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Fast Food Finds a New Menu Item: EV Charging Stations

June 4, 2023

If you’re on a road trip and have an EV, there’s good news. Several fast-food restaurants now offer EV charging stations.

Taking an EV on a road trip can be stressful due to “charge anxiety.” But with the availability of charging stations at fast-food joints like Chipotle, customers can fuel their cravings and their cars.

Accessing charging stations at more locations, including popular fast-food joints, eases the fear of taking long trips.

Here are some fast-food restaurants that have met the needs of EV owners:

Chipotle’s Eco-Friendly Dining Experience

Chipotle is going green in a big way. The popular Mexican chain now offers free EV charging at many of their locations.

Hungry for a burrito while road tripping in your electric vehicle? No problem, just swing by Chipotle. They’ve installed EV chargers at restaurants across the country. While you fill up your belly with guacamole and carnitas, they’ll fill up your battery.

Chipotle doesn’t stop there. They recently opened two fully sustainable “Responsible Restaurants” powered entirely by renewable energy like solar and wind. EV chargers are available at these eco-friendly eateries too. Locations are now open in Virginia and Florida. A third will open in Colorado next summer.

By 2024, Chipotle plans to have over 100 all-electric restaurants nationwide. They’ve always kept their menu affordable and ingredients sustainable. Now they’re making dining out convenient for EV drivers and helping create a greener future for us all. One burrito and charging station at a time.

Taco Bell Embraces EV Charging Stations

Taco Bell wants to fuel your electric vehicle and fill your stomach. The fast food chain is adding EV charging stations to restaurants across California.

In October, Taco Bell opened their first location with fast chargers. Another 120 California spots will soon follow. With government funding available, that number should grow nationwide.

Taco Bell’s target customers, 18 to 34-year-olds, are also interested in EVs. Over half of young adults want an electric vehicle. And since many live in apartments without charging, Taco Bell’s plan is ideal.

As ChargeNet’s CEO says, “About half of our locations are in marginalized communities across California, providing charging access to people who may not have the luxury of a home charging station. We are out to democratize EV charging across California and beyond.”

While Taco Bell is typically open late, their charging stations and menu will now be available 24/7. For EV drivers needing a charge and craving a cheesy gordita crunch at 2 am, Taco Bell has you covered. They’re fueling a greener future, one taco and kilowatt at a time.

Subway

Subway wants to give EV drivers more than just a charge and dash. They’re creating full “charging oases” with extras like playgrounds, green spaces and WiFi.

Subway with an EV charging station

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Teamming with GenZ EV Solutions, Subway will offer canopies, tables, bathrooms and amenities at charging sites. With meal options for everyone, these oases should boost customer satisfaction and profits.

Subway chose fast chargers that provide 120 miles of range in just 17 minutes. Plenty of time for a footlong sub and a chance to relax.

Rather than a basic charging station, Subway envisioned a welcoming place for families and travelers to unwind. Their charging oases provide a spot to eat, connect and recharge—both your vehicle and yourself.

By upgrading the charging experience, Subway hopes to gain loyal EV driving customers. Their plan may just transform a quick charge into an enjoyable, frequent pit stop. A bold move that could position Subway at the head of the fast food EV charging pack.

7-Eleven

They launched 7Charge, a network of chargers that work with an app or credit card.

7-Eleven with an EV charger station

7-Eleven will staff the 24-hour charging stations so help is always available. The chargers work for most EVs, including Teslas with an adapter.

As CEO Joe DePinto says, “For over 95 years, 7-Eleven has innovated to meet our customers’ needs — delivering convenience where, when and how they want it. Now, we are innovating once again to meet our customers where they are…to provide EV drivers convenience of the future…today.”

After 95 years of serving customers, 7-Eleven continues to adapt. Their 7Charge plan is the latest way they’re evolving to meet shoppers’ needs. By offering round-the-clock charging and support, 7-Eleven made EV charging as convenient as grabbing a Slurpee.

