By on June 7, 2019

Roughly a year ago, Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America announced a partnership with Walmart to help proliferate EV charging sites across the United States. Equal parts penance for VW’s illegal diesel shenanigans and shrewd business arrangement, the deal sought to establish plug-in points at 100 store locations in 34 states.

On Thursday, the companies announced the completion of 120 charging stations and signalled their intent to continue collaborating — citing future development programs in the District of Columbia and 46 U.S. states. 

Thus far, the auto has primarily focused on selling electric vehicles along the coasts — resulting in the vast majority of charging sites bookending the country. However, in addition to the obvious benefits of hooking up with one of the largest retailers in history, Electrify America says its Walmart partnership provides an opportunity for EV charging stations to make inroads into the heartland. Since its stores are frequently found near major highways, the firm said Walmart is helping to provide a much-needed resource for EV owners hoping to take a road trip.

The stations themselves feature 150 kilowatt (kW) and 350kW DC Fast Chargers, which Electrify America claims can restore 20 miles of range per minute — provided the vehicle is equipped to handle it.

“EV drivers can now travel across the country on major interstates and highways with a large concentration of EV chargers along U.S. interstates,” said Electrify America. “EV charging station placement along many of these routes allow for EV drivers the option to solely recharge at Walmart stores during their travels. Examples of routes include Houston to Chicago via I-45, I-35 and I-44, San Antonio to St Louis via I-35 and I-44 and Washington DC to Savannah, GA via I-95.”

The Walmart deal could help to normalize electric vehicles in parts of the country where they don’t make a lot of sense. While 120 stations spread across 34 states isn’t exactly a deluge, it enhances Walmart’s corporate image and could eventually create a new customer base for the chain. Since EVs can’t refuel like traditional gas-powered vehicles, drivers are often stuck waiting while their car recharges. That effectively makes them a captive audience and, with nowhere else to go, they might decide to go shopping to pass the time. Meanwhile, Volkswagen can fulfill its legal commitments while simultaneously improving the charging infrastructure for the 22 million EVs it hopes to sell over the next decade.

[Images: Electrify America]

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70 Comments on “VW’s Electrify America Sticks With Walmart for EV Charging Expansion...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    $40K electric Golf.
    No thanks.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Would anyone buying a $40k NEW VW ever even go to Walmart? I don’t think these demographics mix, I feel like there’s a sense of egotism with buyers of a 40k VW EV.

    • 0 avatar
      993cc

      I’ve seem plenty of $60,000.00 vehicles in Walmart parking lots.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Nothing wrong with the price, I’m talking about the brand, I don’t see many owners of new VWs going to Walmart, particularly an EV that’s already a more expensive version of a lesser car in the VW lineup. I you go to a VW dealership your already not looking for the best car for the money, your looking for that image despite the drawbacks.

        • 0 avatar
          993cc

          So what you’re saying is that a driver of a $40,000.00 E-golf (mostly indistinguishable from a regular golf) is displaying more egotism than the driver of, say a $60,000.00 King Ranch 150?

          “Best car for the money” depends entirely on the buyers’ priorities. Some buyers prioritize minimizing the externalities of their transportation choices. That’s not egotism.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Yes, absolutely, the $40,000 golf is a statement within a statement, ignoring the whole EV end of that statement; In my experience VW consumers see the brand as trendy and vogue, going to Walmart is neither of those things. A consumer that had some MPG and “externality” fetish would be better served by a used Prius and a used leaf, both combined can be had for half the price of the EV golf and both have already been built so they are contributing less to their externalities that they apparently fear.

        • 0 avatar
          Bill Wade

          Or a small wagon, a segment that disappeared. Sure I could drive my RAM 2500 diesel as a daily driver but why?

          The VW was cheap and gets stellar mileage, image did not enter the purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I’ve saw a new Rolls coming out of a Walmart parking lot once. I know the guys brother and asked about it. Apparently, he went to pick up some bottled water for his employees that day.

