Commercial parking operator Target Park started with a modest goal to meet current customer demand for EV charging—and found an opportunity to become a pioneer in the field. Discover their Hypercharge EV charging success story in this testimonial.
Target Park began its journey with EV charging with a simple objective: give customers what they’d been asking for. The company had been receiving a stream of queries from customers about if and when charging stations would become available in its managed facilities, and it was time to do something about it.
When the company began investigating charging options, however, it soon became clear that the stations could do more than address the present customer need. With EV ownership spreading rapidly, as well as increasing municipal mandates for charging infrastructure in new developments, EV charging could become part of Target Park’s core business.
“The landscape for parking lots is going to change rapidly,” predicts Frank Carpignano, National Operations Manager at Target Park. “Five, ten years from now, we see our parking lots as fuelling stations for electric vehicles as much as they are parking facilities. It’s a huge part of our future revenue plan.”
Not getting prepared now means you’re already falling behind.
Target Park decided it needed a partner that could address its present needs and help formulate a multi-stage strategy. “We felt Hypercharge was a great fit, based on what we’d learned about the market to date,” says Carpignano. “We liked the team and the trajectory they were on, and they helped us leap ahead with our plans.”
In late 2021, Target Park announced a partnership with Hypercharge and an ambitious project that will see 2,500 Level 2 public charging stations installed across the continent over the next three years.
You might start with four, five stations. A few years from now, that could easily be fifty stations or even a hundred at a single parking facility, depending on the circumstances.
Target Park will have more than a dozen additional EV charging sites operational within the next few months. For each, Hypercharge conducted an assessment of the electrical capacity and designed the infrastructure work accordingly. “It’s not as simple as just deciding to install ten Level 2 charging stations,” Carpignano explains. “The first challenge is putting [infrastructure] issues on the landlord’s or property manager’s radar so they can start dealing with them.”
A bigger hurdle is infrastructure limitations that may be beyond a landlord’s control. Carpignano points out that some parking facilities and buildings currently don’t have sufficient electrical supply to support the expected demand for charging. “The electrical capacity on the public grid isn’t always there right now,” he says. “If governments want everyone to move over to electric vehicles, the municipalities and utility companies will need to be able to deliver the necessary supply—at what’s hopefully a fair rate.”
In the short term, Target Park’s approach is to work with Hypercharge to maximize the infrastructure on each site. “You start by doing what’s feasible and scale up in the future,” says Carpignano. “But there’s no question we’ll have to build out those capabilities. That’s an important part of our plan in later phases.”
In early March 2022, Target Park launched its first Hypercharge operation with four Level 2 charging stations at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, one of the company’s prime locations in the city. The stations were operational just two months after the proposal was presented to property management. “That’s one of the many positive of working with Hypercharge,” says Carpignano “They’re fast to respond, they have the charging station units ready to go, and they can expand at a quick pace.”
The charging stations are highly visible, placed in premium parking spots near the entrance and exits. “At all our sites, we like the EV spots to be first parking spaces you see,” says Carpignano. “We want to showcase that we have electric charging capabilities, and we also want to make it convenient for the electric vehicle customer. One of the bonuses of investing in an EV should be not having to drive around the three levels of a parking lot to find the charging stations.”
The charging area design enhances the VIP experience, with its eye-catching LED lighting and Target Park branding. Usage instructions are clearly posted, as are QR codes that customers can scan to receive further instructions if needed. Target Park and Hypercharge also have 24-hour help desks—though there’s been no need for extra support to date. “The machines are very user friendly,” says Carpignano. “From a customer-experience perspective, it’s turning out very well.”
Target Park’s future plans include advancing its existing sites’ revenue-boosting capabilities. Carpignano says its chargers have brought new customers to Target Park’s facilities, and the data collected from those stations will provide valuable information about the growing number of users and their charging habits. This may inform marketing strategies, such as installing screens in charging areas with advertising targeted to EV drivers. “We’re putting all of the pieces in place,” he says. “EVs aren’t every vehicle on the road right now, but it’s going to get to that point, very quickly, and we’ll be ready.”