LAS VEGAS —Terrible Herbst Oil Co. is adding electric vehicle (EV) charging—but with a solar-powered twist.
The Las Vegas-based convenience-store chain of more than 130 locations is partnering with ISM Connect as it launches its Sun Media Network of smart-screen-enhanced, mobile solar generators (MSGs). The off-the-grid units can charge EVs and supply lighting, and they use high-definition smart screens to engage with customers.
The units combine ISM Connect's smart-screen technology with BoldVu displays from LG-MRI and OffGrid Power Solutions' MSGs. ISM plans to roll out the Sun Media Network to c-stores, stadiums, universities and big-box retail locations across the United States.
Terrible Herbst will host 150 MSGs at its Las Vegas-area sites by the end of 2019; dozens have already been installed and activated by ISM Connect. The retailer plans to use the units as a basis for an EV charging offer. With the MSGs’ smart screens, Terrible Herbst aims to direct fuel customers into the store by displaying special offers and coupons and using engagement analytics to better understand their motivations. According to ISM Connect, the smart screens can increase visitor dwell time by an average of 50%.
"Electric cars won't catch on until there's infrastructure to support them," said Bryan Breeden, executive director of marketing for Terrible Herbst. "We're leading the way by deploying more charging stations for electric vehicles, supported by the Sun Media Network. As we expand the availability of those units for customers who demand it, we also have an opportunity to engage with our customers and offer high-value promotions."
In 2015, Nevada launched the Nevada Electric Highway initiative, which aims to build a network of charging stations throughout the state by 2020. The first phase of the initiative targeted the stretch of U.S. 95 between Reno and Las Vegas. The second phase is focusing on the remaining major interstate and highway corridors, including I-15, I-80, U.S. 93 and U.S. 50.
The Sun Media Network is a digital out-of-home (DOOH) network, a vertically integrated media and technology platform that brands can use to engage consumers with personalized messaging. ISM Connect's networks of smart screens are used at minor league baseball stadiums, at 23 NASCAR tracks and conferences and trade shows.
"We're harnessing the engagement achievable through DOOH to make sustainable lighting and electric vehicle charging a revenue generator through the Sun Media Network," said Jeff Hutchins, vice president of Sun Media Network. "Las Vegas is just the start. We plan to expand to Houston and Orlando in the coming months. By making solar-powered lighting and charging more sustainable for retailers and venues, we can make lighting and transportation more sustainable for the planet."