Walmart installs charging stations, Costco rips ‘em out

The EV Project is steadily lining up locations for a network of 14,000 charging stations across the country. This is obviously great news for today’s EV drivers, but the main goal is to gather data that will help planners in the future, when the real work of building a nationwide EV infrastructure gets rolling.

The nation’s biggest retailer is the latest to get involved, as Walmart announced a plan on Tuesday to install Blink Pedestal EV charging stations at about ten Walmart stores in California, Oregon, and Washington.

“Known for its low prices and ongoing sustainability initiatives, Walmart is an ideal host for Blink EV charging stations,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality, the project manager for the EV Project. “This partnership will enhance the customer experience for EV drivers by enabling them to charge up at Blink charging stations while enjoying low prices at Walmart’s convenient and recognizable locations.”

In August, EV-haters were crowing at the news that Costco decided to remove EV charging stations from their parking lots. The whole story, however, which was first reported in the New York Times, reads more like bad timing on Costco’s part than any ideological anti-EV crusade. Costco installed the chargers back in the 1990s, in the days of the doomed EV1. Once those were crushed, there was no one to use the chargers, and they fell into disrepair. Considering that Cracker Barrel – hardly a bastion of granola-munchers – is also participating in the EV Project, we’re not too worried about Costco’s backward step.

 

Image: ECOtality