues facing the burgeoning EV sector, a pair of studies from J.D. Power and CDK Global Inc. recently found. Not only are charging stations hard to find, many have slow charging speeds or are broken.
The CDK study found that 60 percent of respondents reported concerns about charging network availability being an obstacle to purchasing an EV. J.D. Power found that 20 percent of EV owner respondents couldn't charge their vehicle when visiting a station — mainly because of malfunctioning chargers.
— Drew Goretzka