Giant Food to Add Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Giant Food will soon add free electric vehicle charging stations at the supermarket chain’s downtown Silver Spring location.

In 2020, Ahold Deglaize USA-owned Giant entered a public-private partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration and Volta, a San Francisco-based EV charging station provider, aiming to set up more than 200 charging stations at their supermarket locations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District.

The MEA’s Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Rebate Program has played a significant role in deploying thousands of residential and commercial charging stations in the state since 2014, as reported by Progressive Grocer.

Volta’s electric vehicle charging network connects charging stations with advertising screens, typically found in busy locations such as retail stores and stadiums. These screens, which are 55 inches and high-definition, will feature special offers and promotions for Giant loyalty program members.

“Providing our shoppers and communities free electric charging services is part of Giant’s larger sustainability efforts,” Giant Food President Ira Kress said in a 2020 announcement. “We are excited to offer our customers who opt for electric cars the satisfaction of quick and free charging while they shop. It’s a value for our shoppers that also benefits the environment.”

TechCrunch reports that Volta’s chargers have been installed by companies such as Albertsons Companies, Kroger, Regency Centers, Wegmans, and Topgolf, with the chargers’ screens used for advertising by brands like GM, Hulu, Nestlé, Polestar, Porsche, and Unilever.

Fossil fuel producer Shell USA, a subsidiary of Shell plc, acquired Volta Inc. earlier this year in an all-cash deal worth about USD $169 million, making Shell the owner of one of the largest public EV charging networks in the United States.

The Volta acquisition, announced in January and completed in March after receiving regulatory approval, added an existing public charging network of over 3,000 charge points at destination sites (such as shopping centers, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.) across 31 U.S. states and territories. Additionally, it brought in a development pipeline of more than 3,400 extra charge points.

Presently, Shell operates more than 140,000 public and private charge points across the globe, with plans to increase its global EV charging infrastructure to over 500,000 charge points by 2025 and approximately 2,500,000 charge points by 2030.

The expansion aims to meet the growing demand from customers for convenient charging options at home, work, or while traveling.

“We want to make charging as convenient as possible for our customers,” said István Kapitány, Executive Vice President of Shell Mobility. “As demand for EV charging continues to grow, destination sites will play a key role in meeting people where they spend a great deal of time: the store, the gym, and everywhere in-between. Beyond providing a charging service, Volta specializes in generating advertising revenues from screens embedded into the charge point, adding a source of non-fuel revenue from sites both in the U.S. and globally.”

Photo Courtesy of Volta Inc.

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