Many types of retailers offer EV chargers, as do restaurants, parking garages and more. Why are convenience stores competing?

For starters, EV customers can drive inside sales by spending more time in the store while waiting for their car to charge, said James Cater, senior director of innovation and sustainability at Global Partners.

EVgo, an EV charger equipment company based in Los Angeles, has partnerships with c-stores like Wawa, Chevron but also grocery stores, malls and more; the company prides c-stores for diversifying offers to drivers.

“The locations of those are great,” said Katie Wallace, director of communications at EVgo. “I think they also have offers that are compelling to drivers, like Wawa’s curbside coffee. Someone can bring out coffee to you, especially if it’s cold.”

C-stores are a safe place for customers to wait, warm up or get refreshments, said Cater. “I think our customers appreciate that.” Global Partners, a 353-store chain based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has four sites with EV charging stations that it owns outright.

Pilot is rolling out a coast-to-coast EV fast-charging network in collaboration with General Motors and EVgo that will include 2,000 chargers at 500 locations across the U.S., Brad Anderson, chief operating officer, Pilot Travel Centers, a 641-store chain based in Knoxville, Tennessee, told CSP. The chain expects to have approximately 200 locations online by the end of 2024.

A record 1.2 million EVs were sold in 2023, accounting for 7.6% of the total U.S. vehicle market, according to Kelley Blue Book. Cox Automotive predicts that number to grow to 10% in 2024.