One in five (21%) electric vehicle drivers look for retail and hospitality amenities at dedicated service stations when charging away from home, according to research from Deloitte.

The findings, based on responses from over 1,500 UK consumers, found that top amenities sought by EV drivers whilst charging include coffee and beverages (64%), bathroom access (56%), Wi-Fi connectivity (55%), snacks and light meals (43%), and a lounge or sitting area (42%); unlocking new market opportunities for both retail and hospitality industries.

A third (36%) of EV drivers indicate that they are prepared to wait between 21 and 40 minutes to charge from empty to 80% battery capacity, with one in four (25%) prepared to wait between 41 minutes and an hour.

Jamie Hamilton, automotive partner and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said: “Market share for electric vehicles is the fastest-growing across any new vehicle type. At the same time, the practicalities of charging on-the-go are rapidly being made more feasible as infrastructure is rolled out nationally. Traditional amenities such as coffees and bathroom access remain a priority for consumers, however there is growing demand for other retail services that consumer businesses should consider tapping into as drivers wait for their vehicles to charge.

“Charge times are improving greatly with the development of battery technology and rapid chargers, but the charging window is widening both the consumer base and current time spent at service stations. Consumers are also signalling that they want more services and amenities made available to them during this time, presenting an opportunity for retailers and hospitality businesses to generate new revenue streams.”

Reflecting ongoing growth in hybrid working arrangements, one in ten electric vehicle drivers also indicate access to a private meeting room as useful whilst waiting for their vehicle to charge.

Andreas Scriven, head of leisure and hospitality at Deloitte said: “Changing working patterns mean many businesses are adapting their spaces and product offerings for consumers. As remote working becomes more prevalent, there will likely be increased consumer demand for ‘third spaces’ to work from when not in the office or at home. This also opens up opportunities for hospitality businesses to create dedicated workspaces, perhaps with additional benefits such as coffee and Wi-Fi, and expand product ranges to serve on-the-go workers using their vehicle charging time to work.”

In terms of leisure time, one in five EV drivers also said they would make use of a full-service restaurant whilst their vehicle charged at a public location.

“Greater electric vehicle adoption has prompted a new market for hospitality services, with battery charging times also doubling as leisure time. Those businesses that look to new charge point locations and create the venues and services that consumers are demanding will make the most of the opportunities posed by EV charge time windows.”