IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven Inc. has added the first electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations in the United States that it owns and operates under the convenience-store chain's brand.
The retailer installed two ChargePoint Express 250 (CPE250) fast-charging stations at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Pomona, Calif. 7-Eleven partnered with Southern California Edison (SCE) for the installation, which was supported by SCE’s Charge Ready program. Through the program, SCE installs, maintains and covers installation costs for the EV charging infrastructure, while the participant owns, operates and maintains the charging stations. The program also supplies rebates to pay for a portion of the charging stations.
7-Eleven and SCE held a “plug-in ceremony” Nov. 21 to celebrate the new charging stations. These are not 7-Eleven’s first EV charging stations. In 2011, the retailer installed a site in San Bernardino, Calif. In 2012, 7-Eleven and charging network provider 350Green LLC debuted fast-charging stations at 7-Eleven sites on tollway oases in Illinois. (The vendor has since run into legal issues.) And in 2013, 7-Eleven added fast-charging stations to New York City-area locations in partnership with Green Charge Networks.
This California site is serving as a test, 7-Eleven said.
“7-Eleven is constantly innovating for customers to provide them with the best experience at stores,” said Ann Scott, senior director of energy, engineering and store planning for Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven. “Our collaboration with SCE through Charge Ready is a win-win for everyone. Fast chargers mean added convenience for electric-vehicle drivers who visit our store and cleaner air for the surrounding community. We look forward to testing and learning during this pilot.”
According to ChargePoint Inc., Campbell, Calif., the Express 250 fast-charging stations can deliver up to an 80% charge in about 30 minutes. Pairing the two stations provides more power to one single station and allows the two stations to share power. One station can charge two EVs at the same time when sharing power. Each station can deliver 62.5 kW of charge; when paired, the stations can provide 125 kW. The stations also have features that will reportedly enable 7-Eleven to manage its energy costs and to support sophisticated pricing models.
The 7-Eleven site is a part of ChargePoint’s network of more than 33,000 EV charging locations in the United States; as a result, it is now featured on the ChargePoint app, which enables EV drivers to locate their nearest station, get directions to the site and start the charging process from their smartphone.
7-Eleven, which is No. 1 inCSP’s 2019 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains, with more than 9,000 company-owned locations, is not the only large fuel retailer to flip the switch on EV charging sites recently. In early November, Royal Dutch Shell, which has about 14,000 branded U.S. sites, officially turned on two Shell Recharge branded EV charging stations at Boston Logan International Airport.