        • 0 avatar

          What brand of bottled water he bought do you know? It is very important because if it was not a European brand then I do not know, what’s the world coming to. I would order water on Amazon. It’s more hip.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            I think it was Aquafina. This particular guy spends big money on cars, but he’s cheap with everything else. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bought his clothes at Walmart too.

            I do have some billionaire and super wealthy (as in 100’s of millions) friends. One drinks Pellegrino and the other likes Smartwater. The smart water drinker is into cheap $9 per bottle wine too. She’s a cheap date. Really down to earth for an A (or maybe B) list celebrity. I think my non-superwealthy friends are into more expensive drinks than my wealthier friends.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      @Hummer:

      “Would anyone buying a $40k NEW VW ever even go to Walmart? I don’t think these demographics mix”

      Oh, you would be absolutely wrong. Affluent consumers are affluent at least partly because they don’t feel the need to overspend.

      Lots of big luxe autos in the parking lots at Target and Wally World.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Lots”?
        That’s quite a bit different than “not zero”.

        Also, “because they don’t feel the need to overspend” and “fancy Euro luxury car” doesn’t exactly match up.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I wouldn’t call a typical VW buyer affluent, rather, like Audi, consumers that want the image of looking affluent. Those that want to “look” the part certainly aren’t going to be seen at somewhere like Walmart.

        Actual affluent consumers probably know better than to go to a VW dealer. Probably more affluent consumers driving Avalons, Suburbans, and F150s than VWs.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Fact is a lot of people who have money do shop at WalMart, I’ve seen lots of new cars worth more than a measly $40K at my local store.

      Yes I’m not ashamed to admit that I shop there, fact is there is no cheaper or convenient place for me to get auto supplies like oil, oil filters, washer fluid, wiper blades, wheel cleaner ect.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      First, 40K isn’t really all that high for a car these days. Don’t act like that’s Rolls Royce money, or VW is a RR brand.

      2nd, when you need a fast charge you need a fast charge. Most of the people stopping at these are probably on a road trip so they’ll end up at one of those restaurants near the Wal-mart for an hour while they top off.

      EVs are going to be weird, logistically. Locals will just charge at home so these fast charge stations will probably be pretty empty looking, yet also really important because they have to exist to make EVs a useable replacement for ICE.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Electrify America has a convoluted DC-oriented pricing structure which is state-dependent. It’s primarily for CCS or CHAdeMO fast charging and would be interesting to see how it compares with the cost of using a Tesla Supercharger.

    And besides being pricey, constantly fast charging a battery (any battery) will more quickly degrade the amount of charge it will hold and the subsequent range.

    Frankly, EA doesn’t seem to be very cost-effective, particularly for the much more common (and slower) J-1772 AC charging systems. For the AC systems, good old ChargePoint still seems like the charging station market leader.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “For the AC systems, good old ChargePoint still seems like the charging station market leader.”

      That will change soon. Shell and the other oil companies are getting into charging. Shell bought one of the smaller networks, but it probably won’t be long before they start deploying them at their gas stations. Especially with the Toyota announcement.

      “And besides being pricey, constantly fast charging a battery (any battery) will more quickly degrade the amount of charge it will hold and the subsequent range.”

      That’s becoming less of an issue as the electrode coating materials have improved. I myself have 83k miles on a Leaf battery with hundreds of quick charges and still all twelve bars. Only single digit percentage loss in range so far. Tesloop has had good success with their cars as well. Newer batteries should be even better. All the manufacturers have been rolling in improvements on a regular basis.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        Some interesting points. That’s a lot of miles for a Leaf. Is it an old one and do you live in an area where the temperature can be described as routinely hot? It was the early Leafs that were driven in hot climates that experienced the most battery degradation. The problem seems to have improved but I still wouldn’t own a Leaf that had spent most of its life in a hot climate area, especially one that was more than a few years old.

        But, yeah, Tesla seems to be the leader in minimizing battery degradation, which is no small feat considering how fast they can charge at a Supercharger.

