Walmart to Install EV Chargers at Thousands of Stores by 2030

Walmart intends to own and operate its own charging network to let you recharge while you shop.

byLewin Day|
Electric Vehicles photo

As EVs become more mainstream, demand for public charging points continues to rise. Walmart is planning to get in on the action by rolling out chargers across its retail stores.

As covered by CNBC, the company is intending to pursue a major rollout of EV chargers at Walmart and Sam's Club locations across the US. The company's fast-charging network will leverage the fact that it has retail locations within 10 miles of 90% of Americans.

It's unclear precisely how many chargers Walmart plans to install, but it's stated "thousands" of its locations will get charging stations by 2030. The company operates 4,700 Walmart stores and 600 Sam's Club warehouses across the US.

This isn't Walmart's first rodeo, though. The big box retailer has previously rolled out chargers to some stores. Presently, 280 Walmart-owned locations feature a total of almost 1,300 chargers built in partnership with companies like EVgo and Electrify America.

However, that pales in regards to the scale of the new rollout, which hopes to offer charging in rural, suburban, and urban areas. The company believes that offering customers charging in a "clean, bright and safe location" will help spur EV adoption.

At this stage, it's early days, with Walmart on the hunt for suppliers to work with on the rollout. On average, the company plans to install four chargers per location. Notably, the retailer intends to both own and operate the charging stations itself. Given the poor reliability of many existing charging networks, this could be an intentional choice to avoid frustrating experiences for customers.

It's a decision that makes a whole lot of sense. Being able to get a charge while shopping or grabbing a meal is much preferable to simply waiting around in a highway lay-by. After all, anywhere that involves parking up for a period of time is a potential candidate for convenient charging.

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The key will be whether or not Walmart invests not only in chargers, but upkeep and maintenance, too. The last thing the world needs is another network of EV chargers that never actually work when you need them. Walmart could hardly do worse than the established players in the market, though, so color us hopeful.

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