Creating a parking experience which is fast and convenient is an essential part of delivering customer satisfaction. As the cars we drive begin to change in line with Government initiatives to reduce the use of fossil fuels, parking solutions must change too in order to accommodate electric vehicles.
Safety, convenience and simple navigation have always been key criteria in owning and managing a successful car park. Most people would likely consider these towering concrete structures quite basic, but in truth, car parks have always had to adapt in order to keep up with evolving driving trends.
Have you ever tried parking a large, modern car in an old car park? This is a perfect example of car parking evolution. Sales of sport utility vehicles or SUVs began to rise sharply between 2015 and 2018, up 13.5% in that three-year period, making them accountable for 21.2% of car sales in 2018. SUVs are larger and heavier than standard cars, requiring a larger parking bay for a comfortable and convenient parking experience for both the driver and those getting in and out of the surrounding vehicles.
That’s why car parks built in the later half of the decade have evolved to accommodate increasing numbers of larger sized vehicles such as Range Rovers. Larger bays offer a more convenient parking experience, and therefore attract those driving these larger vehicles. Demographically speaking, the owners of these larger cars are between the ages of 25-54 (43%) and have the most disposable income, so shopping centres, hotels, leisure facilities and business parks can all benefit from making their car parking facilities as convenient and easy- to-use as possible.
Parking Solutions: The next chapter is EV Technology
Just like the rise in larger vehicles, we are now seeing an upsurge in electric vehicle (EV) technology shaping the parking solutions market. Despite the fact there are now twice as many electric car charging points in the UK than there are petrol stations, the number of electric car sales still far outweighs the number of charging points available. Local authorities, workplaces and car parks now find themselves in a race against time to accommodate the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road.
Recent statistics show that there were 128,500 pure-electric cars on UK roads as of May 2020, along with an additional 315,200 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and 10,200 plug-in vans.
Now let’s consider the charging stations. Research shows that in 2020 there are 453,900 chargeable cars on UK roads, compared to a very disproportionate 32,390 public charging stations. Many of these are clustered together in certain geographies such as London, leaving much of the country ill-prepared for a continued rise in electric car sales. This was showcased by the Department for Transport in a 2019 paper, which identified that for every 100,000 people, there were only 23 charging stations throughout the country, and as low as 16 throughout the whole of Northern Ireland, but as many as 49 in others (London).
Now is the Time to Evolve Your Parking Solutions
The Government has set 2035 as the date for banning traditional diesel and petrol cars, and between now and then, EVs will become more and more common on our roads. Failing to accommodate them within your parking solutions strategy could have a serious impact on your accessibility, customer loyalty and foot traffic in the businesses that your car park serves–all the more pressing if that business is your own.
Ready to revamp your car park? Financial support is available to businesses wanting to get ahead of the curve and install charging points for EVs today.