Soon you'll be able to charge your electric vehicle at your corner coffee shop. Starbucks and Volvo are partnering to build out a public EV charging network starting this summer, the companies announced Tuesday.
The network will be limited in scope — just 15 Starbucks locations to start. But the open charging network means any EV driver will be able to juice up (and caffeinate) about every 100 miles.
Volvo will work with ChargePoint, an EV charging station manufacturer based in Campbell, California, to install 60 Volvo-branded stations at locations in five states across a 1,350-mile route from Denver to Seattle, Starbucks' home city. Installation of the charging stations is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the companies said in the announcement.
“Volvo Cars wants to give people the freedom to move and lower their impact on the environment,” Anders Gustafsson, senior vice president of the Americas Region for Volvo, said in a statement. “Working with Starbucks we can do that by giving them enjoyable places to relax while their cars recharge.”
Though all EV drivers will be able to use the charging stations for a fee (which the companies have yet to announce), Volvo EV drivers will either not have to pay or will get "preferential rates."
Starbucks is historically an early tech adopter. The company was one of the first to enable in-app ordering and the ability to rack up rewards, and it was also quick to install wireless charging pads for smartphones. (Unfortunately, the timing of the installation was well before most smartphones were equipped with wireless charging capabilities.)
Meanwhile, Volvo plans to be a fully electric automaker by 2030. At an event in Miami in late February, Volvo revealed plans for five new and redesigned EVs — as well as two plug-in hybrids — that it plans to release over the next few years, according to Automotive News.
But perhaps the biggest deal here is the open nature of the ChargePoint network, which is compatible with all EVs. Though 15 locations isn't quite the national EV charging network the U.S. needs to cure range anxiety, it's a sign that Starbucks and Volvo are preparing for charging demand.