LAVAL, QUEBEC, CANADA—Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. is deploying electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers at 200 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores across North America during the next two years.
Last Friday, Couche-Tard activated its first U.S. site with high-power DC fast charging under the Circle K banner at a new prototype Circle K store in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Along with future deployments across its North American network, the company will use the Rock Hill site to better understand U.S. customer needs, closely tracking driver usage and the resulting impacts on in-store foot traffic.
The store is the launching point for the company's U.S. EV charging station rollout because of its convenient location along a fast-growing commuter and travel corridor in a major metropolitan area where EV traffic is anticipated to increase.
As it expands EV charger availability in the U.S. and Canada, Couche-Tard said it will take a strategic approach, “building a network for the future, looking at areas with strong EV adoption rates and electric delivery infrastructure to enable it to provide convenient charging options for customers.”
“We are committed to playing a key role in meeting our customers’ evolving mobility needs as demand for sustainable energy choices continues to grow in all of our markets,” said Louise Warner, Couche-Tard's senior vice president, global fuels. “Adding EV charging expands the mobility solutions available to our drivers, giving them a great new reason to visit us and enjoy all we have to offer both in our stores and on our forecourts. Having established Circle K as a leading destination for EV charging in Norway, we are excited to build off our ongoing expansion in Europe to now bring this capability to our North American Circle K and Couche-Tard customers.”
The company began introducing EV charging stations four years ago in Norway, the world’s most mature EV market, in what is known as its “Norway lab” focusing on EV charging solutions that anticipate and effectively meet the demands of EV customers across the spectrum of driving occasions and needs. The company has a network of more than 1,000 chargers covering more than 230 Circle K stores in Norway, Sweden and Denmark and recently started deployment in other European locations.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Group announced it has forged a deal with Georgia officials to build its first dedicated full electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
Hyundai is investing $5.54 billion in the new facility, which will break ground in early 2023 and is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units. The battery manufacturing facility will be established through a strategic partnership, and Hyundai said it will disclose details at a later stage.
The company plans to produce a wide range of full electric vehicles at the Georgia EV plant but said that details on what production models will be shared at a later time.
According to Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp, non-affiliated Hyundai suppliers will invest approximately another $1 billion in the project, delivering about 8,100 new jobs to Georgia’s coastal region.
The NACS EV Charging Calculator was created to allow retailers to assess the cost and profitability of offering EV chargers at their sites. The calculator focuses on what retailer utility costs associated with EV recharging are and what the corresponding revenue must be to recover those costs after allowing for potential ancillary in-store visits and purchase profitability.
Read more about electricity demand charges and what they mean for retailers’ ability to turn a profit from EV charging in the September issue of NACS Magazine.
A recent Convenience Matters podcast episode discusses how EVs are the future, and another episode explains how convenience retailers can attract and retain EV customers.
Visit the NACS Electric Vehicles topics page for more information about EVs.