        Then there’s that Shell versus ChargePoint thing. EV batteries, even the fastest charging Teslas, take substantially longer to charge than filling a gas tank. So, unless those Shell charge stations are located near a place where someone is likely to spend some time patronizing a business like, say, a shopping mall, restaurant, or motel, I can’t see them being used anywhere near as much as the ChargePoints, many of which are value-added (as in ‘gratis’) installations near places exactly as described.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          The car isn’t that old (only 5 years) and has the “lizard” battery. But yeah, the battery is kept in a cooler climate and garaged. Most of the time, I only use the upper 50% of the battery. The majority of the driving has been on cruise control and discharge rate is at about 4.2 to 4.6 kWh/mile. So, it’s had an easy life. According to the car, it’s had 292 quick charges and 3979 level 2’s. I usually limit quick charges to what I need to make it to my destination with some padding. Typically, it’s only a 20% to 40% boost so it’s usually not a full charge from empty. Next car will be 300+ miles range, so I don’t expect to ever need a quick charge.

          A lot of the Shell stations near me sell food, including hot food, so it’s perfect for them. Like I said, for many EV drivers, a quick charge won’t be from empty to full and might be closer to gas station fill times than you might think. You also find yourself spending most of the time dealing with emails, so you’re not always getting food or hitting the bathroom.

          My idea for charging stations in the future for city or apartment dwellers is to place charging stations at laundromats. With increased range cars coming (they might be breaking the 400-mile mark soon) charging would be a once a week thing. Perfect to combine with laundry.

          It’s going interesting to find out what made Toyota move their EV plans ahead by 5 years. They’ve been filing a lot of solid-state patents and I’m wondering if they finally had a significant breakthrough. Something happened to get them to change their plans and that’s my best guess.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        Gas stations still have signs warning you not to use your cell phone while fueling your car, because a spark from your phone might ignite gas vapors.
        This has happened, most likely, a total of zero times.
        But charging electric cars at a gas station? Sure, no problem!

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Electrify America uses J-1772 AC charging and CCS fast charging. You would need an adapter for CHAdeMO. The CCS plugs are themselves variants of J-1772 sockets that ad two DC charging pins below.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Correction. Most locations do have CHAdeMO plugs as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Not at the one they are finishing up near me, each of the 3 large stations have one CCS and one CHAdeMO plug and there is a 4th smaller station that has one J-1772.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        MBella: I was just going from the EA website, which seems to explicitly say they’ve got wide use of both CCS and CHAdeMO, and lists J-1772 Level 2 almost as an afterthought.

        mcs: Listing Shell stations as a place to relax and enjoy some hot food while waiting for an EV to recharge is a bit of a stretch. Yeah, some may have it, but they’re still convenience stores, not regular, sit-down (or even fast-food) restaurants. OTOH, if Shell stations double-up with McD’s, Wendys, KFC, et al, that’s a whole different story.

        The 400-mile range on a single, reasonable time charge BEV would definitely go a long way to bringing EVs into the mainstream. Even the current ~240 mile range EVs still don’t really cut it for long-distance travel. I once took a Volt on a cross-country drive and, with a combined range of around 280 miles, it was a PIA.

        But 400 miles, with a recharge time of ~30 minutes? That could make an EV the only vehicle for the general auto buyer a real possibility, as opposed to having an EV as a second, city-only car.

        And there’s also a huge caveat even with the 400-mile EV, and that’s being assured that you’ve got plenty of range to make it to the next charge station, as well as the station even being available. We’re talking some real problems if someone plans a trip from a charge station to the next charge station, only to find the charger broken or occupied by someone else.

        And, yeah, Toyota is definitely the wild-card in the EV race. I thought it very odd that the company that single-handedly brought hybrid vehicles into the mainstream has seemingly fallen by the wayside as virtually every other manufacturer has marched forward with solid plug-in advances. Even the usual also-ran South Koreans seem to be ahead of Toyota in EV technology. And it’s telling that, not long ago, Toyota opened up their Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) technology, free, to anyone who wants it.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Around here were have a couple of Shells with a Wendy’s attached and a there are a couple of Chevrons with an attached McDonald’s. Most of them have a shared lobby entrance and bathrooms, and also have a dedicated entrance for each.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          ” being assured that you’ve got plenty of range to make it to the next charge station, as well as the station even being available.”

