I believe the EV charging stations are the next big thing in the advertisement. It takes 45 to 60 minutes for a car to get fully charged. This 45-60 minute is the window where, if used properly, brands can get huge attention.
Meanwhile, the charging stations can be used as a hangout place. Food and beverage brands like Chaayos, Starbucks, Karims, and many more can open their stalls and make EV charging a pleasant experience. And the scope is huge. Where India is targeting 25% EVs on road by 2025, charging EVs is going to be a necessity. Big companies like Tata Power, Delta Electronics, ABB, Amara raja are running for EV charging stations all over India.
In this context, I decided to brainstorm how to design the experience of an EV charging station.
- I am only focusing on the customer experience.
- Who am I? I am a Product Manager who handles customer experience in EV charging stations. My organization has a long chain of EV charging points across India. My target is to make EV charging a pleasant experience. However, my long-term goal is to increase the footfall in the charging station.
- People driving EVs in India are mostly young tech-savvy. Their age is between 30-50, and they belong from tier 1 and tier 2 cities.
- They have gadgets like smartphones, smartwatches, etc.
- I am targeting EV cars only.
- Finding a charging station
- To utilize the scope of charging stations, big companies like Tata Power, Delta Electronics, ABB, Amara raja are already running for EV charging stations all over the country. Tata Power has partnered with IOCL to establish charging stations in their petrol pumps. Current Market leader Tata Motors gives their customers a list of their authorized/ recommended charging stations. With all these options available, reaching our specific charging station is a challenge.
- Keep track of how much the battery is charged – someone can’t keep staring at the charging meter.
- Killing the charging time – in the age of shortest attention span, killing 45-60 minutes is going to be huge.
Ideas and Priority
- To solve the first problem, I have a reference. During the Covid outbreak, I went to Decathlon once. It is a sports accessories shop. I guess because of their offline availability, their app purchase was low. I never used their app before, I wanted to visit their shop, try different items and then purchase. Coming back to the point, they asked us to install their app to purchase items and avoid any contact. In this case, we can ask our customers to install our app to locate our nearby power stations. The app will locate the stations and show available slots. If a point is not available, the app can show an approximate waiting time.
- If possible we can notify the customers about their charge status through the app only.
- For the last point, there can be multiple options
- The easiest is to provide highspeed wifi.
- Cultivate a hang-out culture. Snacks and beverages brands like Cafe-coffee-day, Chaayos can open stalls nearby. There is a vibrant culture right outside Bangalore airport. Such an environment should attract a quality audience who can enjoy this 45-60 minutes.
- I would start with highspeed wifi because it is the easiest to implement.
- Then I would launch the app and give at least 3-6 months to track the returning customers.
- Then I would try to cultivate a hangout place in our busiest station. I would compare how many people are consuming wifi and how many are going out.
EV charging stations are the next big thing because
- Right now, everyone cannot afford an EV in India. The audience is from niche communities and tech-savvy. They are adaptable and more accepting. It is easier to communicate with them.
- This niche group of people has 45-60 minutes of time to spare at the charge station.
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