EV infrastructure and Slurpees, too.
Getting more people on board with electric vehicles calls for a few points of action, and the biggest one is probably infrastructure. This pronouncement may not seem directly related at first, but 7-Elevens are practically everywhere. So, the news that the convenience store chain will roll out 500 DC fast charging stations at 250 separate locations in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2022 is pretty encouraging.
Currently, 7-Eleven has a grand total of 22 charging stations, positioned at 14 different stores and located in just four U.S. states. While the company hasn’t yet given information on which stores will be participating in this DC fast charging expansion project, its footprint across North America will significantly expand.
“7‑Eleven has always been a leader in new ideas and technology to better serve the needs of our customers,” 7‑Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto said in a statement. “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.”
On the consumer side, ease of access to DCFC stations should make it easier for EV-hesitant people to make the leap. However, a move like this could also have broader effects for other businesses, which will no doubt be watching to see how 7-Eleven's newest venture pays off.
Additionally, 7-Eleven has locations in many countries all over the world—so it will be interesting to see if other regions adopt similar rollouts as more of the world gets electric. Every market is different, so the processes might differ in some details. However, other convenience store chains are bound to want to compete, and will therefore probably end up rolling out similar initiatives, themselves. Since all businesses hash things out in private well before saying anything publicly, there’s no doubt that these discussions are already well underway, even if we don’t hear about them until much later.
7-Eleven's presence is particularly strong in various Asian markets, where motorcycles and scooters are already everyday vehicles for so many people. As those markets electrify, having a big convenience store chain dip its toe into the mix would very likely accelerate the adoption process—something sorely needed if the world is going to successfully shift toward broader EV adoption.