A Walmart electric vehicle charging network is in the works.
The retail giant intends for thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across America to have fast EV chargers installed as part of the network of its own that it plans on building, Senior Vice President of Energy Transformation Vishal Kapadia announced Thursday. Walmart aims to do that by 2030.
In terms of cost, the retailer will seek to make its charging available for an “Every Day Low Price,” Vishal said, noting high transportation costs.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of customers and members where they live and open the road to those driving across the country,” Kapadia wrote. “Easy access to on-the-go charging is a game-changer for drivers who have been hesitant to purchase an EV for concerns they won’t be able to find a charger in a clean, bright and safe location when needed.”
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Its own planned network will build upon almost 1,300 fast-charging stations that some stores already have in place, Walmart said. Those existing ones are spread across more than 280 locations.
As of the end of January, the company’s presence in the U.S. counted more than 3,570 supercenters, 360 discount stores, 680 neighborhood markets, 90 small formats and a handful of convenience stores. It also had 600 Sam’s Clubs.
Those charging their vehicles at stations in the planned on-site network will have the ability to shop or eat as they wait, according to the announcement.
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The retailer said it “marks the latest investment in our efforts to transform our business and product supply chains to be more regenerative.”
Other companies have initiated plans to install EV chargers at their own locations.
7-Eleven Inc. in March said it intends to build one of the largest and most compatible EV fast-charging networks of any retailer in North America with the launch of its 7Charge network. There is an accompanying app for it as well.
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A month earlier, Subway revealed a collaborative initiative to place EV charging parks near some of its restaurants in the future, with the so-called “Subway Oasis” parks expected to have picnic tables, wireless internet, playgrounds and other amenities.
The move from the chain famous for its foot-long sandwiches followed Starbucks, which in 2022 began putting EV chargers at up to 15 coffeehouse stores on a route running between Seattle and Denver, starting with ones in Provo, Utah. That marked a partnership with Volvo Cars and ChargePoint.
Tens of thousands of electric vehicle charging station locations are scattered across the U.S., a Department of Energy website showed.
Julia Musto contributed to this report.