Tesla Motors Inc is in talks with a major gas station and convenience store chain to help address problems related to lack of charging stations. This can expand Tesla’s charging stations network, thus reducing the likelihood of Tesla owners getting stranded someplace with discharged battery.
Tesla has a plan to remove a big issue
Sheetz – the chain in question – operates around hundreds of retail outlets across six states – mostly in the Atlantic region. As per the Washington Post, every year Sheetz does nearly $7 billion in business, and already has eight locations where EV owners can charge their non-Tesla cars. Now, it could add Tesla’s charging infrastructure to the mix.
Michael Lorenz – Sheetz’s executive vice president of petroleum supply – confirmed of the discussions with Tesla over putting its chargers in their stores. “We haven’t done anything yet, but we’re continuing those discussions,” said Lorenz.
Tesla Motors Inc refused to comment on the negotiation with Sheetz, but in a statement, they did acknowledge of actively courting hotels, restaurants and gas stations in a bid to install high-speed electric chargers across the country. When asked how many Sheetz stations may be outfitted with Tesla Chargers eventually, Lorenz refused to answer.
Beginning of a new change
Tesla Motors Inc has been known to be in talks with other business chains including hotels, restaurants to spread its Supercharger network, thus having charging stations at gas stations is an obvious solution. Tesla’s EV chargers are pretty fast, but can still extent to an hour or half an hour, depending on how drained the car’s battery is. Tesla’s supercharging stations are meant to accommodate owner during the charging time by offering activities and meals while they wait. And, the existing Sheetz locations can provide just that.
This potential partnership between with Sheetz reflects the beginning of a broader awakening in the convenience store and gas station industry. The number of electric cars on road may not be much now – as they account for less than half a percent of new car sales, but this number is expected to grow. Electric cars will be as affordable as traditional gasoline-powered vehicles within six years, and roughly 1 in 3 new vehicle sales could be an electric car by 2040, estimates the Bloomberg New Energy Finance,.
This change will take time, but experts have already started advising some gas stations to consider EV charging. Jeff Lenard – VP of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) – said it is expensive to dig up concrete to install new fuel tanks, but the gas stations should consider installing a power conduit, so that they can support electric chargers later.
At 11.57 am EDT, Tesla shares were up 3.81% at $209.43. Year to date, the stock is down over 12% while in the last one-year, it is down over 20%.