VW's Electrify America Sticks With Walmart for EV Charging Expansion

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
vw s electrify america sticks with walmart for ev charging expansion

Roughly a year ago, Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America announced a partnership with Walmart to help proliferate EV charging sites across the United States. Equal parts penance for VW’s illegal diesel shenanigans and shrewd business arrangement, the deal sought to establish plug-in points at 100 store locations in 34 states.

On Thursday, the companies announced the completion of 120 charging stations and signalled their intent to continue collaborating — citing future development programs in the District of Columbia and 46 U.S. states.

Thus far, the auto has primarily focused on selling electric vehicles along the coasts — resulting in the vast majority of charging sites bookending the country. However, in addition to the obvious benefits of hooking up with one of the largest retailers in history, Electrify America says its Walmart partnership provides an opportunity for EV charging stations to make inroads into the heartland. Since its stores are frequently found near major highways, the firm said Walmart is helping to provide a much-needed resource for EV owners hoping to take a road trip.

The stations themselves feature 150 kilowatt (kW) and 350kW DC Fast Chargers, which Electrify America claims can restore 20 miles of range per minute — provided the vehicle is equipped to handle it.

“EV drivers can now travel across the country on major interstates and highways with a large concentration of EV chargers along U.S. interstates,” said Electrify America. “EV charging station placement along many of these routes allow for EV drivers the option to solely recharge at Walmart stores during their travels. Examples of routes include Houston to Chicago via I-45, I-35 and I-44, San Antonio to St Louis via I-35 and I-44 and Washington DC to Savannah, GA via I-95.”

The Walmart deal could help to normalize electric vehicles in parts of the country where they don’t make a lot of sense. While 120 stations spread across 34 states isn’t exactly a deluge, it enhances Walmart’s corporate image and could eventually create a new customer base for the chain. Since EVs can’t refuel like traditional gas-powered vehicles, drivers are often stuck waiting while their car recharges. That effectively makes them a captive audience and, with nowhere else to go, they might decide to go shopping to pass the time. Meanwhile, Volkswagen can fulfill its legal commitments while simultaneously improving the charging infrastructure for the 22 million EVs it hopes to sell over the next decade.

[Images: Electrify America]

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  • R Henry R Henry on Jun 09, 2019

    120 charging stations. Golly, what progress! --This, of course, is the number of gas pumps in a three block stretch on most suburban boulevards.

  • AtoB AtoB on Jun 09, 2019

    "The smart water drinker is into cheap $9 per bottle wine too. She’s a cheap date. " Still wasting money though. Tap water is *almost* free. Anyone with hundreds of millions of dollars lying around will live in an area where the tap water is just fine, especially if its charcoal filtered. Tap water is FAR more ecologically friendly too. As to the wine its not to hard to find a $3 bottle of wine that can easily stand up to a $20+ bottle. The difference is more $3 wines suck than $20+ wines. Not a big deal, at $3/bottle its easy to sample a lot to find what you like. The latter is the key, knowing what YOU like and not what others tell you to like. Usually those others are trying to sell you the $20+ bottle. If OTOH you meant $20 restaurant prices that's a different story. $20 is about as cheap as restaurant wines get.

    • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Jun 09, 2019

      About a dozen years ago, two buck chuck won the blind chardonnay tasting at the California Wine Festival(IIRC - might have been California State Fair Wine Competition or something similar). A few years earlier, their Shiraz beat out 2,300 more expensive wines at the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition. The problem with these now-$3 a bottle wines is that you never know what you'll get. Some 2006 Charles Shaw Chardonnay may have been fantastic, but there aren't vineyards growing grapes for Charles Shaw. They buy whatever is over produced and cheaply available. One batch of wine may be fine, and the next one will give you a debilitating hangover if you have three glasses. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1963794

  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.
  • Inside Looking Out Scandinavian design costs only $600? I mean the furniture.