Volvo, Starbucks Team Up for EV Charging Pilot Program [UPDATED]

volvo starbucks team up for ev charging pilot program updated

Volvo and Starbucks are teaming up on a pilot program to explore the installation of electric-vehicle charging stations at various Starbucks locations.

The pilot program will start this summer, and the chargers will be ChargePoint units.

Volvo will install up to 60 DC fast chargers (Volvo branded, naturally) at up to 15 Starbucks stores. All the stores in question will be along a 1,350-mile route from the Denver metro area to Seattle, which, of course, is where Starbucks is headquartered.

The stations will be spaced about 100 miles apart, which places them within range for most EVs.

Volvo’s marketing speak points to how a C40 Recharge owner can get his or her car juiced from 20 percent to 90 percent in about 40 minutes while enjoying an overpriced latte. Of course, the ChargePoint app can be used to find these locations.

There’s a catch, of course — while Volvo owners will get to charge either gratis or at a discount, other EV owners will have to pay up to juice up. Installation of the chargers is expected to be done by the end of the year.

“Volvo Cars wants to give people the freedom to move and lower their impact on the environment,” said Anders Gustafsson, Sr. Vice President Americas and President and CEO, Volvo Car USA, in a statement. “Working with Starbucks we can do that by giving them enjoyable places to relax while their cars recharge.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to test how we can charge our customers’ electric vehicles at Starbucks stores, said Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer at Starbucks, in the same statement. “Imagine a future where Starbucks helps our customers to connect — more sustainably.”

“ChargePoint is enabling accessible EV charging opportunities anywhere drivers need it,” said Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint, in the press release. “We’re excited to support Volvo Cars’ road to electrification, and help provide a premium driving experience for its customers to plan charging stops around their favorite Starbucks locations in select west coast destinations.”

We have a few questions not answered in the release. For one, will the chargers be available for use outside of the stores’ business hours? If so, will they be open 24/7 or have their own set hours of operation? Will restroom facilities be available to drivers arriving outside of store hours? Will drivers be expected to make a purchase at Starbucks?

And, finally — what plans are there for expansion?

We’ve reached out to Volvo and we will update if we hear back.

UPDATE: Volvo has replied. The chargers will be open 24/7, bathrooms won’t be available when the stores are closed, there’s no purchase necessary, and the company won’t comment on future plans.

[Image: Volvo]

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Mar 15, 2022

    What about poor urban and rural communities which do not have Starbucks, much less residents who can afford these expensive things? This comes off as rather tone deaf with inflation and rapidly rising fuel costs.

    • Jeff S Jeff S on Mar 15, 2022

      There's always Walmart. The Walmart's around where I live have installed several charging stations.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Mar 15, 2022

    My town just got a Tesla charging station. It's in a small mall with several restaurants.

  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.
  • Cprescott I assume that since the buses will be free to these companies that these companies will reduce their bus fare.