Convenience store behemoth 7-Eleven has announced that it will be installing 500 EV charging ports at 250 selected stores across the US and Canada. The company currently has 22 charging stations located at 14 stories across four states in the US, so this represents a significant increase in provision and signals a big commitment to the EV charging market and infrastructure.
Bringing EV charging ports to its stores makes sense for 7-Eleven for a number of reasons. Firstly, the EV market is rapidly growing in the US, and carving out a piece of this market share is good business sense. At the 7-Elevens that currently offer gasoline, this fuel is sourced from suppliers, whereas the EV charging ports will be wholly owned and operated by the company.
Another reason is to ensure that as many people as possible will actually visit 7-Eleven. Many customers use the stores when they are refueling their vehicles. As more and more people use EVs, it takes away traditional gas refueling as a reason to visit a 7-Eleven. By providing these charging ports, 7-Eleven makes recharging a vehicle a reason to visit a store, which will in turn increase other purchases in store.
Also, it should be noted that many 7-Eleven stores are already located in places where there is high customer demand for topping up a vehicle, such as beside major roads and highways. Other charging providers, such as ChargePoint and EVgo have fast charging stations that are often placed beside shopping malls or next to major retailers, which aren’t as convenient for motorists on the move.
7‑Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto also sees the charging ports as a way to encourage people to switch to EVs. In a statement, DePinto said: “Adding 500 charging ports at 250 7‑Eleven stores will make EV charging more convenient and help accelerate broader adoption of EVs and alternative fuels. We are committed to the communities we serve and to working toward a more sustainable future.”
One downside to the location and set up of 7-Elevens is that they are not the most comfortable places to wait while your vehicle charges. This is a problem companies such as Audi has foreseen with its fast-charging ports, and is heading off by providing customers with a lounge area and amenities. While most 7-Elevens can’t provide this, the use of fast-charging will help to mitigate this problem. It won’t help older EV models that are limited by the amount of KW charges they can accept, but for newer models that can accept differing rates of charge, the fast-charging will work well.
It’s great to see EV vehicles continually increasing adoption and acceptance. When a mainstream company such as 7-Eleven gets on board, you know it’s a good sign. DePinto echoed this: “7‑Eleven’s legacy is bringing convenience to the customer, and that continues to evolve – from ice on a dock in 1927 to electricity for your car today,” he said. “7‑Eleven’s rapid expansion of EV charging ports across the country is good for our customers and our planet and it’s the right thing to do.”
Featured image courtesy 7-Eleven