Convenience stores

Georgia convenience stores reluctant to install electric vehicle charging stations

RaceTrac Petroleum, QuikTrip and others say they are ready to install thousands of electric vehicle chargers. A Bosch commercial EV charger costs $3,250. Stores must also pay for installation and electrical upgrades.

Georgia Power also has the advantage of being able to charge customers for the costs associated with upgrading its infrastructure, said Jay Smith, director of the Charge Ahead partnership, which includes convenience stores and supermarkets.

“Gas stations can’t sell enough coffee to compensate for that,” he said.

Stephanie Gossman, head of electric transportation at Georgia Power, told the House committee that owning electric vehicle charging stations was none of her business. But it operates 57 statewide.

Many of them are in rural and underserved areas, filling a void created by private EV companies who claim such areas are unprofitable, spokesman John Kraft said.

They are located in areas “where there has always been a lack of investment in electric transport”, he said.

Georgia Power also has provides financial assistance private companies to add stations, including convenience stores, he said.

Expanding electric vehicle infrastructure is critical during the transition of an industry that is also becoming a key economic driver for the state.

To help spur the growth of charging stations, the Biden administration this month awarded Georgia $135 million, as part of a $5 billion national program.

Georgia currently has 3,639 publicly accessible chargers, according to Washington research group Atlas Public Policy. To meet the expected growth of electric vehicles, this number in Georgia must increase to 17,700 by 2030.

Governor Brian Kemp has made building the electric vehicle industry a top priority and is touting the $5 billion Rivian EV plant east of Atlanta as the biggest economic development project in the history of the state. Another major economic hit is the $2.6 billion SK Battery America build a plant near Commerce, and smaller companies to supply industry are also settling or expanding in Georgia.

Industry tracker IHS Markit predicts electric vehicles in the United States will grow from 1.5 million vehicles to 9.3 million by 2026. He did not break down the projections by state.