          You can check the status of the stations on various apps. Nowadays where I live, there are plenty of backups if your prime target is down. Tesla has a CCS adapter coming so you have a wide choice of charging locations.

          Right now, a Model 3 long range would probably take about 30 minutes to put in 250 miles of range. For me, that’s 3.5 hours of driving. A 30-minute break after 200 to 250 miles was about what I was doing back when I took long trips by car.

          One of the dynamics in range and charging times that gets overlooked is the weight of the batteries and the improvements being made in that area. As their weight drops (upper 100’s Wh/kg on Leaf 1, 260 Wh/kg Model 3, 300 Wh/kg current CATL, & everyone is aiming at 500 Wh/kg soon), the vehicle weight drops (maybe 300+ lbs for a Model 3 LR) and less battery capacity is needed for a given range. So, without even increasing the power of charging stations, gains in charging speed will happen. More efficient motors like Tesla’s Model 3 Hallbach Array motors are helping too. With smaller batteries for a given range, costs drop as well.

          • 0 avatar
            rudiger

            A few months ago, Car and Driver did a comparison between the Chevy Bolt and Hyundai Kona EV. While they liked the Kona better, they didn’t recommend either, simply due to the unreliability of finding an available charging station, even using the most current apps and search tools (and this was while driving along the West Coast, too). When they would get to a charge station, most times, it would be blocked, not working, etc.

            Simply put, until the EV charging infrastructure improves significantly, BEVs, even those with a solid range and relatively short recharge time, still aren’t ready for the mainstream.

          • 0 avatar
            toxicroach

            The fast charger I tried to hit a few months ago had been requisitioned by a Tesla as their private parking spot even though he couldn’t even use the station.

            Having a backup is nice. The apps don’t know everything.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Toyota always seems to be thinking conservatively and way ahead. They saw that Lithium batteries are not a feasible solution long term. Look at those other manufacturers having to cut back and delay their EV plans because it’s not possible to get enough battery cells. Everyone is ramping up their fuel cell development. It was last year where Toyota was being laughed at for continuing with fuel cell development while others focused on EVs.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The only way to help Walmart’s image would be to sell a controlling interest to Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffet’s position in ‘Dollar’ stores that combine low prices with high unit costs is the reason the muppets have been brainwashed to stop Walmart whenever possible. They make bulk pricing available to the working poor, and that’s why idiocy has been weaponized against them.

  • avatar

    To comment on the demographic “disparity”: everybody gets hungry and could (and would) be tempted to buy a soft drink and snack. Since many Wally Worlds now do on site baking, many have delis and hot food, the demo disparity with EV owners is not as big a deal as it may have been otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “many have delis and hot food”

      You mean the Subway and Burger King at the entrances? Or do you mean the corndogs and chicken fires under the heat lamps by the registers?

      • 0 avatar

        More referring to the store “branded” items. Quality definitely varies from store to store so point taken. One local store that is along my commute has many items offered in a dedicated food area – very much like the similar area in a more upscale grocery store. Fried food is fried food so another point taken. I’ve found fairly good alternatives in store if that is what one seeks. I’ve also seen the Walmart version of Little Ceasars’ “Hot to Go” pizzas. (I used to work part time in a “mid-sized” super Wally.)There are some stores that do a good job in food prep, some not so much. Largely depends on the management and it’s ability to inspire those folks in the food area.

        More to my point, even if those charging would not normally shop a Wally World, the stores do offer some items those folks may still be attracted to and would purchase – food being one such item.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      When I got my EV, and a local fast food joint offered quick (and Type 2) charging to customers for free, I ate there every once in a while even though before I bought my EV I basically never ate there.

