Walmart Inc. has announced plans to build electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations at thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across the US by 2030. This expansion will add to the nearly 1,300 EV fast-charging stations already available at more than 280 Walmart locations nationwide. The company’s goal is to make EV ownership more accessible and convenient for customers, whether they live in rural, suburban, or urban areas.
“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,” Walmart said. “Easy access to on-the-go charging is a game-changer for drivers who have been hesitant to purchase an EV.”
The charging stations will feature high-speed chargers capable of delivering up to 240 miles of range on a 15-minute charge. Walmart’s move aligns with President Joe Biden’s ambitious plans to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the US. The Biden administration recently announced a $174 billion investment to boost the EV industry, including $15 billion for the construction of 500,000 EV charging stations across the country by 2030.
Walmart’s charging station expansion is also part of the company’s larger sustainability efforts. In 2020, the retail giant pledged to reach zero-emissions across its global operations by 2040, without relying on carbon offsets. This goal includes transitioning to 100% renewable energy and electrifying Walmart’s fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles.
The push for EV charging infrastructure in the US comes as countries around the world are taking steps to transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of transportation to combat climate change. The International Energy Agency recently called for a global ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035 to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Walmart’s charging station network will not only serve its customers but also support the growth of the EV market at large. A recent AAA study found that the number of Americans considering buying an EV has more than doubled in the past three years, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that up to 2.6 million public charging points may be needed in the US by 2030 to facilitate widespread EV adoption.
The company’s charging station rollout will also support local economies by creating jobs in construction, installation, and maintenance. Furthermore, by providing convenient charging options at retail locations, Walmart can help drive foot traffic and sales at its stores.
Walmart’s plan follows similar efforts from other companies to invest in EV charging infrastructure. In April 2021, electric vehicle charging network provider ChargePoint announced a collaboration with NATSO, a national association representing truck stops and travel plazas, to deploy over 4,000 charging stations across the US by 2030. General Motors has also announced plans to install 2,700 EV chargers at its facilities in the US and Canada by 2025.
The success of Walmart’s charging station expansion will depend on the continued growth of the EV market and the ability to adapt to changing technology and consumer needs. However, the company’s commitment to providing accessible, convenient charging options for customers, combined with the support of government initiatives and private investment, could help pave the way for widespread EV adoption in the US.