Tesla Motors may soon be adding another retail store chain to its charging network, and this one is quite different than Nordstrom.
According to the Washington Post, the automaker has been in preliminary talks on installing its chargers at Sheetz gasoline and convenience stores in six states in the mid-Atlantic region.
The Times does not specify if these charging spots would be Superchargers, or level 2, or a combination of both, but does use the term “high-speed electric chargers” along with a photo of Superchargers suggesting these are in discussion.
Sheetz operates hundreds of retail outlets across six states, mostly in the mid-Atlantic region and produces nearly $7 billion in revenue each year. The Sheetz chain already has eight locations where EV owners can charge their non-Tesla cars, scattered throughout Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
“We’ve had discussions with them about putting their chargers in our stores,” said Michael Lorenz, Sheetz’s executive vice president of petroleum supply. “We haven’t done anything yet, but we’re continuing those discussions.”
Tesla declined to comment on the negotiations with Sheetz, but acknowledged in a statement that it is actively courting gas stations, hotels, and restaurants in its bid to install Superchargers across the country. Tesla recently announced it has started a test project at a Nordstrom retail outlet in Los Angeles.
The talks between Sheetz and Tesla are taking place during a time of change at U.S. retail gas stations. Most gas station chains are investing heavily in convenience stores filled with snacks and beverages, where drivers can go inside and spend money while their gas tanks are being filled up.
Few gas stations currently allow for electric vehicle charging, largely because the technology doesn’t fit with their business model. While EVs currently account for about half a percent of new car sales, that figure is expected to grow. EV owners will be looking for more convenient, accessible charging stations.
Retail gas station owners are being advised to consider installing EV chargers at their stores. It can make more business sense than installing another fuel tank underground. It’s expensive to dig up concrete to install new fuel tanks or other equipment, and gas stations should consider installing a power conduit so that they can support electric chargers later, said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores.