Subway Looking to Build EV Charging “Oasis”

Aaron Foyer
Courtesy of Axios

In its most significant business expansion since it started serving salads, Subway is getting into the electric vehicle business.

What happened: The sandwich franchise recently announced plans to build electric vehicle charging stations to pair with its traditional stores. These “oases”, as the company refers to them, will include restrooms, playgrounds, and of course fast charging stations.

Did Subway just run out of sandwich ideas?

While we’re glad the sandwich artists aren’t considering a seafood meatball sub anytime soon, this is all about the latest trend in customer experience: retail charging.

Big picture: With the increased adoption of electric vehicles, there is consumer demand to address the slow charging times compared to the traditional gassing up the ol’ guzzler.

  • It’s not that drivers aren’t routinely away from their vehicles when charging could happen, it’s that hanging around a Shell station comparing types of jerky isn’t how most people want to spend 30 minutes of their time several times per week.

Enter retail charging: Analysts are expecting charging stations to morph into experiences, where customers can use the 30 minutes needed for charging for leisure or to tackle some weekly chores.

In businesses like grocery stores, where shoppers make an average of 1.6 trips per week and 70 percent of customers already have favourite stores, grocers can use charging stations to solidify brand loyalty. Hotels and cafés may include charging for free as a part of the guest experience.

Zoom out: A shift in the type of vehicles driven in a society won’t just change the emissions generated from transportation but will transform society itself. New routines and new business ideas will develop on the back of the world’s electrification trend.