Volvo and Starbucks are teaming up on a pilot program to explore the installation of electric-vehicle charging stations at various Starbucks locations.
The pilot program will start this summer, and the chargers will be ChargePoint units.
Volvo will install up to 60 DC fast chargers (Volvo branded, naturally) at up to 15 Starbucks stores. All the stores in question will be along a 1,350-mile route from the Denver metro area to Seattle, which, of course, is where Starbucks is headquartered.
The stations will be spaced about 100 miles apart, which places them within range for most EVs.
Volvo’s marketing speak points to how a C40 Recharge owner can get his or her car juiced from 20 percent to 90 percent in about 40 minutes while enjoying an overpriced latte. Of course, the ChargePoint app can be used to find these locations.
There’s a catch, of course — while Volvo owners will get to charge either gratis or at a discount, other EV owners will have to pay up to juice up. Installation of the chargers is expected to be done by the end of the year.
“Volvo Cars wants to give people the freedom to move and lower their impact on the environment,” said Anders Gustafsson, Sr. Vice President Americas and President and CEO, Volvo Car USA, in a statement. “Working with Starbucks we can do that by giving them enjoyable places to relax while their cars recharge.”
“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, in the same statement. “Imagine a future where Starbucks helps our customers to connect — more sustainably.”
“ChargePoint is enabling accessible EV charging opportunities anywhere drivers need it,” said Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint, in the press release. “We’re excited to support Volvo Cars’ road to electrification, and help provide a premium driving experience for its customers to plan charging stops around their favorite Starbucks locations in select west coast destinations.”
We have a few questions not answered in the release. For one, will the chargers be available for use outside of the stores’ business hours? If so, will they be open 24/7 or have their own set hours of operation? Will restroom facilities be available to drivers arriving outside of store hours? Will drivers be expected to make a purchase at Starbucks?
And, finally — what plans are there for expansion?
We’ve reached out to Volvo and we will update if we hear back.
UPDATE: Volvo has replied. The chargers will be open 24/7, bathrooms won’t be available when the stores are closed, there’s no purchase necessary, and the company won’t comment on future plans.
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