Walmart is a frequent fixture in towns throughout America, dotting the landscape and enticing people from the highways with promises of ruthless, brutal value and free overnight RV parking. Soon, EV owners will have a new reason to heed the siren song of the big blue box thanks to Walmart's new partnership with .
"The expansion of Walmart's electric vehicle charging facilities with our ultra-fast-charging systems will provide consumers with a quick and convenient way to charge their vehicles in the time it takes to make their Walmart purchases," said Mark McNabb, president and CEO of Electrify America. "EV owners need a convenient, reliable and fast turnaround in recharging their vehicles. Walmart is the perfect partner for Electrify America to bring electric charging services to EV owners who value their time."
This partnership will see Electrify America installing electric vehicle charging stations at 100 Walmart stores in 34 states by June of 2019. These won't be just any charging stations either, since they'll be set up for both standard AC level 2 charging as well as DC fast charging at either 150 kilowatts or 350 kilowatts.
It's the 350 kW figure that is interesting because, at this time, onlyto offering vehicles capable of taking that much power that quickly. It seems likely though that other manufacturers will step up to this standard since it offers customers significantly faster charging on large-capacity batteries.
"Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation's EV charging station infrastructure," said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of Energy for Walmart. "Providing this service is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and the environment."
The Electrify America stations will be designed for ease of use, with customers not being required to join any programs or networks as with other charging companies. Drivers will be able to simply use a credit card reader to pay and go, which, along with typical Walmart store placement near freeways, should make these stations especially appealing to those on road trips in their EVs.
Electrify America is investing upward of $2 billion over the next decade in electric vehicle infrastructure, with plans to build more than 2,000 chargers across 484 sites including 17 metropolitan areas and on highways in 39 states. These chargers are set to be installed or under construction by the end of 2019.