With a growing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, the need for expanding the charging infrastructure in the US has never been greater. To that end, an unexpected ally has arisen to provide more EV fast chargers – Walmart.
Walmart, which operates thousands of stores in the United States, announced a major plan to expand electric vehicle fast charging infrastructure at its sites.
The company intends to build its own EV fast-charging network at thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations coast-to-coast by 2030, with a goal to make EV ownership more accessible, reliable, convenient, and affordable. Considering that it is such a huge brand in the United States, the inclusion of EV fast chargers at Walmart can only help to benefit the nation’s growing EV infrastructure.
As of now, there are no details regarding the charging stations (such as the number of stalls or power output), but the following image, provided for illustrative purposes, indicates that there might be several stalls and even a solar canopy.
According to Walmart, almost 1,300 fast chargers have already been installed at more than 280 facilities in the US. That’s about 4-5 chargers per station.
If such a ratio is maintained for these additional 4,000-5,000 stores, there might be an order for 20,000+ DC fast-charging stalls on the table.
As far as we know, a big part of the charging infrastructure currently available near Walmart stores are Electrify America chargers– in 2019, the company signed a contract for 120 stations (with multiple 150 kW and 350 kW chargers) nationwide, with plans for further expansion.
It will be interesting to see whether Walmart will build a truly independent charging network, or enter into a partnership with another network to install Walmart-branded chargers.
A big advantage of a Walmart network might be accessibility– as 90% of the population would be able to find a charger within 10 miles:
“With a store or club located within 10 miles of approximately 90% of Americans, we are uniquely positioned to deliver a convenient charging option that will help make EV ownership possible whether people live in rural, suburban or urban areas. Our goal is to meet the needs of customers and members where they live and open the road to those driving across the country. 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.”
Another interesting point is that Walmart hints at attractive but undisclosed pricing (see bold part):
“What’s more, with our chargers located on site with our Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Clubs, we can offer customers and members the convenience of being able to pick up essentials for their families or grab a bite to eat while they charge. And in line with our purpose, we aim to offer Every Day Low Price charging – helping ease transportation costs…”