- Plaid Pantry, the Oregon-based c-store chain, has broken ground on the company’s first electric vehicle chargers, in partnership with EV charging company Electric Era, according to a LinkedIn post from the Electric Era’s founder and CEO, Quincy Lee.
- The site, on Columbia Boulevard in Portland, Oregon, is expected to be active by Aug. 27 and will have one fast charger and one associated battery, according to Brittany Kaplan, manager of enterprise sales for Electric Era.
- Plaid Pantry is joining a larger movement within the c-store industry, with many chains either testing a few locations or committing to larger build-outs as the U.S. increasingly moves away from gas-powered vehicles.
Plaid Pantry’s EV chargers rely on Electric Era’s battery-assisted charging technology, which generally needs far less infrastructure from the utilities to support it.
“We are excited to be working with [Plaid Pantry Chairman and CEO] Jonathan Polonsky and the whole Plaid Pantry team on the project,” said Lee in the post.
This is currently the only EV charging site Plaid Pantry has planned, according to Kaplan.
EV charging has become a complex opportunity for c-stores. Nearly 80% of convenience stores sell motor fuel according to NACS, and electric vehicles are currently capturing about 7% of the market and growing, according to Cox Automotive. But while some chains, like Pilot, are already planning thousands of chargers, many others are concerned about the uncertainty in the space.
As states’ National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) grants begin rolling out, the c-store industry will continue to add charging infrastructure to their stores.
In addition to the Plaid Pantry location, Electric Era has installed EV charging at 7 Feathers Truck and Travel, among other locations, according to its website. More announcements are expected in coming months.
Founded in 1963, Beaverton, Oregon-based Plaid Pantry operates 106 convenience stores throughout the northwestern U.S.