The record-high gas prices of the past few months have undoubtedly led to some consumer behavior changes. Some people probably began to carpool to work or switched up their office vs. work from home days to favor their home office. And indeed, the pain at the pump sparked several conversations about the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs).
Those conversations may have quieted down a bit as gas prices began to dip, but lower prices — and let's be honest, above $4 a gallon is not really low — will not change the fact that many consumers will switch to EVs and traditional fuel retailers need to be ready to serve their needs.
Pilot Co. is the latest retailer to prepare for the future. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based parent company of Pilot and Flying J travel centers is collaborating with automaker General Motors (GM) to build a coast-to-coast, direct-current fast charging network that will be installed and managed by EVgo.
The Pilot-GM partnership comes as the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration takes initial steps to craft minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.
Pilot's goal is to give the EV driver access to a charging station every 50 miles, But more than that, this collaboration is a prime example of how private investment and the federal government can work together to accommodate the changing consumer.