Blog Series

Keeping the EV Customer Plugged In

More than two-thirds of electric vehicle owners say it is very important for c-stores to have charging stations.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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EV charging gauge

True story: A neighborhood teen wanted to buy his first car, but was a few dollars short. His father chipped in, but told his son that he would be responsible for gas money. What did this intrepid Gen Zer do? He bought an electric vehicle (EV) so that he could charge it on his father's electric bill. Smart? I think so, but his father was less than amused.

Whatever the reason behind the purchase, younger consumers are leaning toward owning an EV. As the 2023 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle Study found, a higher percentage of Gen Z and millennial c-store shoppers currently own an electric vehicle, compared to other generations. Considering these cohorts will presumably be shopping at convenience stores for the next 40-plus years, it is just one more reason for convenience retailers to step up their EV charging game.

To drive home the point further, 68 percent of current EV owners surveyed said it is extremely/very important for c-stores to have a charging station.

This comes as several automakers are joining ranks to create a nationwide electric vehicle charging network. The partnership plans to deploy at least 30,000 chargers across the United States and Canada within the next few years.

With this competition on the horizon, the convenience channel now sits in a precarious position. C-stores are the go-to place to fuel among the motoring public, but for how long? Despite a slow start, EVs are not going anywhere. However, their owners could be if convenience store operators are not plugged in. 

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