U.S. retail giant Walmart plans to install “thousands” of electric vehicle fast-charging stations at its U.S. store locations by 2030, according to a statement released Thursday, helping to bolster the already growing network of charging stations.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company says it already has nearly 1,300 stations in 280 locations. The new kiosks will be adjacent to Walmart supermarkets or Sam’s Club, the group’s semi-wholesale chain. Walmart claims to have stores located within 20 miles of 90% of Americans. Walmart has just over 5,300 locations in the United States.
The distributor does not hide the fact that the initiative aims to build customer loyalty and increase the number of customers in its stores. “While they (put their vehicle to load), customers will be able to pick up their groceries or grab a bite to eat” on site, the release said.
“Easy access to charging stations is a key consideration for motorists who are hesitant to purchase an electric vehicle for fear of not finding a station in a clean, safe location,” the company says.
According to the White House, there are now three million electric vehicles in the United States and more than 132,000 charging stations in the United States. President Joe Biden’s administration has pledged to have an additional 24,000 stations at public sites by the end of the 2023/24 fiscal year.
Electric vehicles accounted for 5.8% of sales volume in 2022 in the U.S. market, nearly double the proportion recorded the previous year (3.2%), according to trade firm Cox Automotive.