Mercedes taps 'largest convenience store' operator for EV charging

December 4, 2023

Mercedes-Benz announced a new partnership with Buc-ee’s, known for operating the “world’s largest convenience store,” to expand its premium EV charging network.

Buc-ee’s is the self-proclaimed “world’s most-loved travel center,” with a massive assortment of food, clothes, gifts, and just about anything else you could think of.

Initially launched in Texas, Buc-ee’s has expanded into six additional states, recently breaking ground in another three.

Buc-ee’s operates the “world’s largest convenience store,” that’s 74,000 square feet (because everything is bigger from Texas). In comparison, the average convenience store in the US is about 2,600 square feet.

Where better than to build premium EV charging stations? At least, that’s what Mercedes-Benz believes.

Mercedes announced a new agreement Thursday to build premium EV charging hubs at “most of Buc-ee’s” existing stores. The company will start with about 30 by the end of 2024.

Work at numerous locations has already begun. Some are expected to open by the end of the year, according to Mercedes.

Bucc-ee’s has expanded into Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee since 2019. It has also broken ground in Springfield, MO, Harrison County, MS, and Johnstown, CO, as part of a multi-state expansion.

Mercedes to expand premium EV charging with Bucc-ee’s

The partnership is part of Mercedes’ vision to develop an EV charging network across North America “where EV drivers are and where they are going.”

Mercedes plans to deploy 400 charging stations and over 2,500 chargers across North America by 2030.

Buc-ee’s locations are conveniently located at key travel routes across the South and Southeast, which will play a key role in EV adoption in the US.

Although the Southeast lags the nation in EV sales, charging deployment, and funding, the region is capturing the majority of EV investments. Around 40% of manufacturing investments and 35% of all announced manufacturing jobs have gone to the Southeast to date.

Interest is picking up, with light-duty EV sales up 50% and charging deployment growing 66% from last year.

Although Tesla still dominates the Southeast market, a growing number of electric models are using demand higher.

The region now has over 15,000 public Level 2 chargers, up 69% YOY, but it still trails the national average.

Electrek’s Take

There’s a need for more convenient charging stations throughout the Southeast. Mercedes is taking advantage of it with a “big” partner.

Meanwhile, the Southeast leads the nation in population growth. According to US Census data, nine of the 15 fastest-growing cities were in the south last year. More people means additional EVs on the road, which increases the demand for convenient charging.

Mercedes-Benz was the first German automaker to adopt Tesla’s NACS charging port, and now it looks to make charging even more accessible.

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Mercedes taps 'largest convenience store' operator for EV charging