For shopping centers, installing electric vehicle chargers can provide a jolt in stiff retail competition.

The perks are multifaceted, from attracting new tenants to influencing a consumer’s decision to shop there over another center.

“It gives incentive for customers to want to come onto the property. … Not everybody has access to a charger at their home. They may live in an apartment,” said Chuck Schneider, founder of Kansas City-based Easy Charge, which sells and installs EV chargers for homeowners and apartment, office and retail properties.

“It’s an essential amenity if you’re driving an electric vehicle, so the need is very real.”

For Oak Park Mall owner CBL Properties, installing EV chargers at its retail centers not only fits its sustainability initiatives, but gives patrons another amenity, said Sean Phillips, senior marketing director for Oak Park Mall and West County Center.

“It’s an amenity that we’re able to offer that provides us with differentiation from our competitors,” he said.

“The mall is an ideal location for charging stations, given our proximity to major roadways and then our large selection of shops and restaurants. They’re not just waiting in their car. We’re providing things they can do while their vehicle is being charged.”

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