Starbucks Plugs Into EV Charging

Volvo will install ChargePoint DC fast chargers at 15 of the coffee chain’s stores from Denver to Seattle.

March 17, 2022

Man Charging His EV Outside of a Starbucks

MAHWAH, N.J. & SEATTLE—Starbucks and Volvo Cars want to make charging EVs as easy as a coffee run. The two companies have partnered to establish a public electric-vehicle charging network at 15 U.S. Starbucks locations beginning this summer, according to a news release. Installations are expected to be finished by the end of this year.

The chargers will be installed along a 1,350-mile route from the Denver area to the coffee company’s Seattle headquarters. Volvo is installing the Volvo-branded ChargePoint DC fast chargers along the route, and the company plans to have a charging location about every 100 miles. For Volvo drivers, access to these charging points will be free or at preferential rates.

Volvo says that its electric vehicle, the Volvo C40 Recharge, can go from a 20% charge to a 90% charge in 20 minutes using ChargePoint’s DC fast chargers. Volvo plans to be a fully electric car company by 2030.

The chargers are “giving EV drivers traveling between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest a string of familiar, reliable, clean and safe places to recharge themselves and their battery-powered vehicles,” writes Volvo in the press release.

“We are thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to test how we can charge our customers’ electric vehicles at Starbucks stores,” said Michael Kobori, chief sustainability officer at Starbucks. “Imagine a future where Starbucks helps our customers to connect—more sustainably.”

Starbucks “aspires to lead the retail industry in decarbonization solutions,” which includes electric vehicle charging and onsite solar availability at stores and in adjacent locations. Starbucks plans to continue expanding its solar pilot locations to 55 new stores this year.

In February, the Biden Administration released its plan to fund electric vehicle charging infrastructure, focusing on interstate highways first, and then rural areas. The plan says that states must install an EV charger every 50 miles, and they must be located no more than one mile off of high-use corridors, mostly interstates.

According to a recent Fuels Institute study, public funding may be responsible for up to 26% of the difference in charging infrastructure between markets with and without such funding.

After the administration released the plan, claims surrounding a hypothetical scenario in which all U.S. gas stations would be replaced with equal capacity EV charging stations spread on social media. Here are EV charging myths debunked.

A recent Convenience Matters podcast episode discusses how EVs are the future, and another episode explains how convenience retailers can attract and retain EV customers.

Visit the NACS Electric Vehicles topics page for more information about EVs. The NACS EV Charging Calculator was created to allow retailers to assess the cost and profitability of offering EV chargers at their sites. The calculator focuses on what retailer utility costs associated with EV recharging are and what the corresponding revenue must be to recover those costs after allowing for potential ancillary in-store visits and purchase profitability.

Read more about electricity demand charges and what they mean for retailers’ ability to turn a profit from EV charging in the September issue of NACS Magazine.