      Currently with my PHEV I still frequent stores I usually wouldn’t if they offer free charging, and often choose my restaurant based on proximity of charging stations. This even though I don’t really need to charge since my car is a PHEV, I drive very short distances daily, I can charge at home, and a few litres of gasoline doesn’t cost much (even though here it’s hugely taxed).

  • avatar
    The_Guru

    Just you wait. All those charging stations will be filled. Everyone I know who owns an EV shops at swanky Walmart.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    One fatal flaw with this plan. Look at the pictures again. That’s a long hike for the average Walmart customer to hike to get to the front door. I’ve seen people stop and wait for a spot when an open spot is 3-4 spots away (I’ll take that, thank you!)

    To paraphrase the comedian Dennis Miller about obesity – “I’m pretty sure anything under 300 pounds doesn’t trigger the automatic door sensor at Walmart.”

    (Total disclosure – I despise Walmart. I loathe Walmart. The only thing that would improve Walmarts would be a mushroom cloud over them…)

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      If you despise wal-mart, you must absolutely loathe Amazon with a passion.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        I shop as much local business as I can. I don’t like what Walmart morphed into by blowing up what Sam Walton created and the original mission of Buy and Sell American goods. That, and setting up shop at the fringes of small and medium sized towns, undercutting the existing businesses, and then hiring on the people who just lost their businesses to Walmart. But the market has spoken, Walmart won, and I’m glad to see them finally realizing that charging stations in the hinterlands of their 100 acre parking lots is what the market wants. Besides, your car will be fully charged by the time you get through the mile-long checkout line.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        You DO actually love Wal-Mart, but your brain calls it Target. Same store, slightly different advertising

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that you’ve never owned a plug-in EV. If you had, you’d find out, very quickly, that EV charge stations located near business entrances are actually a detriment. As it currently stands, the likelihood of receiving a hefty fine for a non-EV parking in a designated EV charging station spot (which is similar to parking in a disabled spot without a proper designation) is virtually nihl.

      Consequently, there are lots of what is known as ‘ICE-blocking’ going on, where a non-EV cretin parks in an EV place simply because it’s close to the entrance. Lots of non-charging EVs (including hybrids) do it, too. Unfortunately, the rationale behind putting an EV charge station close to an entrance is purely economic; it’s a whole lot cheaper to run the least amount of electrical wiring that way.

      So, having an EV charge station ‘away’ from the entrance is actually a benefit since it reduces the chances of blocking. In that regard, locating Walmart charge stations a bit away from the entrance is actually a good thing (not to mention giving any short-armed fatty EV drivers some much needed exercise).

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        They have been working on charging stations at my local Walmart for the last 5 months, they still don’t have them up and running. However they are near the entrance, right after the disabled spots.

        There were also a number of other spaces (6?, 7?) that were lost thanks to a big fenced in area for the other equipment.

        At least the ones at our store were designed by someone with a clue. They are all front and center of the space. They way the pictured ones are set up some drivers are going to have to back in, not something everyone is able or comfortable doing.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Our local Walmarts have numerous pre-order-and-pick-up parking places, each and every one of which stay empty all day long.
          They didn’t realize that shopping is the American woman’s pastime.
          Men try to shop efficiently, and want to get in, grab their stuff and get out.
          Neither of those fit the model of people who shop online and then drive to Walmart to have someone who can’t find a job anywhere but Walmart put their purchases in their car.
          People who shop on line use Ebay, Amazon and the like, and their stuff shows up at the front door.
          Walmart does this only because their competition is doing this. I’d bet good money that those parking spots will be designated for something else within a year.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @rudiger: That’s definitely true. Close-in and they get ICE’d. If they are close, I’ve also noticed EV drivers that probably don’t really need a charge will plug-in for the convenient space. I’ve seen some drivers that blatantly don’t even bother to plug in.

        • 0 avatar
          rudiger

          Before the ‘Americans With Disabilities Act’ (ADA) of 1990, non-disabled vehicles taking disabled spots was much more of a problem. But, after the ADA was enacted, suddenly, getting ticketed and/or towed became much more prevalent to the point where, today, you rarely see a non-disabled vehicle in a disabled spot. Of course, it’s also a whole lot easier to get a disabled designation now, too.

