Although making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV) may have seemed far-fetched a few years ago, it’s becoming a reality for many Americans. In fact, approximately 800,000 Americans have already ditched their conventional, gas-guzzling vehicles in favor of EVs. And while most Americans still charge at home, more public electric vehicle charging stations pop up nationwide every year to support drivers while they’re out.

In fact, you might see EV charging stations at the same locations you frequent for your morning cup of coffee, your afternoon energy drink, or your weekend snack. Often, these are the same businesses that allow you to put gas in your tank – but now, many also offer EV owners the ability to charge their car batteries. That’s right: the American convenience store may be the new frontier for EV charging solutions.

EV charging at convenience stores makes sense

It seems only natural that commercial charging stations would be successful at independent and franchised convenience stores. We already gravitate there to find energy for both us and our vehicles. Convenience stores are a reliable stop for coffee and bathrooms. And as gasoline consumption decreases, gas station owners realize they need to appeal to a changing demographic.

Not only can convenience stores attract more drivers, but they can actually benefit from incentives that allow them to install commercial charging stations. Some car manufacturers and utility companies offer financial incentives for the installment of EV charging solutions. Although some analysts predicted that the growing popularity of EVs could signal the end of our traditional gas stations, the reality is that this trend may actually benefit these establishments — if they’re willing to embrace these changes.

Wait but aren’t EV charging stations inconvenient?

With a charging speed of about 25 miles per hour, Level 2 charging stations are popular for EV drivers who need to “top off” a charge. Convenience stores and gas stations that want to offer these top offs to EV drivers can install a Level 2 station without straining their local energy grid or electrical usage. After all, a Level 2 charging station only consumes about as much electricity as a washing machine!

While most EV drivers charge overnight at home, public charging stations are needed while they’re out and about. Gas stations and convenience stores have the opportunity to future-proof their businesses – even as electric vehicles replace gas cars.