The smart car industry is in full swing, and everyone wants a piece of it, but this time the identity of the new players is special. On March 15, Starbucks officially announced that it has entered the electric vehicle power business, partnering with Volvo to build a DC charging network. The joint project has taken a leading position in the United States. The plan calls for the charging network between Starbucks and Volvo to be built in the 15 Starbucks stores between Seattle and Denver, with 15 charging stations and a total of 60 ChargePoint DC Fast chargers.

The charging network covers a range of 1,350 miles (about 2,173 kilometers), and each charging station is about 100 miles (about 161 kilometers) apart, so it can meet the needs of almost any electric vehicle currently on the market.

Starbucks Static Map

The charging station project will begin this summer and be completed by the end of the year. Volvo will be responsible for supplying the hardware for the charging stations. They will be installed by ChargePoint, a U.S. provider of charging networks for electric vehicles.

According to Volvo, all charging stations are equipped with ChargePoint DC Fast chargers. In terms of charging speed, for example, it takes 40 minutes to charge the battery of Volvo’s all-electric C40 Recharge model with a capacity of 75-78 kWh from 20% to 90%.

At the same time, the charging network is completely free for Volvo owners. All Volvo Recharge owners need to do is use Google Navigation in the vehicle and the ChargePoint app in the cockpit to complete the charging process. In addition, Volvo said that the charging network is also fully open to other car owners, of course, owners of non-Volvo vehicles can not enjoy the free benefits.

Starbucks also announced it will continue to expand its investment in new energy in the future, promising that by 2030 all Starbucks charging stations will use solar energy as a power source.

Large retail chains like Starbucks have unique advantages in relying on the store network to get a piece of the pie in the era of smart vehicles, especially when electric vehicles are not as efficient as gasoline vehicles. On the one hand, OEMs or third-party charging station providers rely on the chain’s existing network of mature stores to provide ready-made locations and plans for charging stations. On the other hand, chain stores can also benefit from the traffic and increase their sales. Any way you look at it, it’s a good business model.

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