7-Eleven Has NYC's First Electric-Car Charger. Whatta You Lookin' At?

Convenience store giant 7-Eleven says it is now "the first retailer to offer fast-charging services for drivers of electric vehicles in the New York City area." We're not sure that's exactly true—there's a lot of area there, and a lot of retailers—but for the store in Flushing, N.Y., the chain partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy and several large utilities to use solar generation and energy storage from a Silicon Valley company called Green Charge Networks. The idea is to keep from pulling too much electricity all at once, which is a problem at peak times or in areas that just aren't wired for big surges in demand. Given that fast-charging typically takes about half an hour, it's not clear how well the charger lines up with 7-Eleven's typical in-and-out customer. Then again, maybe that's the idea. Story