          The bottom line is that, until ticketing/towing of non-charging vehicles in EV spots becomes as widespread as it is for the same infraction with disabled spots, it’s going to be a problem, especially when EV chargers are installed in the most convenient locations.

          And then there’s the problem of EVs taking advantage of free chargers. It’s one thing to use a free charger for an hour or two but some EVs can take eight hours to recharge a depleted battery. I’ve seen plenty of high-dollar Teslas (including Model S and X) sitting at free chargers for long periods of time, whether they’re actually charging or not.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          This is strangely common, even in parking spots that aren’t right by the door and there are similar non-charging spots available!

          Actually I’ve been blocked from charging more often by EVs and PHEVs that aren’t plugged in than by ICEs!!

  • avatar
    mcs

    The oil companies are moving into the charging business and will more than likely dominate it.

    https://www.cspdailynews.com/fuels/shell-buys-us-ev-charging-solutions-business

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’ve worked with EA folks since they installed the test site near the VW NA HQ in Reston. And from the beginning they have been a serious group of people determined to get things up and running.
    We’re working with them right now with the location at Walmart in Tysons Corner and they are more than willing to try things out of the ordinary to get the services installed.
    I’ve been impressed by how serious they are taking things and how little they seem phased by how they got into the charging station business.

    This is in contrast to the folks we’ve worked with for the Tesla stations. They generally trend much younger, wear stylish clothes during on-site meetings, and are more concerned about small details that can derail a project for months. There’s more of a lack of urgency with Tesla.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    This is great. So while you’re waiting for your new $75K Audi E-Tron to charge, you can wander in and pick up a $39 microwave oven and a particle-board entertainment unit for $89.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    If this pic is a typical installation (and I assume it is, WM isn’t going to forfeit the close-in convenient slots to these rarely used charge points) it’s gonna be a long walk to go take a p*ss, especially in bad weather. Maybe they need some porta johns adjacent.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      As mentioned above, the ones at my local WalMart are right next to the disabled spaces near the entrance and thankfully are not a stupid set up like this that requires people to back in for 1/2 the stations. And yeah of all the WalMarts in the greater vicinity the one closest to me is the one farthest away from any main interstate corridor.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        It will be interesting to see who wins the # of charging stations. Last I heard, Tesla has like 3 V3 supercharger stations. They’ve gone back and forth offering free charging, a feeble attempt to throttle the amount of charging, etc. I just think the most charging stations with an adequate charge rate will win.

        Tesla has consistently over promised and under delivered with the stations based on their SEC filings. I’m sure it’s a drag on earnings. Perhaps they will blow this quarter up and get back to building and stop rolling out 8-bit games on their screens.

        • 0 avatar
          rudiger

          Those Tesla V3 charging stations are some high-power units. Tesla calls them the ‘1000 MPH Chargers’. More accurately, they charge at 900 mph but I guess 1000 sounds better than 900.

          Anyway, they have to use thick-diameter coolant cords to keep the heat down. Additionally, as a Tesla vehicle on the highway is approaching the station, the vehicle has to actually ‘condition’ the battery to be in the most optimal status to use the V3 charger.

          But, then, when you’re trying to jam 225 miles worth of electricity into a battery in 15 minutes, well…

          And the free charging only applies to Model S bought before November, 2018. No more free charging for anyone else (unless you buy the free charging package).

  • avatar

    The Tesla superchargers near me are installed in strip malls as far as possible from the stores very similar to this.

