Sunday, March 15, 2020

Experience while charging: “People stop for a comfort break rather than a fuel break"

"will the electric car mean the end of the road for roadside refuellers?

“[It’s] a phase of vehicles which is going to look like Blockbuster versus Netflix . . . they don’t coexist for any material amount of time,” he said, referring to the speed with which Netflix dispatched its erstwhile brick-and-mortar video rental rival.

Most petrol stations’ profit comes from selling food, drink and tobacco, not fuel. Only 38 per cent of profit dollars from American petrol stations came from fuel sales, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores, a US industry group." [1]

Questions. Questions. Questions.

What will happen to the Wawa's and Kwik Trip's of the world? How will they evolve (will they?) as Electric Vehicles (EV) become more common? Will destination experiences drive charging choices?

I considered these opportunities while driving Wisconsin's driftless region [2] recently.

One of my routes included a return to Madison from La Crosse via Sparta and Mauston.

Sparta promotes itself as "The Bicycling Capitol of America". A museum celebrates both cycling and one of the original NASA Mercury Seven Astronauts: Deke Slayton.

Travelers needing fuel, or a charge, may find the nearby Kwik Trip useful. Beyond an impressive selection of fruits and vegetables - and road trip necessities - Kwik Trip offers a sea of gasoline and diesel fuel pumps plus a charging station of sorts complemented by a picnic table.

Just across the road, Tesla Superchargers and a dog walking area are complemented by a Culvers. Butterburgers while charging. A well stocked Carr Valley cheese outlet is a short drive away.

Detroit's Beacon Park is the most interesting charging destination I've yet seen. DTE Energy installed Detroit's first fast charging stations next to a restaurant, Lumen Detroit, light features and a concert venue.

Competition for charging attention - and spending - appears set to grow. Explorers find amuz useful when plotting journeys.

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[1] Electric cars threaten to pull the plug on petrol stations

[2] Wikipedia on the driftless area.