LAVAL, Quebec — Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has begun deployment of Circle K electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers in the United States, building on its electric mobility solutions in Europe. The global retailer plans to bring EV charging units to 200 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores across North America over the next two years.
On May 20, Couche-Tard activated its first U.S. site with high-power DC fast charging under the Circle K banner at a new prototype Circle K store in Rock Hill, S.C. Along with future deployments across its North American network, the company will use the Rock Hill site to better understand U.S. customer needs, closely tracking driver usage and the resulting effects on in-store foot traffic. The store is the launching point for the company’s U.S. EV charging station rollout because of its convenient location along a fast-growing commuter and travel corridor in a major metropolitan area where EV traffic is anticipated to grow.
As it expands EV charger availability in the United States and Canada, Couche-Tard will be taking a strategic approach, it said, looking at areas with strong EV adoption rates and electric delivery infrastructure to enable it to provide convenient charging options for customers, whether in-town or on the highway. Following the successful rollout in Europe, the company plans to deploy its own charging assets to serve this growing EV customer base and continue to partner with other participants in the emerging e-mobility economy, it said.
“We are committed to playing a key role in meeting our customers’ evolving mobility needs as demand for sustainable energy choices continues to grow in all of our markets,” said Louise Warner, Couche-Tard’s senior vice president of global fuels. “Adding EV charging expands the mobility solutions available to our drivers, giving them a great new reason to visit us and enjoy all we have to offer both in our stores and on our forecourts. Having established Circle K as a leading destination for EV charging in Norway, we are excited to build off our ongoing expansion in Europe to now bring this capability to our North American Circle K and Couche-Tard customers.”
The company began introducing EV charging stations four years ago in Norway, the world’s most mature EV market, in what it calls its “Norway lab,” focusing on EV charging solutions that anticipate and effectively meet the demands of EV customers across the spectrum of driving occasions and needs. The company is a leader in European fast charging with a network of more than 1,000 chargers covering more than 230 Circle K stores in Norway, Sweden and Denmark and recently started deployment in other European locations.
“EVs represent 90% of all new passenger cars sold today in Norway. While development in North America is in relatively early stages by comparison, EV acceptance is growing here as manufacturers introduce innovative offerings that meet the unique needs of American and Canadian drivers and infrastructure improves,” said Snorre Skeie, Couche-Tard’s director of emobility in North America. “With our broad footprint of more than 9,000 stores across the continent, we are well-positioned to deliver energy for our customers on-the-go, where, when and how they need it.”
- Couche-Tard is No. 2 on CSP’s Top 40 update to the 2021 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2022 Top 202 ranking in the June issue of CSP magazine and in CSP Daily News.
Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard’s 26-country global network includes approximately 9,300 c-stores in North America, with more than 7,100 in the United States under the Circle K and Holiday Stationstores banners in 48 states, and approximately 2,100 in Canada under the Circle K, Mac’s and Couche-Tard banners. In Europe, under the Circle K and other banners, Couche-Tard operates a retail network in Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia including more than 2,700 stores and unmanned automated fuel stations. And under licensing agreements, more than 2,200 stores operate under the Circle K banner in 15 other countries and territories (Cambodia, Egypt, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Jamaica, Macau, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam). This brings Couche-Tard’s worldwide total network to approximately 14,200 mostly Circle K-branded c-stores.
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