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Chains of vehicle-charging stations

Monday, January 15, 2018

Chains of convenience stores and restaurants will in the next few years start replacing many gas stations in Central America, as sales grow of electric vehicles.

Charging stations will mainly be located on intercity highways, for vehicles which travel a significant distance.

There will be fewer charge platforms than gas stations, since driving mainly takes place within a short distance from the user’s home or place of work, where he or she can plug a vehicle into an electrical outlet.

A typical charging station will offer hot and/or cold food, beverages, restroom faciilities and adequate parking for drivers and passengers, along with electric power for vehicles.

Even with a high-speed charge, users are likely to spend more time to refuel a car, than they currently do at a gas pump.

The evolution of charging stations will be slow in Central America, where the use of electric vehicles is marginal.

On the other hand, change is coming, including a law passed last month in Costa Rica, which eliminates a variety of taxes on the purchase of an electric vehicle.

Globally, various gasoline retailers, including BP and Shell, are adding charge options to their gas stations.

At the same time, convenience chains are entering the field, including Canada-based Alimentación Couche-Tard Inc., which owns more than 12,000 stores in North and South America, Europe and Asia, often operating under the Circle K brand.

Circle K currently operates several charging stations in Norway, according to Bloomberg.