Recharging Retail: Estimating Consumer Demand Spillovers from Electric Vehicle Charging Station

20/02/2023 - 20/02/2023

Recharging Retail: Estimating Consumer Demand Spillovers from Electric Vehicle Charging Station

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Recharging Retail Estimating Consumer Demand Spillovers from Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

We study how the placement of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations impacts foot traffic at neighboring brick-and-mortar businesses. Our analysis focuses on the Tesla Supercharger network within the United States. We employ a differences-in-differences design, exploiting the staggered construction of Supercharger stations to quantify the effect. We implement a variety of robustness checks, including alternative estimators and matching techniques. Further, we document heterogeneity in the impact, based on business and Supercharger characteristics, as well as other contextual factors. We estimate that Superchargers yield a 4% increase in average monthly visits to nearby businesses. These effects are primarily attributable to higher-income customers and weekend visits, consistent with the typical Tesla / EV customer profile, and charge pattern. We also find that the effects accrue most heavily to grocery and convenience stores, rather than restaurants. Our study provides novel, robust evidence of the demand spillovers that offline retailers can obtain from EV charging infrastructure. We draw insights and implications for EV networks, retailers, and policymakers around efforts to expand EV charging infrastructure and consumer adoption of EVs.

Bio of the Speaker:
Yash Babar joined the Wisconsin School of Business in August 2020 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Operations and Information Management.

Professor Babar’s research interests include examining online and offline interactions across various contexts, online communities, and the sharing economy. He also studies the use of technology-based interventions to change individual behavior in the contexts of competitive environments and for promoting healthier lifestyles.

Professor Babar earned his B.E. in Engineering (Computer Science) at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani, and his Ph.D. in Information and Decision Sciences from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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