The petrol industry has diversified over the last 30 years and Rusdene Services – which operates six forecourts across the South – prides itself on always staying ahead of the curve.
From an early stage it adopted the food-on-the-go model, which has become the industry trend, and it was one of the first operators to sell alcohol from its retail shops.
Now the company is working with InstaVolt to bring in the latest evolution of its service – the installation of rapid electric car chargers on its forecourts.
Oli Lodge, managing director of Rusdene Services, explains: “As a petrol forecourt, we didn’t want to bury our heads in the sand and wait until it was too late to adapt. Adopting this technology early and providing rapid chargers meant we could cater for the rising number of electric vehicle drivers on the South’s roads while finding a new revenue stream for the business.”
Oli started speaking to InstaVolt at the end of 2017 and was impressed by the fact the company installs the chargers for free. In addition, the company pays partner landlords like Rusdene Services a rental income for the use of the space.
Oli said: “It was a complete no-brainer. To be able to install the electric vehicle chargers without that capital outlay made perfect sense.”
InstaVolt installed its first two rapid DC chargers at Rusdene’s Lee on Solent site back in 2017. InstaVolt took care of everything, from planning permission right through to installation and testing. Since then, Oli says he’s seen footfall increase with a new audience.
“It’s bringing electric car drivers to us and we’re seeing new faces all the time,” he said. “What’s been a real business benefit is that while their cars are charging, typically for up to half an hour, they’re coming in and spending money in our café and retail area. It’s unlocking a whole new era in dwell time and that’s only going to increase as more people drive EVs.”
InstaVolt lists all of its chargers on popular EV website, Zap-Map, so drivers are actively seeking out Oli’s forecourts. He says: “We’ve hardly had to promote it at all, people have been coming to us.”
Going forward, InstaVolt will continue to maintain and upgrade the charging stations as technology evolves.
Oli said: “It’s been a really easy process installing them so we’re now rolling out more across other sites. InstaVolt has taken care of everything from the planning and installation to footing the bill. Installing more really is an obvious choice for us.”
It was a complete no-brainer. To be able to install the electric vehicle chargers without that capital outlay made perfect sense.
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