Stewart’s Shops says EV warrants don’t match demand


MALTA – Stewart’s Shops, perhaps the largest chain of gas stations and convenience stores in the region, says the passage of a bill by the state legislature requiring that only zero-emission cars be sold in New York from 2035 may not correspond to the economic realities on the ground.

Stewart’s has a huge interest in selling gasoline to owners of traditional internal combustion engine cars and trucks that use fossil gasoline at its nearly 340 locations in upstate New York and Vermont. . Nevertheless, he added a few charging stations.

The Saratoga County-based company has also invested tens of millions of dollars in recent years building new stores with more gas pumps and also purchased a wholesale gas distribution operation last year at Polsniello Fuels in Rensselaer.

Stewart’s, which is owned by both its employees and the Dake family, is a member of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, a trade association that recently fought against the bill.

Zero-emission vehicles are a broad term – currently the market would include electric vehicles, but could also include hydrogen-powered cars and trucks – although automakers may be a decade or more away to introduce hydrogen cars, which also require a considerable investment in infrastructure.

The New York Association of Convenience Stores sent a letter to members of the legislature in March asking them to reconsider voting for the measure because of the potential economic implications it could have for consumers, government and businesses.

“It doesn’t matter if the price of these vehicles exceeds the means of the average New Yorker family,” wrote James Calvin, president of the association. “It doesn’t matter if the resulting drop in petroleum fuel demand costs the state half a billion dollars a year in tax revenue for road and bridge maintenance. It doesn’t matter if it denies station owners -service a six-figure return on their investment in underground oil reservoirs that meet state and federal standards. “

The bill was passed by the Legislature in April, but has yet to be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to become law, so it’s unclear whether the mandate will ultimately be implemented.

Erica Komoroske, director of public affairs at Stewart’s, says that although her company is a member of the Convenience Stores Association, she said Monday that she was not sure if the company was even aware of Calvin’s letter to the legislature, she therefore declined to say whether Stewart opposed the bill.

She said there are complexities within the electric vehicle market that can make it difficult for the public to adopt EV cars and trucks. She also added that Stewart’s supports the EV market in its stores with charging stations, but even though chargers have limited use. The company has installed Tesla Super Charger stations in three of its stores so far, with more EV chargers to come.

“In our current experience, two of our Tesla Super Charger sites average only five charges per day while the third sees 20 charges per day,” Komoroske said. “The impeachment request simply did not meet the activist and political push that currently exists.”

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