Electric-vehicle fast-charging stations are about to become a much more common sight, and site, at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across the country.
Vishal Kapadia, senior vice president of energy transformation at Walmart, said in a blog post on Thursday that Walmart plans to add EV charging stations at thousands of Walmart and Sam’s Club sites through 2030. The rollout will grow the retail giant's current network of more than 1,300 charging stations at more than 280 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,” Kapadia said. “Our goal is to meet the needs of customers and members where they live and open the road to those driving across the country. 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.”
Kapadia said Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart sees the expansion plan as part of its commitment to “live better, easier and more sustainable lives.”
The announcement comes at a time when grocers and retailers are moving quickly to install EV charging stations in their parking lots. Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger announced in mid-2021 that it was collaborating with EVgo and Tesla to install more than 350 charging stations at its stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Similarly, The Save Mart Cos. announced plans in 2022 to expand with EV charging station company EVgo, offering special promotions to customers using the stations to power their vehicles at selected locations. Meijer also launched its first fast-charging station in 2022 at locations in Michigan and Ohio.
Walmart's latest move isn’t the company’s first effort to build a network of EV charging stations. In May 2022, the retailer announced it would offer 5% back in Sam’s Cash for customers using a Sam’s Club Mastercard at eligible EV charging stations across the United States.
Kapadia said the expansion plan is Walmart’s latest investment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, the retailer announced a plan to reach zero emissions companywide by 2040.
That includes converting its fleet of vehicles powered electricity and natural gas. “To make a meaningful impact, we’re taking a meaningful approach by evaluating various attributes of three different fuel types—renewable natural gas, hydrogen and electric,” Fernando Cortes, senior vice president of transportation, wrote last year. “We’re piloting solutions not only for our over-the-road (OTR) trucks but for refrigerated trailers (also known as reefers) and yard trucks (which move trailers around in the lots), too.”
This story first appeared in CSP sister publicationWinsight Grocery Business.
Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.