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US’ Target expands EV charging

Source: Target

More than 100 sites to gain charging access to 600 stations by 2020, under partnerships with Tesla and ChargePoint

US-based discount retailer Target is expanding its provision of EV charging infrastructure.

Announced in line with Earth Day, the brand said that it would be “accelerating” its EV programme alongside partners Tesla, ChargePoint and Electrify America. Its provision of chargers will increase from the current 18 sites in California, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas, to more than 600 equipped parking spaces at over 100 sites across more than 20 states, over the next two years. It currently operates 1,829 stores across the US.

Exactly what number of stations will be Superchargers and/or ChargePoint units, and what capacity they will have was not stated, although with the former rated up to 145 kW it’s likely that they could be around 150kW or less.

Target hopes this will help support existing EV drivers and encourage more customers to switch, in the knowledge that sufficient infrastructure will be provided for them. “Some hesitate to make the switch over worries about convenience,” the retailer said in a statement. “For example, the lack of public charging stations available, and the time it takes to charge up once they find one. So adding charging stations at Target stores—where guests can drive up, plug in, and shop while their car charges—makes a lot of sense.”

Whether these concerns over convenience are borne out in reality or not, more charging infrastructure in “destinations” like retail parks, malls and hotels will be a vital part in encouraging new uptake.

Target also does have a fairly good track record with charging stations, having set up its first units in parking lots back in 2012 with the help of ChargePoint. In 2017, it also partnered with Tesla to pilot Superchargers, a scheme which it said will be expanded this year 2018.

Meanwhile, rival Walmart announced similar plans to partner with Electrify America for the addition charging stations at more than 100 store across 34 states by mid-2019.

80% of these locations will be off-highway Walmart stores, suggesting the stations are likely to be the 350kW units announced last week. 20% of stations will be located at metro stores.

 

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