How Harvey Norman and Bunnings could supercharge Australia's electric vehicle revolution?
In a world where the global electric vehicle market is growing exponentially, Walmart's recent announcement to deploy thousands of fast chargers across the United States is a harbinger of change. As one of America's largest retail chains, Walmart is well-positioned to accelerate EV adoption and infrastructure development, providing a blueprint for major Australian retailers.
Walmart's ambitious plan will involve the installation of over 3,500 EV charging stations at its stores by 2025. With the aim of creating an extensive and accessible charging network, the initiative has the potential to reshape the EV landscape in the US. This move could serve as a template for Australian big box retailers like Harvey Norman and Bunnings, who have a significant retail footprint and could leverage their infrastructure to propel Australia's EV market.
The Australian market is ripe for such an endeavour. According to data from the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, the total number of EVs registered in Australia increased by 249% from 2019 to 2021 (1). The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) reports that investments in EV charging infrastructure reached a record AUD 100 million in 2021 (2). Additionally, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) revealed that the number of public charging stations across the country had surpassed 3,000 by the end of 2021 (3). These data points indicate a robust and rapidly growing market, but also suggest that the availability of charging infrastructure is still lacking.
By adopting Walmart's model, Australian big box retailers can tap into a lucrative business opportunity while simultaneously fostering the growth of Australia's EV market. By integrating charging stations into their existing retail locations, these companies can offer customers a convenient and efficient charging experience, encouraging more consumers to make the switch to electric vehicles. Furthermore, as many Australian cities suffer from urban sprawl, these retailers' strategic locations can provide much-needed charging options for suburban commuters.
To succeed, however, Harvey Norman and Bunnings must navigate the complexities of the Australian energy market, and consider partnering with key players in the EV charging space. By forging strategic collaborations with installers, energy providers, and charging network operators, these retailers can effectively navigate regulatory hurdles and ensure their charging infrastructure is reliable, affordable, and scalable.
Ultimately, if Harvey Norman and Bunnings follow Walmart's lead and invest in building an extensive EV charging network, they could not only carve out a new revenue stream for themselves but also significantly contribute to the growth of the Australian EV market. By capitalising on their retail footprint and recognising the potential of the EV revolution, these retailers have the opportunity to drive change and usher in a greener, more sustainable future for Australia.
Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA). (2021). EV registrations in Australia.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). (2021). Investment in EV charging infrastructure.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). (2021). Number of public charging stations in Australia.