Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. plans to bring electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers to 200 Circle K and Couche-Tard stores across North America over the next two years.
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, SC. 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 grow.
As it expands EV charger availability in the U.S. and Canada, Couche-Tard will be taking 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, whether in-town or on the highway. Following its successful rollout in Europe, the company plans to deploy its own charging assets to serve this growing EV customer base and continue to partner with other participants in the emerging e-mobility economy.
"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 SVP, 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 innovative 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.
"EVs represent 90% of all new passenger cars sold today in Norway. While development in North America is in relatively early stages by comparison, EV acceptance is growing here as manufacturers introduce innovative offerings that meet the unique needs of American and Canadian drivers and infrastructure improves," said Snorre Skeie, Couche-Tard's director of eMobility-North America. "With our broad footprint of more than 9,000 stores across the continent, we are well-positioned to deliver energy for our customers on-the-go, where, when and how they need it."