Walmart to Build EV Fast-Charging Network

The big-box retailer says it is “uniquely positioned to deliver a convenient charging option.”

April 07, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Walmart announced it’s building an EV fast-charging network across thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations by 2030. The fast-chargers would be in addition to the almost 1,300 EV fast-charging stations currently available at more than 280 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations.

“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,” wrote Vishal Kapadia, senior vice president, energy transformation, Walmart, in the announcement. “Our goal is to meet the needs of customers and members where they live and open the road to those driving across the country.”

Walmart says the chargers will allow the company to offer customers “the convenience of being able to pick up essentials for their families or grab a bite to eat while they charge.”

“Easy access to on-the-go charging is a game-changer for drivers who have been hesitant to purchase an EV for concerns they won’t be able to find a charger in a clean, bright and safe location when needed,” wrote Kapadia.

This is Walmart’s latest investment in regenerative initiatives to reduce the company’s emissions. The company recently announced tests across its supply chain vehicle and fuel classes to meet its goal of achieving zero emissions by 2040. Last year, Walmart purchased 4,500 electric delivery vehicles from Canoo, a high-tech advanced mobility company, to deliver online orders for Walmart+ customers.

“Today, we are as known for convenience as we are for Every Day Low Price,” wrote Kapadia. “We are committed to providing customers, members, associates, suppliers and our communities at large with the services they need and want, in a way that fits their lifestyle—making EV ownership easy and simple is no exception.”

Convenience stores are investing in EV charging infrastructure, including 7-Eleven, Casey’s, Circle K and Sheetz, among many others. 7-Eleven recently announced 7Charge, a proprietary EV charging network and app that delivers a fast-charging experience at select 7-Eleven stores in the United States and Canada. In January, Shell USA purchased EV charging company Volta for $169 million in an all-cash deal.

EV charging remains a barrier to widespread EV adoption. In a recent Deloitte survey, 48% of respondents said range anxiety was a top concern when buying an EV, followed closely by the time required to charge (47%) and lack of public EV charging infrastructure (46%).

For consumers who do drive EVs, their top desired amenity while charging is Wi-Fi connectivity (64%). Restrooms (60%), coffee/beverages (56%) and snacks/light meals (48%) were the next most desired offerings.

When charging on the go, 24% of U.S. consumers want a dedicated EV service station and 20% want a traditional gas station with EV chargers. However, a significant number of people surveyed (25%) in the U.S. simply want access to charging when they need it regardless of location.