Walmart Intends to Install EV Chargers at 1000s of Locations

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

If a plan from the nation’s largest retailer takes flight, the chargers one will find at Walmart won’t just be for small devices in the electronics department. The company hopes to install EV fast chargers at nearly all its stores across the country.

While official spox aren’t talking specific numbers, it should be noted the brand has more than 4,500 Walmart stores and 600 Sam’s Club warehouses in the States. It is suggested approximately 90 percent of Americans live within 10 minutes of a Walmart or Sam’s, a statistic which beggars belief. At present, there are roughly 1,300 EV chargers present at 280 stores, units constructed in partnership with Electrify America.

A senior veep at Walmart said these plans will address issues around “reliability and cost”, which is likely a bit of subtle shade tossed at EA. There is no shortage of anecdotes about EV customers rocking up to an EA charger only to find it busted or out of service, sometimes for extended periods whilst waiting for parts or software updates. Even if the physical charger is functional, sometimes it takes an extraterrestrial force or the aligning of planets to activate the thing with a card or wonky app. The retailer goes on to suggest this new EV charger strategy will permit Walmart to offer an experience and price in a manner that is “not possible when a third party is involved in the equation.”

Yep. That’s some shade, alright.

Walmart says they are “uniquely positioned” to offer charging stations across rural, suburban, and urban areas; given their sheer number of locations in every nook and cranny of the country, this is a good point. More than one developer has told this author that they see the installation of EV chargers as a land grab, not a massive money maker, at this stage of the game. As electric vehicles become more popular, they expect that to change. Walmart already has the land, so they might as well utilize it in creative ways – like installing EV chargers which will (like it or not) eventually be sought after by wide swaths of vehicle owners.

A company like Walmart hasn’t grown to the size they are by leaving money on the table. If they think they can ultimately turn a profit with EV chargers – either by attracting shoppers or mining the data harvested during charging sessions – you can bet they’ll jump on the opportunity. 

The company plans to roll out its charging network in the next five years.

[Images: Walmart]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 08, 2023

    Next time you are on a road trip, grab one of the 74 cent 3.25 ounce pecan pies (used to be 50 cents and 4 ounces, but let's move on lol) from Walmart and set it on the passenger side of the dash in the sun for 20-30 minutes. Goes well with fresh cup of coffee from Pilot's automated coffeemaker (the one that grinds the beans right then). When you swipe your card to pay the $0.74 and it asks if you would like cash back, say Yes and get yourself a hundred bucks of walking around money -- much easier than looking for an ATM on the road.

    (Also grab some Sprayway glass cleaner if we are getting low -- Walmart's price is unbeatable.)

  • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Apr 11, 2023

    Great idea, but execution and follow thru will win long term customers.

    As an example, I notice Walmart (and other retailers) with busted Self-Check-Out machines. Each may cost $20k apiece, but I have observed one in four not working. Same thing at Lowe’s where 4 out of six self check outs were broken. I took pictures of the 4 busted machines and submitted them with my customer survey.

    All four were running by the next weekend only to break down one month later. 😒

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Take some time today to realize that virtually zero soldiers had died defending your border.
  • Tassos As somebody who is NOT a stupid fanatic about EVs one way or the other:No manufacturer has built a "Better Tesla" EV yet. Most have tried, we wait for TOyota only (last hope for the Tesla haters)UNLESS a DIRT CHEAP Model 2 comes along (will never happen in the next 2 or 3 years), Do NOT expect that 7% to go to even 10%, let alone the ... 30% clueless Idiot Joe Biden voters expect. If anything, PLUG INS and HYBRIDS may, in the SHORT term, bring the 7% down.
  • Pig_Iron 💝
  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.