Circle K Norway EV Experiment Lab

Former Director, EV Development at Circle K Norway

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Former Director, EV Development at Circle K Norway

The executive is a Former Director of Circle K in Norway, ATD's lab to experiment with electric vehicle charging stations.Read more

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What is the difference, roughly?

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The electricity prices have changed a lot and are a little bit unpredictable, these days. In Norway, it used to be extremely cheap and maybe less than half, or 30% of the prices in Central Europe. Nowadays, it is closer to maybe 70% or 80% of the price in Central Europe. For the energy of a car, a kilowatt hour driven, compared to a kilowatt hour for fuel, it is 40% to 50% more efficient for EVs. Due to the cheaper price and the more efficient use of energy, it still gives you a clear price advantage, which is about 40%, even today. If you are commuting a lot and you have to pay for fuel or electricity, it makes a huge difference if you have an electric car.

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For example, if you have a station, it’s close to the grid, on a big highway, with a good place to refuel and it might take 20 minutes, that might be a good location. There will be some inner-city ones, with smaller locations, where people can’t charge at home and the rest of the network has to be repurposed into convenience retail. I guess you have to repurpose the land, if you own the land. A complete change in the network?

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If you look at the Tesla charging network, you will find no charging stations which are not close to good facilities, in terms of convenience and bathrooms. It is important to find a spot where people can have a break. Again, in the future, this will change slightly, in terms of the capacity of the car and the time you need to stop for will become less. Today, I think the average time for a charging break is around 20 to 22 minutes. This will become shorter.

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It’s interesting because, if you take the old model, Circle K reported last year, 40 cents profit per gallon of fuel; it has been increasing over the years. They buy fuel wholesale, at scale and then sell it retail. How do you compare that now in the electric charging world, given that you also have Tesla on the site, IONITY on the site; how is that different?

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In principle, everybody buys electricity from the same kind of suppliers. You can still choose and make contracts with electricity suppliers who you feel are right for yourself or your company. It used to be – just before the prices exploded so much – that the actual cost of goods sold was relatively small, compared to the actual sales price. Electricity used to be very cheap. Now, it’s a bit different and the prices have increased. Of course, you have more than just the price of electricity when you are operating a charging network. You have investment, maybe even into the grid, and rent, service and a lot of other things you have to pay for. Companies can come up with the margins they need or want to have and try to use that in the market.

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Circle K Norway EV Experiment Lab(December 1, 2022)

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