The Charging Dilemma
The Biden Administration is investing billions of dollars to turn America into an electric vehicle oasis. Big name automakers are doing their part by releasing new electric options and transitioning older models. With that said, America’s EV charging infrastructure still has a long way to go.
In one study, 36% of respondents said that infrastructure was a major concern when buying an EV. By “infrastructure” respondents mean they are worried about finding a charging station when they need to refuel. These concerns may soon fall to the wayside thanks to a group of unlikely heroes rising up to meet the EV charging challenge in the US: fast food and convenience stores.
A Long Term Play
A few of the franchises that have announced plans to add EV chargers to their locations are 7-Eleven (SVNDY), Subway, and Taco Bell (YUM). In particular, 7-Eleven wants to roll out its own network, called 7Charge, and make it available in Florida, Texas, Colorado, and California.
In the short-term, these franchises will be able to generate revenue through charging fees. In the longer term, these chains are betting that charging stations will help attract new customers who make other purchases. For example, electric vehicle owners might stop by a 7-Eleven to grab a quick charge. While they’re waiting, there’s a good chance they’ll end up buying drinks and a snack too.
It’s important to note that individual store owners still get to choose whether or not they want to add EV chargers. This could potentially put a damper on some franchise chains’ green initiatives. With that said, if a few owners see cash coming in because they decide to install the chargers, it’s likely adoption could pick up greater speed.
While some would-be EV buyers are concerned about running out of juice and getting stranded, others worry they will have to drive miles out of their way just to find a compatible charging station. If more major franchises get on board with adopting EV chargers, it could be the trend that helps eliminates some EV anxiety.
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