A gas company operating in Norway recently made history when it decided to replace all of its gas pumps at one of its stations with electric vehicle fast chargers. The update comes as Norway continues its aggressive push towards EV adoption, which is currently being augmented by the arrival of popular electric cars like the Tesla Model 3.
The company behind the unique initiative is Circle K, one of the nation’s petrol providers. Circle K has an expansive network of about 16,000 gas stations across the globe, and the company has noted that most of its business still comes from powering fossil fuel-powered cars. Yet, Circle K Vice President Sverre Rosén stated in a press release that electric car fast charging has been seeing an uptick in demand in Norway, particularly as the country pushes for the widespread adoption of clean transportation technologies.
“We have never done this before. There are fierce battles over the square meters at gas stations, and the gas pumps still deliver the core products and drive most of the traffic to our stations. But now there is a development in Norway. Fast charging is in high demand and there is a growing customer segment. It is nice to be a pioneer for the whole world in this way,” he said in its press release.
Christina Bu, secretary-general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, welcomed Circle K’s decision to quite literally change the face of its Alexander Kiellands outlet in Oslo, Norway. The electric vehicle advocate described Circle K’s update as a “historic milestone,” while expressing her optimism at the potential of seeing similar projects emerge in the near future. “We’re in a new era. It is a historic milestone that the gas station chains replace fossil fuel pumps with quick chargers. We congratulate Circle K for investing in electric cars,” she said.
The Circle K Vice President added that the all-electric Oslo station is part of the company’s willingness to adapt to changes within the market. With customers’ needs changing with their adoption of battery electric cars, it only makes sense for the fuel provider to transition its business to something that could cater to the location’s driving population. “When our customers’ needs change, we also have to change. We have initiated a comprehensive development of fast chargers and start where the need is greatest,” Rosén said.
Overall, Circle K’s decision to replace all of its fuel pumps at its Alexander Kiellands outlet with electric car chargers bodes well for EV adoption as a whole. Granted, Circle K’s EV-only site is only one among thousands in the company’s international network of stations. Nevertheless, the existence of Circle K’s electric vehicle-only location shows that gas companies are willing to change and embrace sustainable transportation. They just have to be convinced by the market that electric cars are rising, and gas and diesel vehicles are at a decline.