In the eastern United States, Wawa gas stations are known for the copious assortment of munchies travelers can pick up, but that may soon be changing. A spokesperson for the convenience store chain told The Philadelphia Inquirer this week that it is planning to double the number of Tesla Superchargers at its locations.
Wawa currently has 16 stores with Tesla Superchargers and plans to double that number by the end of 2020. The move is just the latest proof of what EV road trippers have known for years: when we stop to charge, we are looking for the same amenities as our gas-powered counterparts and we’re likely going to be there longer as well. To a convenience store or restaurant, that translates directly to a captive customer base and increased revenues.
While 32 Supercharging locations represents great progress, there are 842 Wawas in the family, representing a much larger opportunity for the chain’s convenience stores to embrace the next generation of transportation energy supply. At present, with Tesla dominating the domestic EV market, Superchargers are the logical fit to capture the majority of the market, but these could easily expand to include high power DC fast charging stations like Electrify America’s 350 kW stations, ChargePoint, EVgo, or any number of non-Tesla fast chargers.
The first Supercharger at a Wawa opened in 2017 and the chain has kept to a steady cadence of new installation since then. As of today, Wawa only offers Tesla Supercharging at these locations, though one Wawa does host a non-Tesla EV charging station. The next Wawa Supercharger pairing is already in the works, at the Wawa near the intersection of the 73 and the 295 in Maple Shade Township in New Jersey.
The ability to use a clean restroom and grab some food and a drink is a huge improvement, but this early move signals that the market is only beginning to realize the opportunities that come with EVs. It’s not hard to imagine a full service station where in-place auto detailing, vacuuming, and more are available for local and long haul drivers alike. What services would you like to see at a Wawa, AMPM, or Loves EV service station?