When we think of Black Friday in the United States, some crazy imagery probably comes to mind. The day after being thankful for what we have (and, in many cases, the same evening), Americans then to go get new things for friends and relatives to celebrate a season of peace and love. But, when they get there, fistfights, tramplings, crazy mobs, and many other bad things await. There’s even a “Black Friday Death Count” website tracking the deaths that happen shopping on this day.
But, for most people, the fighting is mild and they get in and out with the good deals alive. For businesses, problems with Black Friday are also pretty rare, so they’re happy with all of the extra sales they can make over the weekend.
But, one thing I didn’t expect to hear was that there’s also a noticeable increase in EV charging on those busy shopping days. Personally, I’ve never driven a long distance to shop for deals, but there must be people who drive to the next city or town in an EV to do this, because ChargePoint noticed some real differences.
We know that EV adoption is increasing. Over this most recent Black Friday weekend, the company saw that there was approximately 32,500 total charging sessions, a 19% increase since last year. So, a lot more people are driving EVs to go fight over deals this year.
Also, we know that there’s more charging happening for Black Friday. The daily average number of charging sessions so far in 2023 (before the weekend) has been about 8,200. On Black Friday and the days that followed, the average number of daily charging sessions was about 10,500. This means that this busy shopping weekend had about 29% more charging going on.
ChargePoint also pointed out that the most popular day of the weekend remains Friday itself. So, early Thursday deals and other deals over the weekend are not taking over. But, the whole weekend remained above normal, so the whole weekend remains popular for EV drivers.
Other trends include that EV drivers also tend to spend a lot of time at retail stores on Black Friday (which shouldn’t be a surprise, really). But, they’re spending more time this year than last year. Over the last few years, shopping centers were the most popular place to charge. But, big box and superstore shopping was definitely up this year compared to other years.
EVs are still a small percentage of vehicles in the United States, but we can see that they’re becoming a normal part of the Black Friday scene just like they’re becoming a part of the overall driving scene. And, just like any other vehicle, they’re used more when other vehicles tend to be used.
It also shows us that my initial assumption about charging at home was off. There’s no way everyone is charging at home and in bad need of charging because they drove a long, long way to buy gifts and otherwise take advantage of Black Friday deals. So, the bump must mostly be explained by opportunity charging and people who need to charge while away because they don’t have any charging at home.
Featured image by ChargePoint.
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