Volta, an electric vehicle (EV) charging network and infrastructure company, has expanded its EV charging reach through a new partnership with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, a major outlet mall operator and owner.
Volta charging stations, which incorporate large-format digital displays that double as a digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising opportunity, will be installed at Tanger locations in nine U.S. markets. The partnership is expected to grow in the coming months.
The expansion is a positive move for EV infrastructure, which has been increasingly tied to retail. Consumers can already take their electric vehicles to certain retail locations and charge their cars while shopping, but the infrastructure is currently limited. As retailers look to lure consumers back to in-store shopping as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease, adding more value to shopping trips is a big incentive. The partnership can also help retailers and real estate owners improve their climate action and sustainability goals by connecting clean miles to commerce.
Volta plans to provide a mix of direct current (DC), fast-charging EV and level two (L2) charging solutions tailored to Tanger shopper characteristics. Volta’s 55-inch, “eye-catching” charging stations are located near the entrances of commercial properties to help attract consumers to the retail locations, accelerate EV adoption and give brands more advertising opportunities to reach customers before they enter stores.
"Our intelligent charging network converts deep behavioral insights into dollars while bringing convenient, reliable charging to places where people already spend time," Scott Mercer, founder and CEO of Volta, said in a news release. "Reducing carbon emissions while putting drivers and customers first is core to both of our companies' missions, which is why our collaboration with Tanger is a natural fit."
Tanger also noted the partnership and the media functionality is part of its omnichannel strategy.
"At Tanger, we are laser-focused on creating long-term value for our customers and retail partners while building strong, vibrant communities and a cleaner, healthier future for us all," Leslie Swanson, chief operating officer of Tanger Outlets, said in the release. "Our partnership with Volta will provide our customers with a high-value service as they shop while helping our retail partners attract new, loyal shoppers who are in search of a convenient charge. It will also allow our media partners to capitalize on Volta's unique, eye-catching, and sustainable ad platform, further elevating how customers view, shop, and connect with Tanger's brands."
EV adoption may help put more money in consumers’ pockets in the future. With rising gas prices, there is increasing interest and demand for efficient vehicles. Infrastructure has a major impact on the retail industry, both in the industry’s ability to ship and deliver goods, but also in consumers' ability to spend. Better infrastructure, including EV charging stations, will improve disposable income. The addition of Volta stations at mass retail locations is proven to drive a higher frequency of visits from high-value shoppers, adding 60%-70% greater spending power than the general visitor, according to Experian Marketing Services data cited by Volta.