RESTON, Va. – Volkswagen’s Electrify America will more than double its EV fast chargers at Walmart stores by the end of 2019, CNBC/Reuters reports. Currently Electrify America has more than 120 charging stations in operation at Walmart locations in 34 states. The company plans to add 180 more at Walmart stores this year.
The two companies are focusing on some Midwestern states. U.S. EV ownership has been largely concentrated on the East and West coasts, largely due to the proliferation of EV charging stations along those corridors. “What Walmart offers is the heartland of America,” said Brendan Jones, COO of Electrify America. “That is a massive benefit geographically for us.”
VW has committed $800 million in California and a total of $2 billion across the U.S. for EV infrastructure. “We anticipate the use of EVs will continue to rise and we want to put in infrastructure to accommodate that,” Mark Vanderhelm, vice president for energy at Walmart.
In related news, NACS and other groups are asking Congress to back private investment for charging stations.
“We have no objection to utility companies investing in EV charging infrastructure provided they do so via their unregulated businesses,” said Paige Anderson, NACS director of government relations. “This would result in a level playing field, where all parties are putting capital at risk and have similar incentives to respond to consumer demand and compete on quality and price.”