Electric car charging for shopping centers and how to do it in practice

Public spaces are filled with electric cars and shopping centers feel this maybe more than any other business out there. But how to do electric car charging in shopping centers?

Let’s see how you can come up with such an EV charging solution for your shopping center.



Electric car charging in shopping centers, it’s about serving your customers well

So, what’s the key here? As there is no “one size fits all philosopher's stone” in electric car charging at this scale (in all honesty, shopping centers are big and each is unique) we need to ask us a few questions to get close to perfection.

The most crucial one is to determine what is your average/median visit time of a customer that comes by a car. But why create your shopping center’s electric car charging solution around time spent in your location? Simply put, it’s good customer service, which leads to good and repeated business.

Next thing, you may want to sort out the percentages of “fast visits” and “normal visits”. This helps you determine do you need fast chargers at all. I must say, that usually normal charging speed is more than enough, as in a shopping center you want your customers to stay a bit longer anyway, but having a couple of rapid car chargers isn’t going to hurt you.

After all, this shows your customer that your shopping center lives in the same rhythm with them. A good charging experience can leave them with a positive feeling even when they didn’t find the pair of jeans they were looking for.

Electric car charging in shopping centers is about serving your customers well.


How to create electric car charging solution for shopping center

Now you have the base knowledge of how to draft your own electric car charging solution for a shopping center. But there must be something more to it? Well there is…


Don’t overload your electricity infrastructure #1

To create a truly working electric car charging solution for your shopping center, you need to look at the electrical infrastructure of your shopping center. Can it actually withstand the pressure and possible peak energy demand that dozens of electric car chargers cause for your local energy grid? This can be a costly issue if done wrong and left unsolved.

Your answer here is SMART chargers. They monitor the energy demand caused by chargers to your local grid and balance the energy demand. Often, they even cut your operational charging costs as well.


Create a smooth customer experience with an app #2

In the era of smartphones there is no good reason not to utilize an app when creating a smooth customer experience that “just flows”. After all, 99 % of your customers have a smartphone and you can serve these 99 % of your customers better with an app.

Now think about it…

A person owning an electric car drives to your shopping center and arrivers to your parking lot (with loaded battery in mind). They plug in the electric car and press a button on their smartphone. DONE. The electric car is now charging. No debit/debit cards, no receipts, no paper, no hassle. All is taken care of with the app and your tech savvy electric car owning customer expects this.

Ensto chargers are easy to integrate with charger management apps and we have good experiences on our chargers working with Fortum Charge & Drive Suomi, Virta, EasyPark and many other.

One such integration with an charging app and electric car charger Ensto Pro was done 2019 in shopping center Sello, which is one of the largest in whole Finland. You can dive into the integration and get to understand Sello’s EV charging solution in this article.


Select your electric car charging business model for shopping center #3

Now let's look at the big picture again, as that is the biggest thing you need to get right in order to perfect your electric car charging solution for your shopping center.

What do I mean? I mean you need to have a business model, based on which your shopping center can organize all the above and operate the electric car charging. And the good news here is that not every charging solution requires you to manage, or even buy your electric car chargers by yourself.

To find your own electric car charging business model for a shopping center, you can download our guide (yes, the topic is bigger than just one blog post). In it you find all of our electric car charging business models created by our Ensto professionals that live and breath the clean air of the electric car revolution.



Ask more on electric car charging in shopping centers

Blog writer:



Margit Salminen

Sales Manager, EV charging

+358 40 512 0892

Ensto Finland Oy