California Could See More EV Chargers In Fast Food Parking Lots Thanks To ChargeNet

ChargeNet has raised $6.2 million from local investors to expand its network of EV charging stations at fast food restaurants across California, dot.LA reports. Aligned Climate Capital led the funding, and another investor included the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which incubates startups that are focused on cleantech and climate solutions. It invested through its venture arm, the LACI Impact Fund. Another investor was the nonprofit Tech Coast Angels and its San Diego chapter, San Diego Angels.

The funding will enable ChargeNet to deploy solar-powered EV charging stations at fast food restaurant parking lots starting with a Taco Bell in South San Francisco sometime this month. The charging station at the Taco Bell will have six charging ports. ChargeNet plans to add more locations in and around Los Angeles for its goal of expanding to over 80 fast food restaurants by the end of 2022. ChargeNet CEO Tosh Dutt told dot.LA:

“We expect to expand into Los Angeles, as well as surrounding counties, in 2022 and are finalizing the specifics now. This is just the beginning for ChargeNet Stations in and around Southern California, and today’s investment is fueling the growth.”

As an incentive for partnering with ChargeNet, the fast food restaurants will be able to use the extra energy stored in the charging stations to power their own facilities and could also qualify for green energy incentives that are offered by the local and state governments.

Aligned Climate Capital COO Brendan Bell said: “More than five million people eat at Taco Bell restaurants across the country every day. ChargeNet brings fast charging to these drivers, and clean energy to the restaurants.”

Dutt added that the chargers were designed for quick use and can give customers a 100-mile charge in 15 minutes for around $10, which is much lower than LA County’s gas prices, which the AAA noted are averaging around $4.68 per gallon.

This is actually pretty genius. I think any company that is providing the service of EV charging should partner with fast food restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that see millions of customers. Tesla Superchargers are strategically placed in shopping centers and the company has recently partnered with Buc-ees, which is great, but the idea of going to get dinner and a quick charge, I think, would be appealing to the on-the-go person.

Seeing EVs in common places such as gas stations and fast food restaurants also helps to normalize them in a society that it still a bit shy.

Featured image courtesy of ChargeNet.


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