For EV drivers, stopping at 7-Eleven just got more useful. While refueling your vehicle, you can now also refuel yourself with a coffee or hot dog. By bringing fast charging and familiar favorites together under one canopy, 7-Eleven may have created the ultimate one-stop charging oasis. The convenience of the future, delivered today.

McDonald’s

The original fast food chain, McDonald’s, is still leading the way. In 2009, they opened the first green restaurant with EV chargers, eco-friendly materials and sustainable practices.

Now McDonald’s is bringing chargers to more locations, starting with 41 in California. Powered by Blink, the chargers are open to all but Blink app users get extra perks like discounts.

Over a decade ago, McDonald’s saw the future of charging coming. Their North Carolina restaurant was ahead of its time incorporating sustainability in so many ways.

Today they continue to drive progress by expanding access to fast food and fast charging. While a Big Mac meal charges your belly, Blink will charge your batteries. It’s innovation through collaboration, with McDonald’s, Blink and customers all benefitting.

By choosing a partner like Blink, McDonald’s made fast charging as quick and convenient as their drive-thru. For customers, using the Blink app boosts the experience with rewards and savings on top of a full charge. It’s a win-win for EV drivers eager to grab a hot meal and some added range.

Though other restaurants now follow suit, McDonald’s was the first fast food chain to charge into an eco-friendly future. And they remain at the forefront, continuing to shape sustainable practices and meet the changing needs of customers and the planet. Their charging expansion and Blink partnership prove that when it comes to EV readiness, McDonald’s is still leading the way.

Burger King

Burger King teamed up with Blink in 2020 to offer Level 2 charging at 10 New England restaurants. Blink owns the chargers, reducing costs for Burger King. It’s a win for both, giving customers more convenience at little expense.

By 2030, Burger King aims for an all-EV fleet in at least 16 states. They’ll provide staff to help roll out chargers and transition locations.

When Burger King chose Blink, they gained chargers and expertise at a bargain. Blink handles the equipment and installation while the iconic chain simply provides space and a boost to their green image. It’s a minimal investment for maximum impact.

For the planet, Burger King’s EV goals are a step toward a more sustainable future. For customers, it means enjoying your Whopper while topping off your battery. And with staff on hand to support the transition, Burger King will make that future as hassle-free as ordering at the drive-thru.

Though starting small, Burger King’s partnership proves they’re serious about an EV-ready fleet and customer experience. While 10 restaurants may seem minor, it represents major progress for a chain of their size and scope. By letting Blink take the lead on charging, Burger King can now focus on what they do best—serving up tasty burgers and expanding EV access one restaurant at a time.

Starbucks

Starbucks is fueling more than just early mornings. They’re installing fast chargers at 15 locations between Seattle and Denver, teaming up with Volvo and ChargePoint.

Now EV road trippers can recharge over a coffee, knowing another station awaits down the road. With a charger roughly every 100 miles of the 1,350 mile route, Starbucks eliminates range anxiety.

As their Chief Sustainability Officer says, “Access to EV charging should be as easy as getting a great cup of coffee – and now, it can be. We look forward to continuing this partnership with Volvo and ChargePoint, exploring new ways to enhance the Starbucks Experience and inviting customers on our journey to become a resource-positive company.”

For Starbucks, it’s about improving the customer experience and sustainability. By offering charging and coffee along a scenic drive, they made the journey more inviting and eco-friendly. And with Volvo and ChargePoint, Starbucks found ideal partners to help reach their goals.

Thanks to Starbucks, that mountain getaway or Pacific Northwest escape just got more attainable for EV adventurers. ChargePoint provides the expertise and equipment to power the dream, while Volvo and Starbucks supply the vehicles and caffeine to fuel it. Together, they created a win-win for businesses and EV drivers alike. One that proves every long journey starts with a single charge. And for Starbucks customers, a perfect cup of coffee.

Are you interested in learning more about EV charging infrastructure?

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