TravelCenters of America to Deploy 1,000 EV Chargers

The travel center network is partnering with Electrify America to build chargers at 200 locations.

January 31, 2023

WESTLAKE, Ohio—TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) has announced a partnership with Electrify America to offer electric vehicle charging at 200 select TA/Petro locations. The deal includes the installation of approximately 1,000 individual chargers over the next five years, with the first chargers being deployed this year.

“TA’s large locations with expansive amenities are attractive to EV motorists, and we are committed to expanding our EV charging infrastructure to accommodate this growing number of EV drivers over time,” said Jon Pertchik, chief executive officer of TravelCenters of America.

TA will purchase Electrify America’s direct-current fast chargers, and Electrify America will install, operate and maintain the charging stations at TA/Petro locations through its Electrify Commercial business unit.

Electrify America will manage the entire process of designing and developing the charging stations, including permitting, warranty and 24/7 support services and conducting onsite maintenance. TA will be included on the Electrify America charging network, allowing customers to access and pay for charging through the Electrify America app.

“Electrify America is pleased to collaborate with an industry leader like TravelCenters of America to provide the critical infrastructure needed for EV drivers of today and tomorrow,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. “Our combined strengths allow us to take bigger steps toward our shared vision of a more sustainable future.”

TA’s network of charging stations will be open to almost all brands of EVs and will deliver up to 350 kW to capable vehicles.

Casey’s and Sheetz have also partnered with Electrify America for EV charging capabilities, and many other convenience retailers are investing in EV charging. Last July, Pilot Company announced a partnership with General Motors on a national DC fast-charging network that will be installed, operated and maintained by EVgo through its eXtend offering.

Earlier this month, Shell USA purchased EV charging company Volta for $169 million in an all-cash deal. Mercedes-Benz recently announced it is building a high-power EV charging network across North America, Europe, China and other key markets, beginning in North America.

Similarly, ChargePoint partnered with Volvo and Starbucks last year to establish a public EV charging network at 15 U.S. Starbucks locations. The chargers will be installed along a 1,350-mile route from the Denver area to the coffee company’s Seattle headquarters. Volvo is installing the Volvo-branded ChargePoint DC fast chargers along the route, and the company plans to have a charging location about every 100 miles. For Volvo drivers, access to these charging points will be free or at preferential rates.

In 2022, electric vehicles accounted for 10% of global car sales, totaling 7.8 million units, led by strong EV adoption in China and Europe.

EV charging remains a barrier to widespread EV adoption. In a recent Deloitte survey, 48% of respondents said range anxiety was a top concern when buying an EV, followed closely by the time required to charge (47%) and lack of public EV charging infrastructure (46%).

For consumers who do drive EVs, their top desired amenity while charging is Wi-Fi connectivity (64%). Restrooms (60%), coffee/beverages (56%) and snacks/light meals (48%) were the next most desired offerings.

When charging on the go, 24% of U.S. consumers want a dedicated EV service station and 20% want a traditional gas station with EV chargers. However, a significant number of people surveyed (25%) in the U.S. simply want access to charging when they need it regardless of location.

Because these EV owners will have time on their hands to spend at c-stores while their vehicles recharge, some retail experts say that c-stores may be required to change their formats. Here are five things c-stores can offer waiting EV customers.

For convenience retailers looking to bring EV charging to their locations, NACS launched the EV Infrastructure Matchmaking Tool, which connects retailers with EV charging companies for all aspects and stages of offering electric vehicle supply equipment.

NACS also offers the EV Charging Calculator, which allows 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 purchases.