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Expanding Convenience Stores Bet on a Future with Gas Powered Vehicles

Rutter’s convenience store, Gap, Penn. (Courtesy Rutter’s)

Despite government regulations pushing a future filled with electric vehicles (EVs), some large convenience store chains still see gas in the future.

Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s plans to build 50 new gas station/convenience stores over the next five years in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware, the company announced this week. Rutter’s currently has 84 locations.

Of those, 21 Pennsylvania stores have video gaming terminals, making Rutter’s the largest licensed gambling operator in the state that isn’t a casino.

Rutter’s is not the only growing gas station chain.

Texas-based Buc-ee’s announced in February 2022 that it would add a dozen new convenience stores through 2026. The store is known for brisket sandwiches and an enormous number of gas pumps—typically around 100.

New Buc-ee’s are planned in Auburn, Alabama, 2023; Sevierville, Tennessee, 2023; Hillsboro, Texas, 2024; Smiths Grove, Kentucky, 2024; Springfield, Missouri, 2024; Johnstown, Colorado, 2024; and Boerne, Texas, 2025.

Convenience stores sell an estimated 80 percent of the motor fuels purchased by consumers in the United States, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

In June, Pennsylvania-based Wawa announced it was on track to open 54 new stores in 2022 and up to 40 more convenience stores by 2025 in Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Also, in Pennsylvania, Sheetz planned 20 new stores in Ohio over the next five years.

Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip, which has 847 convenience stores, according to its website, plans to open three stores in South Dakota under the name Kwik Star.

Future for Both Petroleum and EVs

President Joe Biden has called for electric vehicles to make up 50 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States by 2030.

Many states are planning for an EV future with studies about how to replace the gas tax with mileage-based user fees and plans for building charging station infrastructure.

Epoch Times Photo A Tesla vehicle is plugged into a Tesla charging station in a parking lot in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sept. 22, 2022. (Allison Dinner/Getty Images)

California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and Massachusetts will ban the sale of all new gas-powered cars starting in 2035.

Meanwhile, most of the public needs gas stations for their gas-powered vehicles.

“We know that right now, EV sales are about 5 percent of the fleet, so it’s going to take decades for EVs to have a majority share of vehicles on the road,” Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives at NACS, told The Epoch Times.

“There will be plenty of petroleum-powered vehicles that will need fuel. The companies that are opening gas stations are not defying their numbers,” Lenard said.

“They are looking at where they fit in the future, and they see that over the next few years, they will very much be relevant,” he said.

“There are no questions EVs will be a part of the future,” Lenard added. “There’s also no question that petroleum will be a part of the future. Fuel retailers are trying to put their bets on where they feel the market is going to be and where they can capture sales.”