EV drivers expect more from forecourts

New research commissioned by Fresh Food For Now Company, has indicated how the rise of EV drivers will shape UK petrol/service stations in the future.

With increasing electric cars on the roads alongside petrol drivers, the ‘Future of the Forecourt’ report has highlighted two distinctly different interactions with forecourts between the two users, and in turn the opportunities these present to operators.

Where petrol drivers lean towards speedier, ‘in and out’ visits, the research shows EV drivers are more concerned about the facilities, drinks, and food on offer as they look to kill time on site as their vehicle charges.

The data showed +8% of EV drivers are more likely to choose a location if it offers quality hot drinks, while +7% would stop if there was a good range of food options throughout the day.

This reflects further findings that 62% buy food to go from petrol/service stations monthly on an ‘all day grazing’ mission; everything from a snack to a quick breakfast, or light meal in place of a missed lunch.

The report also showed all day grazers buy frequently and spend more, with a skew to younger and more affluent consumers, and pick up a wider variety of products than other missions, over indexing in savoury and sweet snacking, fruit, soup, and sushi.

Overall, the research gave nine key areas of attention to make forecourts fit for the future; focusing on shopper motivations, missions, in-store experience and purchasing habits.

Anna Bond, senior customer marketing manager, Fresh Food For Now Company, said: “Our research has shown that, as electric vehicles become increasingly prevalent on the road (particularly with inner city regulations designed to curb carbon emissions), it is a crucial time for forecourt operators to evaluate their offering.

“More and more drivers will spend longer periods at their site and, as the research shows, will expect quality offerings & facilities to make it an enjoyable experience.

“Not only that, but as all-day grazing dominates shopper missions, catering to a variety of mealtimes and occasions is of utmost importance; forecourt operators should ensure they offer a wide variety of on-the-go food – from hot eats to chilled sandwiches, salads and of course snacks – to give consumers that choice and keep them coming back.