Sheetz Taps 350Green for EV Charging Network

Installing DC fast chargers at five locations; also filling in new N.C. markets

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. said it plans to build and operate a network of electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations at five Sheetz locations in Pennsylvania with the help of 350Green, a developer of EV charging station networks. Customers will be able to take advantage of what the convenience retailer said are the first direct-current (DC) fast chargers installed at U.S. gas stations.

The locations include Lancaster, Mechanicsburg, Mifflintown, State College and York, Pa.

350Green's PowerDock is a standalone unit that offers up to four simultaneous charges. Its Express Plaza can be configured as a standalone unit or part of a solar carport for maximum energy efficiency and reduced grid load.

The installation of EV charging stations shows how Sheetz is taking the next step in the evolution of the gas station, it said, just as it has placed a priority on innovative food and beverage offerings for customers on the go.

"We provide top notch convenience and a wide variety of food and beverage choices for our customers to refuel themselves inside our stores," said Stan Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz Inc. "By offering [EV] charging stations, we now can offer our customers an environmentally friendly refueling choice at the pump."

Placing chargers near where people live and work is considered an important part of reducing the "range anxiety" that could otherwise slow the adoption of EVs. To ease fears of batteries sputtering mid-trip, 350Green has been working with partners across the country to meet the rising demand for convenient charging options.

"Sheetz has made their stores a destination as well as a convenient place to refuel. Making charging part of the convenience store experience shows you don't need to sacrifice anything to own a cleaner car," said Mariana Gerzanych, CEO of 350Green. "Expanding the charging infrastructure beyond homes and public garages through partnerships like this one is making electric vehicle ownership a realistic option for millions of people."

The installation of the Sheetz chargers will be completed by the end of this year. A DC fast charger (480V) can charge a Nissan Leaf to 80% in as little as 25 minutes.

San Diego-based 350Green is a project developer that designs, builds and operates a scalable, nationwide network of EV charging stations. The company partners with retailers, commercial property managers and developers and municipalities to locate charging stations at places near where EV drivers live and work. Current projects are underway in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, California and New York. The company has signed partnerships with Walgreens and Simon Property Group, among others.

In other company news, Sheetz said that it continues to fill in new markets in North Carolina, opening two stores September 29 in the cities of Archdale and Henderson. This is part of continued effort to keep developing areas along the Interstate 85 corridor, it said.

"North Carolina is still emerging for us," saids Stan Sheetz.

The Henderson location has a drive-through window, something Sheetz has been opening stores with more frequently. The site also has a car wash.

The locations will offer fresh food items such as the MTGo! And Shweetz Bakery lines of sandwiches, wraps, donuts and muffins, along with the signature MTO line of Angus beef burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, freshly made salads, french fries, onion rings and more. It also offers Sheetz Bros. Coffeez, a full-service espresso and smoothie bar staffed by a trained barista. Customers can order hand-made specialty coffee drinks including lattes, cappuccinos and mochas--hot, frozen or iced.

In keeping with a longstanding tradition of supporting Special Olympics, the company donated $2,500 to the athletic programs for each city.

Sheetz also opened a new 6,000-square-foot store in Mansfield, Pa., on September 29. It made a donation to Special Olympics Pennsylvania as part of the opening celebration.

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, with more than $4.5 billion in revenue for 2010 and more than 14,500 employees, operates more than 395 convenience locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.