7-Eleven Inc. is at it again.
What is it? Innovation. This time, the Irving, Texas-based convenience store chain is embracing the future of mobility on its own terms with the introduction of 7Charge. The goal is for this proprietary electric vehicle (EV) charging network to be one of the largest and most compatible fast-charging networks in North America. The rollout will begin in the United States before making the jump to Canada. Select 7-Eleven stores in Florida, Texas, Colorado and California will be the first to offer 7Charge.
This is not 7-Eleven's first foray into the EV world. Two years ago, the retailer launched an initiative to install at least 500 direct current fast charging (DCFC) ports at 250 select convenience stores in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2022. This initiative was meant to build upon its existing 22 EV charging stations located at 14 stores in four states. 7-Eleven plans to continue using third-party options.
By expanding the 7Charge network while also continuing to utilize third-party fast-charging network options, the company believes it will have the ability to grow its network to match consumer demand and make EV charging available to neighborhoods that have, until now, lacked access.
7-Eleven will face some stiff competition in its bid to earn the crown. Namely from Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. The Laval, Quebec-based parent company of the global Circle K banner is already winning the EV charging race in Norway and is now bringing its learnings to the U.S. Notably, Circle K began its venture into EV charging outside of Europe in South Carolina in 2022. Plans call for bringing charging units to 200 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores across North America within a two-year span.
It will be some race — and in the end, the winner will be EV consumers who will have far more access to charging points outside their homes than they do now.