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    RaceTrac Moves Closer to Electric Vehicle Charging Station

    Florida convenience store to be equipped with charging station, pending city approval.

    BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -- RaceTrac Petroleum plans to join an industry wide effort to install electric charging stations.

    The Atlanta-based convenience store chain is looking to add a plug-in electric vehicle station on the southeast corner of the intersection of Bonita Beach and Race Track roads in Bonita Springs, located in Southwest Florida, reported the Naples Daily News.

    Bids for the 7,000-square-foot gas station are expected to be finalized by the end of the year with construction beginning as early as February 2012, the newspaper added.

    To install the electric vehicle station, RaceTrac would need permission from the city of Bonita Springs. However, many electric charging stations are beginning to pop up throughout the country, so it's expected the city would be at least receptive to the idea.

    If and when the electric vehicle station opens in Bonita Springs, it is uncertain if RaceTrac will add any more throughout the southeast, where it operates 320 c-stores in five states.

    As CSNews Online reported last month, other c-store chains have dipped their toes into the electric charging station waters. 7-Eleven, BP and Kwik Trip have all installed electric charging stations.

    However, the most aggressive companies regarding electric vehicle car installations have been c-store competitors. Walgreens is leading the way with an expectation of opening 800 electric vehicle charging stations by the end of the year. Tiffany Washington, Walgreens spokesperson, told CSNews Online the drugstore chain plans to become the largest host of electric vehicle charging stations.

    "Our locations are very accessible and convenient for customers," she said. "All of our stores are in neighborhoods near major commuter corridors and highways."

    President Obama called for one million electric vehicles to be on the road by 2015 during his January State of the Union Address.

    Electric vehicle sales could take a hit though after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it was launching an investigation into the Chevy Volt electric vehicle on Friday. The NHTSA is trying to determine if the car's lithium-ion batteries can burst into flames during a serious accident. Government testing has shown that possibility, although nobody has yet been hurt due to a fire caused by the battery in real conditions.

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