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Currently, it is more the exception than the norm to find an electric vehicle (EV) charger at a gas station, and the prospect of locating a DC fast-charger at one is even more unlikely in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, some businesses are taking steps to address this issue.
7-Eleven’s Charging Stations
Recently, 7-Eleven announced plans to construct one of the largest EV fast-charging networks offered by convenience store retailers in North America, which they have named 7Charge. This network is designed to be highly compatible, providing accessibility to both the Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHAdeMO charging systems, and even allowing Teslas to use the network if equipped with a CCS adapter. The 7Charge app will also offer convenient payment options and a station locator service according to Jay Ramey of Autoweek.com.
At present, the company operates a number of fast-chargers in California, Colorado, Florida, and Texas, with a total of 32 chargers currently available within the 7Charge network, offering a top-end charging capacity of 90 kW.
The company did not provide specific details regarding the number of chargers that will be built as part of this network, considering their total of over 9400 storefronts in the US and over 560 in Canada. The company also did not disclose how many charging stalls per location will be offered, which could significantly impact the attractiveness of a particular location for EV drivers.
Joe DePinto, the President and CEO of 7-Eleven, stated, “For over 95 years, 7-Eleven has innovated to meet our customers’ needs—delivering convenience where, when and how they want it. Now, we are innovating once again to meet our customers where they are by expanding our business to provide EV drivers convenience of the future…today.”
Although it is difficult to assess the intended scale and timeline of the company’s initiative, it should help to improve the current charging infrastructure. However, 7-Eleven is not the only player in this field, as TravelCenters of America Inc. has joined forces with Electrify America to install a thousand DC fast-chargers at its locations. EA is also testing EV-only charging plazas.
Numerous details remain unclear, such as which states will benefit the most from the initiative and whether fast chargers will be available at both company-owned and franchised stores. Nevertheless, every additional charger is a valuable addition for EV owners.
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