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Revving Up for Changes on the Forecourt

Far from a fad, electric vehicles are here to stay and c-store retailers are poised to win the changing motorist.
An electric vehicle charging station

The convenience store industry faces disruption at every bend. The changing future of mobility is just one example, but c-store operators are uniquely positioned to rise to the challenge. After all, motorists already associate c-stores with fueling up — and that shouldn't change because the manner of "fueling up" changes. 

There are still bumps in the road, however, when it comes to creating a robust electric vehicle (EV) charging network across the United States. Foremost is the cost, with investment easily reaching $10,000 per charging station for purchasing and installing a charger, preparing the infrastructure, and connecting a charger to the grid. Supply chain issues, which have delayed delivery and driven up the cost of battery components, is another obstacle.

But as Fuels Institute Executive Director John Eichberger recently noted, the EV market is not a temporary fad, but rather a trend that will only continue to grow. This trend is already being seen in Europe, and while range anxiety is a real fear among U.S. motorists, c-stores can play a crucial role in alleviating that fear, added Joe Fahrney, vice president at eMobility Shoals.

Both executives shared their insights during a recent webinar entitled "How Will EV Charging Disrupt Convenience Retail?" Hosted by Convenience Store News and sponsored by Diebold Nixdorf, it laid out a step-by-step guideline for c-store retailers to follow.

Reading the virtual pages of fellow EnsembleIQ publications, it is clear that other retail channels are already hopping onboard the EV train. As the channel that sells the lion's share of fuel in the United States, convenience stores need to defend their turf, and the time to get started is now. 

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