The mass adoption of electric vehicles could be good for local retailers, as EV owners may be spendng more time shopping than their petroleum-burning counterparts.

Research being done by EV charger manufacturer ECOtality is showing that owners of electric vehicles spend considerably more time in stores when they are able to plug their vehicle in nearby. Looking at EV data gathered through the Department of Energy’s EV Project, ECOtality is able to study the behavior of shoppers at retail locations where the company has installed public chargers. The company has chargers installed at several retailers, including IKEA, Kohls, and Cracker Barrel.

“We are in the process of vetting information from retailers,” said ECOtality’s chief innovation officer Don Karner.

The EV Project, the largest deployment of EVs and charging stations in history, is partially paid for by a $115 million grant from the DOE and is in collaboration with several automakers as well as Idaho National Laboratory.

I am not normally one to promote consumerism and I am sure the vetted information from retailers will just be used to sell more product, but in this case I can appreciate the research. And while I don’t know if the same would be true in a town unlike mine here in Southern California by the beach, the two EV charging stations on my street are in constant use from morning till night. Seems some of my neighbors are backing up the findings of the ECOtality research.

Image Credit: NCDOTcommunications/Flickr