  • avatar
    Mach 1

    Whoah, that’s ironic, I just got home from my local Wally World and walking to the store I admired another Tesla 3. Waiting to check out and placing my Equate products on the check out belt, I began to wonder if this owner was local or a weekend visitor(East Coast beach town)? Each time I drive by the Tesla Superchargers (8), at the convenience store I glance over to see how full it is. Happy to see more users by I’m guessing new 3 owners? A mile down the road, buried in the outdoor mall parking lot are three undetermined chargers, never used. About 4 years ago, the city put up a free two car charger station on the street near the beach, heavily used. I wonder, are they tanning while the car is charging?
    I have mixed feelings about Wal Mart but it is where I go a few times a month to stock up. I think putting chargers in their lots is a great idea. For the same reason RV owners often ‘overnight’ in the Wally lot’s, they are easy to find, free, and pretty safe. The close to store spaces are usually handicapped BUT, putting the chargers near the garden centers would work. The more people see chargers at everyday stores, the more normalized they become.

  • avatar
    TimK

    These charging stations are taking up valuable lot space normally used by the RV crowd that overnights at W-M. Might lead to Civil War II — Class A versus Model 3!

  • avatar
    arthurk45

    A misleading article which leads one to believe that VW is only installing chargers in Walmarts. They are installing chargers in several stores – Target amongst others, as well as in gas stations, Porsche dealerships, etc. The articlr fails to mention an obvious fasct – the chargingprotocol used is the worldwide CCS standard, which every automaker except Tesla uses and which at 350KW can recharge faster than a Tesla Supercharger V# (250KW) and which will shortly be increased to 450KW. VW will install 36,000 IONITY (CCS) chargers
    over the next several years. Royal Dutch Shell Exxxon Mobil, and many others will install CCS chargers in their gas stations, which is by far the most cost efficient and convenient location.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      This reminds me of the time in 2013 I tried to recharge a Volt at the VW dealership in Albuquerque. I was way out near the detail shop and asked the detail guy if I could use an outlet on a light pole at the edge of the car lot. He said, “No problem”.

      About an hour later, I got an alert saying I’d been unplugged. The general manager had come out and yanked my plug. When I told him I’d been given the okay by one of his employees, he said, “I don’t care. Don’t use my outlet”. The punchline was, as I was leaving the showroom, a salesman wanted to know if I was interested in buying a VW.

      The bottom line was that, at least in 2013, the Albuquerque VW dealership was quite a bit less interested in EV charging.

  • avatar
    mcs

    “drivers are often stuck waiting while their car recharges”

    That’s totally untrue. Often is definitely not true. Where are your sources on that! You don’t have one. For most drivers, it’s an overnight charge while at home. Even then, you’re not stuck. If you need to go somewhere and you’re at 60%, you’re good to go. You don’t have to wait. Chances are you’ll have 5% of your range and get home with 55%. Then you continue charging for the night. Most of the time, you don’t even look at the range gauge and don’t need to worry about public charging in normal daily driving. I can make a grocery run (about 6 miles r/t) without my range gauge dropping even one bar.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yes, the word on ‘being stuck’ hasn’t gotten out yet, which is why the BEV market continues to grow while everything else shrinks. /s

      The stereotypes employed in this article and the comments are breathtaking, yet predictable – as you know.

      Are you still considering the Taycan?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        First-year production numbers for the Taycan is going to be low, and who knows what the rate will be after that. That means a long wait. The other factor is that there is a developing aftermarket for the Model 3. Everything from carbon ceramic brakes, suspension, and even a replacement nose. It’ll be interesting to see how some of these upgraded Tesla Model 3’s fare against Taycans. I could get an aftermarket upgraded Model 3 performance and a daily driver Model 3 for what a Taycan with the carbon ceramics and AWD will probably cost. The Taycan better be one hell of an upgrade for that kind of money. We’ll see.

        The Leaf and that damned miracle unicorn battery are still hanging in there somehow, so it’s buying me time. I’ve seen aftermarket upgrades for that too and it might be interesting to throw some modern 260 Wh/kg cells into it when the battery finally starts losing some noticeable range. Then again, maybe a Model 3 daily driver to hold me over might be the ticket. Autopilot is just the ticket for 10 to 20 mph stop-and-go traffic. Surviving stop-and-go traffic and the supercharging network is more important to me than any fit-and-finish issues or other Tesla problems and I’ve got the Leaf to back it up.

