Circle K is even planning a 2018 foray into residential charging stations
Owners of the next generation of electric cars, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., a Canadian convenience-store company has gained a European foothold with its 2012 acquisition of Statoil ASA’s retail arm and is using the country as a testing ground for how to respond to the electric-vehicle boom.
“This is a trend that will continue to grow, so what is important to us is to transform with the market, like we have done many, many times over the last 100 years,” Jacob Schram, Couche-Tard’s head of European operations.
The core relationship between fuel service stations and drivers is threatened by the growing global popularity of environment-friendly electric cars, spurred by government incentives and falling prices. Circle K is planning a 2018 foray into residential charging stations, to keep customers loyal in Norway, where electric vehicles now account for almost 30 percent of new sales.
Financed by a group of carmakers including BMW AG and Ford Motor Co., the new supercharger, at Circle K’s Dal facility, is part of a European-wide push. 60 stations have been planned in seven countries, 20 in Norway alone — and room for six cars per charging station. The retailer will pocket rent from automakers, in addition to a share of revenue.
Norway boasts the highest EV penetration in the world, with almost 120,000 electric vehicles for 5.3 million people, helped by long-standing policies that exempt owners from several sky-high taxes. As per the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, a fossil-fuel car buyer would pay an average of 95,000 kroner ($11,700) just for a one-time acquisition tax.
Food and services, which come with higher margins, include the approach. Couche-Tard has been struggling to increase that category as a share of total in-store revenue, regardless of efforts to offer better coffee and fresh food — partly because of the continued strength of lower-margin tobacco sales. Source: Jennifer Bartashus, Retail Analyst Bloomberg PWKD07112017
Editors Note: PetrolWorld has closely followed the arrival of EV's in the European Union over the last decade. We will publish a number of articles in 2018 to cover the general development of EV around the world. Watch this space!