A woman accesses real-time charging insights on her smart phone while charging her EV at an EVBox Troniq Modular charging station.

Why converting your gas station to an EV charging business will attract more customers

Last Updated: 29/8/2023

Last updated on August 29, 2023

Despite their name, modern gas stations offer a lot more than just a pump for drivers to fill up their tanks.  

Additional services, such as getting a car wash, ordering a sandwich or a hot cup of coffee, taking a (bathroom) break, or even topping up on groceries, are all part of the standard expectations of today’s gas station visitors.   

Gas station owners have always found new ways to adjust their services to customers' ever-changing needs. EV charging infrastructure presents an opportunity for fuel retailers to attract a premium customer base that might otherwise not visit them and consolidate their position in tomorrow’s electric mobility ecosystem.  

A close up view of a man driving an EV from inside the EV.

With millions of electric vehicles (EVs) on the world’s roads today (and this number is predicted to keep increasing in the coming years), there is an urgent need to develop suitable charging – and especially fast charging – infrastructure.  

Fuel retailers are in a privileged position to leverage this trend, not only thanks to their many convenient locations along major roadways but also their many attractive services drivers have come to expect.

A man and woman stand on opposite sides of an EV as the woman charges it using an EVBox Troniq Modular charging station.

However, while many gas station owners would agree that offering EV drivers the possibility to charge their cars would be a great investment for the future, it also sounds expensive and complicated. 

Is EV charging really something that fuel retailers should start looking into now? This article explains why gas stations with EV chargers are attracting more customers today. 

EV drivers want to charge at gas stations

At first glance, EV charging and gas stations might sound contradictory, especially when one of the main benefits for EV drivers is that they can charge their vehicle wherever they park and no longer have to visit gas stations to fill up.  

While the majority of EV drivers indeed charge their vehicle at home overnight or at work, that doesn’t mean they don’t want – or need – to charge anywhere else. 

In fact, our research shows that 29% of EV drivers in the EU already charge their vehicles at gas stations regularly, and a further 21% would love to be able to do so, should the option be available.  

An image showing the demographics of EV drivers

This is especially significant as fully charging an electric car via a regular (AC) charging station—the ones usually found in homes and apartments—usually takes hours. Fast (DC) charging stations, on the other hand, are designed to reduce this time to under an hour, sometimes as little as 15 minutes. 

These fast commercial chargers are a perfect solution for when drivers are on the road looking for a quick fill-up (for example, during a long-distance trip), and gas stations are often perfectly positioned to facilitate that need.

A woman looks at her smart phone as she leans on the side of her EV.

Not to mention that many EV drivers without access to a private parking space at home depend on public charging infrastructure to keep their EVs topped up, making fast charging at gas stations a compelling option to quickly charge up during their commute.  

Benefit from opportunistic charging behaviour

When driving a traditional vehicle, drivers will usually fill up their tank when it’s nearly on E, or maybe in preparation before a big trip. Unless gas prices are significantly lower, drivers won’t usually stop at a gas station to fill up if there is still plenty of fuel in the tank.  

However, because electricity is so accessible, charging behavior differs from traditional fueling.  

In many ways, charging an EV is much more akin to how you would charge your phone or laptop. Generally speaking, people like to start their day with their phones fully charged, but instead of waiting until the battery runs out, many of us will reach for our chargers for a quick top-up throughout the day if the opportunity arises. 

A man selects a payment method from the touch screen of an EVBox Troniq High Power charging station.

Just like their devices, people prefer to keep their electric car’s battery charged up. Because range anxiety is only human, EV drivers usually choose to charge their vehicle way before it is ever close to running out of battery. So, when EV drivers spot a gas station offering EV charging while they’re on the road, chances are they will want to make use of that opportunity. 

Get discovered by new customers looking to charge

An often underrated benefit of installing EV charging stations is the fact that they put your gas station on the map – literally. We’re not just talking about Apple or Google Maps, but dedicated EV charger mapping websites and apps that hold a record of publicly-accessibly EV charging stations. 

A view from the inside of an EV of a man driving while looking at the navigation app of his smart phone.

Because there isn’t yet one prevailing charging station finder that documents all charging stations, EV drivers typically use a range of these tools to find charging stations on the go or when mapping out their long-distance route.  

Have a look at the results of the popular Google search term “electric vehicle charging stations near me” and see for yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice if that map also featured your business? 

Stand out with EV charging stations

Beyond putting your location on the map, having EV charging stations installed can help your gas station stand out in the eyes of an increasingly environmentally conscious consumer base. Indeed, installing an EV charging station is more than offering a service; it’s a statement that your business is future-ready and engaged in the fight against climate change. 

Two EVs charge simultaneously at opposite sides of an EVBox Troniq High Power charging station.

As the world faces increasingly pressing environmental issues, consumer consciousness is at an all-time high. While various sustainability efforts are top of mind at many governments and organizations, more and more customers seek companies that align with their personal views and values. 

Nearly eight in ten consumers surveyed by IBM indicate that sustainability is vital to them. Our research shows that 62% of the general public (including non-EV drivers) say reducing CO2 emissions in transportation is important to them, and 61% of potential EV drivers view those who drive electric as environmentally conscious. 

So, having electric vehicle charging at your gas station is something many of your customers would like to see, even if they don’t (yet) own an electric car themselves. 

If anything, it shows that your business is preparing for the future and working to reduce CO2 emissions by creating much-needed EV charging infrastructure. 

Your existing customers already drive electric cars (or they might soon)

Do you know that 38% of current EV owners in Europe also still own a vehicle that runs on gas? Many new EV adopters are first trying out this new way of transportation before completely letting go of the familiar combustion engine car. 

A woman refuels her vehicle at a gas pump at a gas station.

This means that, without you knowing, customers that come and fuel up their tank at your gas station today may also own an electric vehicle which they could charge at your location if they had the option. 

And even if they don’t own an EV yet, chances are that many of your customers are considering it. According to research by EY, over 48 percent of US consumers intend to buy an EV as their next car, and more than 52 percent globally 

This rapidly growing fleet of EVs will require an equally fast increase in the number of EV charging stations to ensure a seamless charging experience for everyone.  

With this being a top priority across the globe, many modern gas stations are starting to tap into this trend – putting the range anxiety concerns of (potential) customers at ease while growing their offering with a new range of services that meet tomorrow’s needs. 

A man drives an EV while a woman sits in the passenger seat.

Read more about EV charging for fuel retailers

Tapping into electric mobility means more than just attracting and retaining customers for gas stations. Providing EV charging stations can mean additional upselling opportunities, commercial fleet charging deals, and improved public perception.  

That said, installing EV charging infrastructure is often easier said than done, especially in the case of fast charging. Check out our exhaustive fuel retail guide to learn everything you need to know about the topic and understand the practicalities of transforming your gas station into an EV charging hub.