Tesla Charges Ahead with Welcome Break

Welcome Break pushes ahead with electric charging points with Tesla.

As Tesla & Welcome Break continue to roll out their infrastructure across the UK, is this a case of first mover advantage and what impact does it have on the evolution of electric & driverless technology and the role roadside services has to play.


Tesla, Welcome Break Services, Oxford

There is a Demand

You have to admit, they look pretty cool. These superchargers can charge in a matter of minutes vs hours at home - perfect for high volume, low dwell sites.

Back in the summer there was 4 Tesla Model S's in a queue waiting to use the existing 6 charging points that Welcome Break had installed. So, clearly the demand is there.

There is an estimate that at peak times, each unit is being used around 16 times a day - so not huge volumes (96 cars a day), but with the release of the Model 3, Tesla's latest 'affordable' entrant this could dramatically increase and with the exponential rise in electric cars this could change within the next 3 years.



Changing Times

Welcome Break has probably been the most innovative in terms of its strategic approach to these partnerships as it evolves its positioning for consumers in the future.

Sainsbury, Tesco & Starbucks all have their own small scale trials. But where does the future of providing electric services (currently free in most locations) vs fuel retailing leave how the retail sales mix change and ultimately how retailers generate their income?

Whilst electric cars account for less than 2% of total sales, the pace of change is set to exponentially increase with 2035 being the ultimate point where all cars will be sold electric - if not sooner.



The Reality

The electric car market is here to stay and the reality is that people will need something to do whilst those cars charge.

How retailers & hospitality make use of this dwell time will be an interesting change from just those 'functional' services and a real shift in mindset.

How traditional retailers & fuel services move now will be key to their long term survival and that planning & innovation needs to happen today, not tomorrow.

Welcome Break seems to be the leader in the private sector of this early adoption and potentially the best placed to have early adopter advantage, but this change is not exclusive to motorway services and has an impact on the wider retailing sector.


What Next?

If you find this disruptive change interesting, follow me on twitter @russdanks or subscribe to our blog or to chat further, get in touch.



Russell is the Futurist lead at the Future Factory London, specialising in future technology & the effect that has on consumer behaviour, developing long term strategy & innovation platforms.