7-Eleven announced the launch of 7Charge, a new EV fast-charging network and app that is promised to deliver a convenient and reliable fast charging experience at select 7-Eleven stores in the United States and, in the near future, also in Canada.
The 7Charge builds on the initiative started in June 2021, when the company set a goal to install DC fast chargers at 250 selected stores by the end of 2022.
Now, 7-Eleven says that its intention is to build one of the largest EV fast-charging networks of any retailer in North America. There is no exact number of how many chargers we should expect, but let's note that the company operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 13,000 stores in the US and Canada.
According to the press release, 7Charge starts with an undisclosed number of chargers available in several locations in Florida, Texas, Colorado, and California.
The chargers will be compatible with two DC fast charging connector standards: CHAdeMO and Combined Charging System (CCS1). Power output and pricing have not been mentioned, but it will probably be available on the 7Charge website in the near future.
The most interesting thing about 7-Eleven's move is that the company is trying to build its own network and app, rather than signing up for some kind of partnership with a general fast-charging provider. It's a good tool to promote its own brand, but of course, only time will tell how the business pays off.
Joe DePinto, President and Chief Executive Officer at 7-Eleven said:
"For over 95 years, 7-Eleven has innovated to meet our customers' needs – delivering convenience where, when and how they want it. Now, we are innovating once again to meet our customers' where they are by expanding our business to provide EV drivers convenience of the future...today."
If other retailers follow, then we might see another substantial boost to the expansion of EV charging infrastructure - specifically DC chargers, rather than low-power AC Level 2 charging points.