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Walmart, one of the largest retail chains in the United States, has announced its plans to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its stores across the country.
EV Charger Network
By 2030, Walmart Inc is planning to create its own network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to cater to the increasing popularity of EVs in the United States. These fast-charging stations will be placed at thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, in addition to the approximately 1,300 stations currently offered through its partnership with Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary that operates one of the country’s biggest open public EV networks. Walmart’s vast network of over 5,000 stores and Sam’s Club warehouses is located within a 10-mile radius of nearly 90% of the US population.
Vishal Kapadia, Walmart’s recently appointed Senior Vice President of Energy Transformation, mentioned in an interview that the company has a unique opportunity to address range and charging anxiety in the US market. Walmart intends to own its chargers instead of collaborating with a network operator, which is expected to help address concerns about uptime, performance, ease of use, and high installation costs. The new charge points are anticipated to be direct-current fast chargers, with an average of four chargers installed per store. The company declined to provide financial details and stated that it is in the process of selecting a supplier.
In the United States, there are currently approximately 30,000 fast-chargers available that can charge a vehicle in an hour or less, with some of the more powerful models costing providers upwards of $100,000. Although there are relatively few electric vehicles on American roads, this trend is expected to change rapidly as the surge in gas prices, state incentives, and the introduction of more affordable models are fueling increased adoption rates. According to AutoForecast Solutions, a consulting firm, by 2029, electric vehicles could represent a third of the North American market.
Walmart’s initiative coincides with US President Joe Biden’s commitment to constructing a network of 500,000 public EV chargers by 2030. In February, the White House unveiled regulations for a $7.5 billion federal program aimed at advancing the industry and developing charging infrastructure, particularly along American highways. Vishal Kapadia, Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Energy Transformation, stated that the company would initially deploy chargers independently and may explore federal funding opportunities in the future. Walmart’s new charging stations, which will serve roughly 240 million weekly customers, could provide valuable insights on consumer behavior, such as how they pay for the service or the amount of time spent at a specific store.
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