Sheetz showing its vision

Sheetz stores have been good to Altoona and the hundreds of other locales where they exist as a vibrant member of the business community.

The stores are well-respected by everyday customers as well as customers who are able to shop at them only infrequently.

Altoona is, of course, the corporate home of this convenience store giant that provides numerous economic benefits, not only to the local region, but to other places where it has planted its roots as well.

With more than 500 stores in six states — and more stores planned — Sheetz never stands still.

When customers’ wants and needs change, Sheetz seeks to accommodate.

That is why Sheetz is becoming a bigger player in the electric vehicle industry.

As a front-page article in Sunday’s Mirror reported, Sheetz has completed installation of eight Tesla Supercharger stations at its store at Pleasant Valley Boulevard and 17th Street. With that installation, Sheetz currently has 21 store locations that offer Tesla superchargers, as well as four stores offering Electrify America charging stations, two of those in Pennsylvania.

According to Jeff Lenard, an official of the National Association of Convenience Stores, Sheetz is among the leaders in terms of electric vehicle charging.

In Sunday’s article, he was quoted as follows:

“The prime locations for EV chargers are locations that are convenient with high traffic density in the area throughout the day and also have some sort of food offer that allows people to hang out for a few minutes. Sheetz certainly checks both of those boxes.”

But what Sheetz is doing on the EV front has broader positive implications than merely meeting the immediate need of recharging vehicles.

For example, the availability of more superchargers likely will end some drivers’ reluctance to purchase an electric vehicle. That will be good for dealers’ bottom line, auto companies’ profits and the financial well-being of employees who depend on income and benefits from those dealers and EV manufacturers.

Sunday’s article reported that not many electric vehicles currently are being sold in this region — that the few sales make it impractical for dealers to stock and display the vehicles in their showrooms.

By making superchargers available at its stores, Sheetz could help grow EV sales between now and 2040, when, according to an estimate by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 54 percent of new car sales and 33 percent of the global car fleet will be electric.

Obviously, Sheetz can’t produce that result alone, but it can continue as a leader on the EV front, at least in the eastern United States.

Judging from its forward-thinking attitude and past successes, there’s no reason to doubt its ability to remain a major player on the EV scene.

Beyond that, and not to be ignored, are the environmental benefits that will be derived from a much larger number of EVs on the road — hopefully, thanks in a significant way to Sheetz.

Sheetz has built its reputation on solid decision-making and its willingness to invest money to better and expand its offerings.

Even now, in its early stages, the current step on behalf of EV owners seems destined to be another important chapter in the company’s already voluminous success story.


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