Subway Wants to Create a National Electric-Vehicle Charging Network

Sandwich chain plans to add chargers at select locations, create parks featuring canopies, green space and Wi-Fi
Image courtesy of Subway

Consumers will soon be able to charge their electric vehicles while they eat a Spicy Italian.

Subway on Tuesday said it plans to add electric-vehicle chargers at select locations this year as part of a multi-year project to create larger Subway Oasis EV charging parks across the country.

The fast-food sandwich chain said the Oasis would feature charging canopies with multiple ports, picnic tables, Wi-Fi, restrooms, green space and playgrounds. The Milford, Connecticut-based company will begin rolling out smaller-format EV charging stations at select remodeled locations as a pilot project this year.

Subway is working with the Miami-based GenZ EV Solutions to help design and operate the charging network, and with Red E Charging, which will provide software for the chargers and operational expertise.

The companies are working together on the right number of charging stations and the right locations for them. Customer demand for EV charging will help guide many of these decisions, Subway said.

The proposal would make Subway one of the first major chains to create a national network of electric chargers at its locations. Starbucks is working with Volvo and ChargePoint on a network of charging stations in the western United States. A Taco Bell franchisee in California plans to open 120 charging stations at its restaurants.

The idea is an intriguing one for fast-food restaurants that might be able to generate revenue from the chargers while their customers dine at their restaurants or in their cars as they charge. “We’re constantly exploring new ways to innovate and exceed our guests' expectations for a high-quality, convenient experience,” Mike Kappitt, chief operating and insights officer for Subway, said in a statement.

He called the deal with GenZ “a win for our guests, our franchisees and our planet, creating a dedicated space for drivers to charge their vehicle while enjoying their favorite Subway sandwich.”

Subway believes it can use its “unmatched footprint” to create a network of EV charging stations, a growing need as more Americans trade their gas-powered vehicles for EVs. Franchisees operate nearly 21,000 of the chain’s sandwich shops in the U.S.

“Equitable access to charging is essential to the adoption of EVs in the future and Subway’s scale will play an important role in democratizing charging infrastructure for millions of Americans,” GenZ CEO Jose Valls said in a statement.

Subway is working with operators of traditional and nontraditional locations to identify sites for the smaller-format stations and the Oasis parks.

This story first appeared in Restaurant Business.

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