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May 16, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Electric vehicles: Volkswagen to build a huge network of chargers in the USA

Wednesday 18 April saw Volkswagen announce their plans to install hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles across the USA. Its energy subsidiary Electrify America is teaming up with Walmart stores for this project, with the two companies looking to get ahead of customer demand to meet the future needs of electric cars.

More and more drivers are opting for electric vehicles, and to meet this need, companies are being required to do more than just bring out new models – they are also investing in electric chargers to enable drivers to recharge their cars anywhere around the world.

To this end, Volkswagen is set to build an immense network of electric charging stations in the USA, announcing on Wednesday 18 April that they would be installing several hundred chargers around the country by the following year, in partnership with US retail giant Walmart, according to French website Numerama.


Immense network of chargers


This new network of charging stations is similar to the Superchargers that Tesla has implanted across the country. 2,000 chargers will be installed in 500 stations across 34 states by June 2019. 80% of the chargers will be close to highways to enable drivers to travel from one major city to another without running out of battery. The other 20% will be in urban areas.

Electrify America, which is Volkswagen’s energy subsidiary, is looking to invest USD 2 billion in infrastructure, USD 800 million of which will go into California alone. The subsidiary has teamed up with Walmart for this project, with Mark Vanderhelm, who is the latter’s vice-president of energy and waste, telling Reuters: "We recognise that electric vehicles are going to increase and take up more and more of the market, so we are trying to get ahead of the curve".


Charge up while you shop


Walmart were not chosen as partners by chance. The retail chain already has chargers close to some of its stores and is looking to house as many stations as possible in strategic locations to boost their sales.

"The expansion of Walmart charging infrastructures with our ultra-rapid technology will give users a quick and simple way of charging their cars while they shop at Walmart," said Mark NcNabb, CEO of Electrify America.


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