Love’s and Circle K Offer More Alternative Fuels

New compressed natural gas locations and more EV charging stations are available.

September 22, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—From electric vehicle charging stations to compressed natural gas, across the country, convenience stores are providing new methods of fueling for consumers. Two retailers, Love’s Travel Stops in California and Circle K in Canada and the U.S., are installing the technology to meet the needs of EV and CNG drivers.

Trillium, a provider of alternative fueling systems and renewable fuels, has opened new compressed natural gas locations at two Love’s Travel Stops in California, reports The fast-fill stations have two heavy-duty and two light-duty fueling nozzles and offer CNG fueling capabilities to fleet customers fed by renewable natural gas (RNG).

Produced entirely from organic waste streams, RNG is a low-carbon fuel interchangeable with pipeline-quality natural gas. The use of RNG reportedly can reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40-125%, depending on the feedstock, when compared to diesel.

“We are seeing strong, rising demand from customers in California for CNG,” said JP Fjeld-Hansen, vice president of Trillium. “To meet that demand, we’re focused on adding more stations and committed to providing fueling options that will benefit the environment.”

Love’s Travel Stops and Trillium own a combined total of 67 public-access CNG facilities.

Meanwhile, Alimentation Couche-Tard, the Laval, Quebec-based convenience store giant, is adding EV charging stations at Circle K stores on the U.S. West Coast and in Canada. Brian Hannasch, CEO, has said that the company wants to expand into at-home vehicle charging in North America, as it’s currently doing in Norway, reports Auto News.

“We’ll have chargers deploying in the next 12 months in Canada and in the U.S.,” said Hannasch, whose company has stores in 48 of the 50 states. “Our goal will be to follow the path we’re on in Norway.”

With more than 14,350 outlets worldwide, Couche-Tard has been experimenting with chargers and stations for years in Norway, where subsidies for electric vehicles helped speed up their adoption. Hannasch believes the lessons gained from the Norway experience can be taken to North America, including the types of neighborhoods where charging stations are most popular.

The potential growth of electric vehicles in North America offers Couche-Tard a new revenue stream. Couche-Tard received 71% of its revenue and 46% of its gross profit from fuel sales in the fiscal year that ended April 26, according to the company.

“There could be a real first-mover advantage to be gained for companies that aggressively develop quick-charge capabilities both in a retail environment, such as at fuel stations, but also for home or office charging,” said Jennifer Bartashus, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Demand for charging stations is poised to grow, particularly as companies are increasingly evaluating electric vehicles for transportation and delivery of goods.”