- Electric vehicle drivers will soon have a few hundred new places to top up their batteries.
- 7-Eleven plans to install 500 fast-charge ports at select convenience stores before 2023.
- The company says the ports will give it “the largest and most compatible” system of any US retailer.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Driving an electric vehicle is about to get a bit more like the traditional gasoline experience.
This week, convenience store chain 7-Eleven announced plans to install at least 500 direct current fast charging ports at 250 select stores in North America by 2023.
When combined with its existing 22 charging stations, the addition will give 7-Eleven “one of the largest and most compatible fast-charging systems of any retailer in the US,” the company 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,” said 7‑Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto in a statement. “We are committed to the communities we serve and to working toward a more sustainable future.”
Currently, Walgreens is the largest EV-charging host in the US, with 400 locations in a partnership with EVgo.
By comparison, Tesla has nearly 1,200 supercharger sites in North America, albeit with a lot more connection ports per location than 7-Eleven is proposing. Tesla is even apparently planning to get into the restaurant business with one of its LA supercharger centers.
President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, announced in April, aims to invest $15 billion to build a national network of 500,000 stations.
Convenience stores sell about 80% of motor fuels purchased in the US, and the pit-stops serve as a powerful draw for retail spending on in-store items like food, drinks, and other items. Industry research shows about half of gasoline customers go inside during their fuel stop, usually for about 15 minutes.
That’s definitely not long enough to get much range off of a typical household plug, or even a “Level Two” charger, but it is plenty of time to get a nice boost using the new direct current fast charging (DCFC) connections, as long as your car supports it.