Every year has its unique challenges and 2022, sadly, may be one for the record books. In the first half of 2022, we’ve seen the invasion of Ukraine, worldwide inflation, continued supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, and, depending on who you listen to, possible world food shortages and a recession.
All of these create challenges for our travel center businesses, and our customers, that we are all tackling daily. Fortunately, we can handle this!
Among the key issues that we are facing is the nationwide transition to emerging fuel technologies, including electric vehicle charging. Currently, state departments of transportation are developing EV charging plans that may redefine our futures. Without our collective input, states might adopt a crazy, patchwork quilt of EV charging plans.
We’re educating state DOTs on the policy changes that fuel retailers need to profitably invest in EV charging stations. But so too are the monopolistic utility companies that also are seeking to establish EV charging.
With this in mind, NATSO has joined the Charge Ahead Partnership, and we encourage all NATSO members to join and show their support. This partnership is a coalition of businesses, individuals and associations whose goal is to promote common sense, market-based policies that will properly implement and accelerate the development of a sound, national EV charging network.
Our goal is to work with policymakers to ensure that the nation’s system of charging locations is positioned to meet drivers’ expectations of quality service, safety and affordable, competitive pricing that they have grown accustomed to with the established refueling network. We want to empower the consumer instead of letting the power companies monopolize the industry. Membership is free so if you haven’t joined yet, please visit, www.chargeaheadpartnership.com.
With so many issues at play, I encourage you to make plans to attend NATSO’s Day on Capitol Hill—September 13–14 in Washington, D.C. For the first time in two years, we will visit the Nation’s Capital and meet with our lawmakers in person rather than virtually.
The annual meeting marks the biggest opportunity for members of the truckstop and travel plaza industry to speak with lawmakers to educate elected officials about the critical role the fuel retailers play in the U.S. economy. This is the ideal time for us to discuss key industry challenges and work with lawmakers to find answers.
I intentionally began this communication to you with problems, but I’m concluding with a solution. When we pool our collective efforts, whether it is by joining together in Charge Ahead Partnership on convening on Capitol Hill, we can shape the future of our industry, our communities and the people we serve. I encourage you to take charge of your future by getting involved.
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