7-Eleven launches 7Charge, its own EV charging network

7-Eleven is developing its own charging infrastructure. 7Charge, according to the convenience store chain, “delivers a convenient and reliable fast-charging experience at select 7-Eleven stores in the US, and is coming soon to Canada,” has been introduced. There is currently a smartphone app available in Apple’s and Google’s stores; however, we are unaware of the number of chargers that 7-Eleven intends to provide or the timetable for when that might occur.

Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, stated, “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.”

“Customers looking for a seamless charging and payment experience” will “offer new levels of convenience and coordination,” according to 7-Eleven’s proprietary network, That could mean that it will include “plug and charge,” the ISO 15118 protocol for handling billing after the car handshakes with the charger. However, plug and charge isn’t always used in new EVs. It appears that you can also pay by scanning a QR code on the charger after playing around with the app for a few minutes.

The 7Charge network currently consists of 32 DC fast chargers located in California, Colorado, Florida, and Texas. That’s only a few more than 7-Eleven announced in 2021 when it said it would install 500 charging stations by the end of 2022. To provide some context, the United States alone has more than 9,000 7-Eleven stores.

It’s also not clear if the 7Charge chargers will only be used in stores owned by the company; The majority of 7-Elevens in North America are franchises, so they may not have the resources or desire to go through the permitting and installation process.