- Stop & Shop has added electric vehicle charging stations outside five of its stores, allowing customers to recharge their cars at no cost while they shop, the East Coast supermarket chain announced in a press release Tuesday.
- The Ahold Delhaize banner is working with Volta Charging to install the facilities, which are equipped with video screens that display advertising, and plans to deploy 50 more charging stations at stores across its five-state footprint by the end of the year.
- Stop & Shop's arrangement with Volta comes as the Biden administration looks to encourage interest in electric vehicles among consumers and manufacturers.
The facilities Stop & Shop is putting in provide customers who drive electric cars with free access to power while simultaneously serving as prominent advertising spaces outside grocery stores. The charging stations, which are located alongside designated parking spaces, each sport a pair of digital displays and can serve two vehicles at a time.
The Volta-supplied stations Stop & Shop has already installed are located at stores in East Brunswick and Morris Plains, New Jersey; Walpole, Massachusetts; Willimantic, Connecticut; and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. On average, the facilities can provide a vehicle with enough power to travel 30 miles for every hour it is plugged in.
Stop & Shop's decision to work with Volta follows an announcement last year by sister Ahold Delhaize banner Giant Food that it would add Volta charging stations to 200 stores by mid-2021.
Retailers have emerged as key players in the effort to make access to charging facilities convenient for people who drive electric vehicles. Chains like Walmart, Wawa and Target have added charging stations to some of their stores over the past few years, reflecting the benefits for store operators, charging station suppliers and electric vehicle proponents alike of providing drivers with access to power for their cars while they shop. The presence of a charging station outside a retail location can attract new customers and encourage people to spend more time shopping than they otherwise might.
In addition, retailers stand to benefit by making charging stations available to their customers because the supply of publicly available electric power for vehicles remains in short supply, in part because of impediments like the cost of electricity, CBS News reported.
In addition to tapping power at advertising-supported charging stations, electric cars drivers can also fill their batteries by using charging networks operated by companies like EVgo and ChargePoint, which charge for their services, or by plugging in their vehicles using connections at home.