EV charging stations are popping up all over the country. Lots of businesses are installing them at their locations to provide charging access to customers, employees and add an extra stream of revenue to their business. Gas station convenience stores are already the most common place for drivers to stop while on the road, so from a consumer’s point of view it makes sense to have EV charging stations too. Some gas stations still are not on board with implementing EV charging stations to their business models.
Convenience stores with gas pumps are worried that they will not be able to profit off of the EV charging stations. Gas stations located in rural areas especially have this difficulty. Some do not have the infrastructure to handle EV charging stations and do not get enough activity in their areas to justify the costs of EV charging stations. Another cause of concern is the cost of electricity. It can take a lot to power an EV charging station. The increase in utility bills is a huge worry for businesses looking to have charging stations at their stores.
Some stores and chains have been able to make it work. Kum and Go, an Iowa based convenience store, has EV charging stations installed at their chain stores. The owner was strategic about how they went about choosing which locations got charging stations and when they were installed. They only have charging stations at 35 out of 400 sites. Some states have begun offering breaks in utility fees in order to ease the electric fees. New York state has proposed that utilities offer lower electric rates to those with charging stations that are sparingly used. As EV charging stations become more in demand, legislators are trying to work with convenience store owners more and more to help solve the demand charge issue.