Costco was one of the first retail chains to offer EV charging, but it has no plans to bring it back.
"It's not happening in the next few years," Costco CFO Richard Galanti said during a recent company earnings call, as cited by The Street, after being asked if he was concerned that EV mandates might make Costco's lucrative gas stations obsolete.
EV charging station at Costco
"I think it's a question that we can defer for five or 10 years, frankly," Galanti said, noting that Costco is still growing its U.S. gasoline market share. The company currently operates gas stations at the majority of its warehouse stores, with most open 24 hours a day. Like shopping in the stores themselves, buying gas at Costco requires a membership.
Costco was one of the first retailers to embrace EV charging, but in 2011 it ripped them out. The chargers had been installed at certain California locations, serving Costco customers driving the handful of electric cars sold by the highest-volume automakers under an earlier iteration of California's zero-emission vehicle program.
Tesla charging on EVgo network
The first Costco EV chargers disappeared just as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and Tesla Model S arrived, all targeting sales well beyond California. And other retail chains began to notice this. Target was installing EV chargers as early as 2013, when we reported on the setup at a then-new Target store in Fremont, California, home of Tesla's original factory.
Other retail chains are building up their EV charging infrastructure. Walmart recently announced plans for its own charging network, with "thousands" of chargers by 2030. Meijer, another retail giant that sells gas at some locations, is also embracing charging with EVgo, with planned EV fast-charging at up to 350 kw.