Walmart is focusing on the buzzing electric vehicle (EV) market. The retail giant has unveiled plans to install electric vehicle charging stations in thousands of US stores by 2030.
Walmart to roll out EV charging points to all stores by 2030
Walmart has announced that it will expand its EV Fast-charging network to all its locations across the US. The retailer currently operates 1,300 EV stations at 280 locations and is currently identifying suppliers to aid in the expansion.
According to a Reuters report, the retailer plans to install around four chargers at every participating store. Walmart has previously worked with EV charger providers such as EVgo and Electrify America for its initiatives. The firm has also expanded its network significantly since 2021.
Walmart is one of the most popular brands in the US, with over 5,000 stores and Sam’s Club warehouses ten miles from each other. The expansion is in line with the growth of the EV charging infrastructure in the United States. Moreover, there are concerns about the costs, ease of use, performance, and uptime of these machines.
The senior vice president of energy transformation at Walmart, Vishal Kapadia, commented on this development, saying,
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.
A growing interest in the EV market
Walmart seeks to become one of the largest players in the EV market, which has witnessed rapid growth. In 2021, the Biden administration announced an investment of more than $7.5 billion in a federal program to support the industry’s growth and set up charging infrastructure along highways.
President Biden today unveiled a $7.5 billion plan to build half a million EV charging stations across the U.S. https://t.co/Yc26RvXinC pic.twitter.com/84Gcf4JNKc
— CNBC (@CNBC) December 13, 2021
The US is leading the global push from combustion engines to EVs. The US Environmental Protection Agency is set to publish new guidelines to support cuts in vehicle emissions pollution to enable automakers to focus more on EV sales.
According to some automakers and environmental groups, the proposal will lead to at least half of the US vehicle fleet by 2030 being EVs or plug-in hybrids. States such as California have been aggressively pushing for zero-emission vehicles. The state proposed phasing out new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
EV makers have been making changes to meet the anticipated growth in demand. The world’s largest automaker, Toyota, recently said it needed to tweak its design and manufacturing innovations to match Tesla’s. The changes are expected to lower production costs and boost the margins from its EV business.
Toyota’s new CEO unveiled the beginnings of a long-awaited plan to electrify its car lineup, with 10 new EV models by 2026 https://t.co/1LBwJ1iZbu
— Bloomberg (@business) April 7, 2023
Despite the apparent demand, EV makers face the challenge of high battery production costs. Tesla has increased battery production in the US in recent months. The EV maker made a $2.9 billion order to South Korea’s L&F for a supply of battery materials to reduce the costs of batteries and create higher margins on sales.
German automaker BMW, also looking to scoop a massive share of the EV market, recently said it planned to lower battery costs by focusing more on recycling and efficient design. BMW’s model differs from the one used by most EV makers looking to lower battery costs by investing in mines.
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