- Jernigan Oil Company, parent company of Duck Thru Food Stores, has installed its first electric vehicle charger, according to a Tuesday announcement. The site opened on Feb. 1, a FreeWire spokesperson said via email.
- The FreeWire Boost Charger 200 is now operating at the company’s site at 775 U.S. Route 64 in Columbia, North Carolina. The charger can add up to 200 miles of charge to a vehicle in about 15 minutes.
- While the convenience retail industry may be cooling on EV charging, individual retailers like Duck Thru are still evaluating the technology and adding chargers when it makes sense.
While this is Duck Thru’s first EV charging location, the company said it wants to provide the service throughout its two-state operating region. It plans to use data from this first site to determine if it will expand the program, the spokesperson said.
The charger Duck Thru used has a battery that can store up to 160 kilowatt hours worth of electricity, allowing it to charge vehicles quickly without incurring demand charges from utility companies. This also allows it to be installed in places without the robust infrastructure needed by chargers that charge charge directly from the power grid.
“By using FreeWire’s battery-integrated charging technology, Duck Thru is able to provide ultrafast charging without putting additional strain on existing grid infrastructure,” said Ethan Sprague, senior vice president of sales, marketing and policy at FreeWire.
The installation can charge all level-3-compatible cars, including Teslas with adapters.
The installation is meant to address the state’s growing adoption of electric vehicles. North Carolina saw nearly 50% more EVs in 2023 compared to 2022. Ultrafast charging is “relatively scarce” in the Southeast, the spokesperson said.
Ahoskie, North Carolina-based Jernigan Oil Company is a fifth-generation family business. It owns 56 Duck Thru Food Stores in Eastern North Carolina and Southern Virginia, along with a petroleum product transportation company.