How independent retailers can join the EV charging game - and why they should, according to Caroline Eccles, retail, forecourts and leisure at Be.EV.

Be.EV charging Forecourt image 1

“EV charging? I’ve got enough on my plate!” Many of the independent operators I talk to struggle to see the benefit of offering EV charging on their forecourts right now.

Caroline Eccles 2

In a year of repeat petrol crises and inflation, you all rightly keep a laser focus on protecting your margins and staying ahead of local competitors.

But what if EV charging could help you with today’s perfect storm and set you on the right track for an electric future?

If you’ve looked into EV charger installations in the past and have been put off, it’s time to reconsider. New models of delivering EV charging have emerged that mean you don’t have to invest - or even so much as lift a finger - to benefit. And now’s the time to do it.

Footfall for free

First of all, offering EV charging in the right way will deliver the extra footfall you need right now – boosting your convenience and coffee sales and any other amenities you’ve already invested in.

EV charging doesn’t work in the same way as filling up with petrol. People can walk away and do something else while their car is charging. That means extra time spent in your shop, browsing the magazines, buying some flowers, grabbing a brew.

If you connect to a network like Be.EV, hosting our chargers on your forecourt, you suddenly tap into an established community of local drivers (11,000 and counting in the North West!). You’re literally put on their maps.

As an independent, you’re already more likely to be close to where people live and that’s where people want chargers. Be a first mover and your local EV driver community will find you and come back again and again.

And you can have all that for free. At Be.EV, we want to expand and intensify our network, so we’ll design, install and look after your EV charging for free (unless you want to chip in for a share of the revenue). The added advantage: this only works for us if the chargers are working well and are utilised, so it’s in our interest to keep them in great nick and drive traffic to them.

Future-proof and revenue-ready

We have clever tools to model demand across local areas. Public EV charging operators like us can design a solution that works for your site(s) today, but also anticipates rising demand in future.

Flexible delivery models mean you can earn lease income initially and then gradually take over ownership. Your site can evolve from offering EV charging as a side hustle to drive footfall to an extra revenue pillar, to a fully-fledged, profitable electric forecourt.

Hosting or co-investing in EV charging facilities in this way minimises any commercial risk to you, while allowing you to get your head round EVs and prepare for an electric future.

Still not convinced? Check out our short guide for indies here, busting the common forecourt EV charging myths.

For further information contact Caroline at

Be.EV works with retail, forecourts, hotel and leisure destinations to develop fit-for-purpose community charging solutions. We care about getting EV charging right – for existing and future drivers, and for retailers. With over 10,000 members it claims to run the biggest public charging network in the North West and is expanding rapidly across the UK.