Charge right down the street

This isn’t too much of a surprise:

Volkswagen’s ongoing penance for its diesel-emission scandal includes a serious investment in the United States’ EV charging infrastructure.

I did not, however, see this coming:

Electrify America (a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group) has announced it will be partnering with Walmart to install electric charging stations at 100 stores in 34 states across America. That way you can help save the environment while you’re stocking up on plastic cups and single-serve coffee pods that will end up being dumped into the ocean.

However, you can’t fault VW for that. It’s not the automaker’s fault citizens of the world think they can offset rampant consumer waste by purchasing an electric car. Besides, this is a wildly shrewd move on the part of both Volkswagen and Walmart. The store wins because the sites will be located near highways, encouraging low-charge automobiles to pull over and spend time shopping while their vehicle takes on electrons. Volkswagen wins because it has to do this in the first place and has a lot to gain by building a relationship with one of the biggest retailers in North America — if not the whole world.

Plus there is untold value in setting up charging stations in a place people are likely to frequent. That takes away some of the fears associated with range anxiety, and might just convince some shoppers to go electric. It’s a genius-level play, at least until e-commerce gets to a point where none of us ever leave the house.

And if there’s anything at all to those stories about Walmart’s checkout staffing, or lack thereof, you’ll almost certainly leave the store with at least 50 percent on the battery meter.


  1. fillyjonk »

    19 April 2018 · 3:56 pm

    Yeah, and they’ll take away yet more close-in parking for this, so those of us who don’t have electric cars will, on busy days, have to park a half-mile from the store and I can guar-an-damn-tee you in my little town that at MOST one of those stations will ever be in use.

    Then again, we might not get them, seeing as we don’t have the “order online, drive up to pick up” option yet.

  2. McGehee »

    19 April 2018 · 4:28 pm

    I’m thinking the Walmart in Riverton, Wyoming won’t be one of the 100. — even if there were an interstate highway running past the store.

  3. jsallison »

    19 April 2018 · 9:29 pm

    The old ‘if there are 3 or more people in line we’ll open another checkout’ died when Sam Walton did.

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    19 April 2018 · 11:16 pm

    […] Dustbury: Charge Right Down The Street […]

  5. nightfly »

    20 April 2018 · 3:26 pm

    The outlet mall nearest my home has a small lot dedicated to charging stations, all set up by Tesla. Yup, they take up what would otherwise be prime parking (though I am relieved to note that the charging spots are further off than the handicap parking in the same sub-lot).

    Funny thing is that during the summer most of those spots are usually occupied, and I have on occasion seen the whole row filled at once. We are a tourist haven in the summer – between Memorial and Labor Day Weekends, half the town is suddenly from Brooklyn. And in some of the most affluent areas, it’s Audi minimum to drive, and it’s not uncommon to see someone dash through the local coffee shop from an idling Maserati.

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