7-Eleven plans to build one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging networks offered by a retailer.
The convenience store retailer already offers fast-charging services at several locations in California, Colorado, Florida and Texas and plans to add select locations across the United States and then expand the network into Canada, 7-Eleven said in a press release.
“For over 95 years, 7-Eleven has innovated to meet our customers’ needs — delivering convenience where, when and how they want it,” 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto said in the release. “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.”
7-Eleven’s E charging network, 7Charge, will be deployed at the retailer’s Speedway and Stripes stores as well, according to the press release.
The charging network is complemented by a 7Charge app that facilitates charging and payment, the release said.
“The 7-Charge network will deliver on the growing consumer need for EV charging infrastructure,” 7-Eleven said in the release. “By expanding the 7Charge network, while continuing to utilize third-party fast-charging network options, 7-Eleven will have the ability to grow its network to match consumer demand and make EV charging available to neighborhoods that have, until now, lacked access.”
EV charging stations are increasingly being used to promote brands and stores near where the vehicle will be parked.
For example, fast-charging station network operator EVgo offers a program that delivers promotions to drivers via text, email and mobile app after their charging session has started at one of the company’s stations.
Eighty percent of EV drivers shop while they charge their vehicles, EVgo said.
Similarly, EV charging network Volta has found that when drivers park their EV at public charging stations, they look for a way to pass the time and often go shopping while their vehicles are charging.
Volvo Car USA and Starbucks partnered last year on a pilot program that includes installing chargers at 15 of the coffeehouse’s locations and offering discounts on the charging.
A Volvo Car USA executive said in March 2022 that this program would make it easier for EV owners to charge their vehicles while also enjoying a cup of coffee while it’s being done.