EV Charging Availability Increasingly Important to Younger Convenience-Store Consumers

Gen Z consumers looking for retail locations with electric vehicle charging station, Intouch Insight says
EV charger
Image: Shutterstock

The presence of electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations at convenience stores is becoming a key factor for younger consumers, according to a new report from customer experience solutions company Intouch Insight, Ottawa, Ontario.

More than 40% of the report’s Gen Z respondents ages 18-24, and 34% of consumers 18-44, would select a retail location with an EV charging station, according to Convenience Store Trends Report 2024: Powering the Next Era of Convenience Stores.

This compares with 14% of those 45 or older who would pick a c-store with an EV charging station—and just 6% of those ages 65-74.

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“It’s important to note that the preference for EV charging stations can vary significantly based on geographic location and other local factors,” the report said.

Gasoline is the primary item purchased at c-stores, making up 62% of overall sales, according to the report, which lists the top items purchased at c-stores:

  • 83%: Gas
  • 62%: Snacks
  • 57%: Soft drinks
  • 37%: Coffee
  • 26%: Prepared food
  • 7%: Other

Alternate Fuels

The report notes that a shift toward alternative fuels is on the horizon, and to keep up with future demand, brands must understand this changing of consumer preferences.

“There are currently over 40 million EVs now registered globally—a more than sixfold increase since 2018,” Intouch Insight said. “Not to mention the growth in hydrogen engines. Some automakers like Honda and Toyota have already started producing vehicles with these engines, suggesting that this new market could quickly gain traction.”

C-stores increasingly will find they are competing in the fuel market “not just with restaurants and other retailers who have been implementing EV charging technology, but also with other charging or fuel solutions entering the markets,” the report said.

In its study, Intouch Insight found that 9% of the locations from the 10 c-store brands have EV charging stations.

For this report, Intouch Insight included data from consumer perception surveys that provide insights into consumer preferences and their impact on shopping decisions. Each survey received close to 1,200 responses from respondents across North America.

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