Canadian snowbirds migrating to Florida for the winter may be able to make the journey in their electric vehicles, now that more Walmarts will be offering electric charging.
Electrify America, the Virginia company investing $2 billion in charging infrastructure over the next decade, has inked a pact to install DC 350 kW Fast Chargers at more than 100 Walmart locations in 34 states by summer 2019, more than doubling Walmart’s charging stations across the US.
“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.”
The charging systems installed at Walmarts will be the first-ever certified cooled-cable 150 to 350 kW DC Fast Chargers, providing an estimated 32 km for every minute of charge (seven times faster that today’s fast chargers). The announcement makes Walmart one of the leading electric vehicle charging station hosts in the retail sector.
“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 chargers work on a “plug-pay-charge-go” cycle, and feature a 15-inch touchscreen with much of the information also available through a mobile app that customers can manage from their smartphones. A credit card reader on the unit allows people to pay at the charger, instead of via smartphone for those using the mobile app.
By the end of 2019, Electrify America expects to have some 2,000 chargers located at 484 sites installed, or in the process of installation, across 39 states. They will be located in metropolitan centres and along highway corridors, mostly at retail, dining or parking facilities.
The fast chargers will range in power from 50 kW (the most commonly used fast chargers today) to 350 kW, with most metro areas using 50- to 150-kW fast chargers. AC adapters will also be available at the majority of metro charging stations for those vehicles not equipped for fast charging (the majority of new EVs hitting the roads around 2020 will have fast charging capabilities).