        Wondering where the TTAC article on the Toyota announcement is. I’m really curious to know if they’ve made a breakthrough in solid-state and just aren’t saying anything. It seemed like a sudden reversal of plans and they have been filing craploads of solid-state patents. Who knows. TTAC is probably waiting for an announcement from some analyst that Tesla is doomed because of Toyota’s entry into the market before writing the article.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Toyota’s sudden announcement is curious. Except for the Mirai and the earliest Prius (and, well, all of Scion), I can’t remember them obviously losing money on a product.

          Their talk is big, so they must have something interesting to back it up.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    I have seen many, many Class “A” RVs parked over night in Walmart parking lots. These things are worth far more than any vehicle mentioned in the above comments.

    If you frequent the RV forums-many owners feel compelled to go in and buy supplies for the privilege of the over night parking.

    While not exactly the same-I see potential customers shopping while their vehicle is recharging-regardless of how much the vehicle costs. I have lived in the beach cities of So CAL – and you see many, many expensive cars in the parking lots of Walmart and Target.

    Not sure where these stereotypes are coming from where those that drive high end cars-don’t shop at discount retailers.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Not sure where these stereotypes are coming from where those that drive high end cars-don’t shop at discount retailers.”

      I live in central Florida and I’ve even worked for Wal-Mart from 2011-2013. I can honestly say that I did/do not regularly see high-end cars parked at the store.

      Now this doesn’t mean that I *never* see something like a newer 7-Series around, but on both a gross and percentage basis fancier vehicles would be at alternative places.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The reality is that some people who have money do because they are careful how they spend their money. I needed some new Headlights, looked them up on the Silvania website and clicked on their buy it option which pulled up the places to get them in my area. The Orielly’s had them for $51.99 while the WalMart had them for $44.88. Sure the almost $8 after taxes isn’t going to go that far, but add that up over a number of items and it is real money.

      Fact is that overall poor people end up paying more than rich people and that helps to keep them poor.

      Many many years ago I worked as a sales rep and called on grocery and convenience stores. My territory covered some of the poorest neighborhoods and some of the richest. The number of poor people who do regular shopping at a convenience store, even when there is a grocery store right across the street is amazing. I still remember one that was right across the corner from a Safeway. The owner did great business going over to Safeway, buying meat, like hamburger and steak, bringing back across the street, putting his price tag over the top and making good money at it.

      Yes there are a lot of things I won’t buy at WalMart but when it is the exact same name brand item and I’m saving a buck or two then I’m going to Wallyworld and keeping that money in my pocket.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    120 charging stations. Golly, what progress!

    –This, of course, is the number of gas pumps in a three block stretch on most suburban boulevards.

  • avatar
    AtoB

    “The smart water drinker is into cheap $9 per bottle wine too. She’s a cheap date. ”

    Still wasting money though.

    Tap water is *almost* free. Anyone with hundreds of millions of dollars lying around will live in an area where the tap water is just fine, especially if its charcoal filtered. Tap water is FAR more ecologically friendly too.

    As to the wine its not to hard to find a $3 bottle of wine that can easily stand up to a $20+ bottle. The difference is more $3 wines suck than $20+ wines. Not a big deal, at $3/bottle its easy to sample a lot to find what you like. The latter is the key, knowing what YOU like and not what others tell you to like. Usually those others are trying to sell you the $20+ bottle.

    If OTOH you meant $20 restaurant prices that’s a different story. $20 is about as cheap as restaurant wines get.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      About a dozen years ago, two buck chuck won the blind chardonnay tasting at the California Wine Festival(IIRC – might have been California State Fair Wine Competition or something similar). A few years earlier, their Shiraz beat out 2,300 more expensive wines at the 28th Annual International Eastern Wine Competition. The problem with these now-$3 a bottle wines is that you never know what you’ll get. Some 2006 Charles Shaw Chardonnay may have been fantastic, but there aren’t vineyards growing grapes for Charles Shaw. They buy whatever is over produced and cheaply available. One batch of wine may be fine, and the next one will give you a debilitating hangover if you have three glasses.

      https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1963794


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