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Through a partnership with Volvo, Starbucks is building an EV charging network

Starbucks and Volvo are building an EV charging network spanning 1350 miles from Starbucks' hometown of Seattle to Denver, Colorado. By the end of 2022, around 60 DC fast chargers will be available at up to 15 Starbucks stores along the route — approximately one every 100 miles.

ChargePoint will power the Volvo-branded chargers, and Volvo owners will have access at no cost or preferential rates, with drivers of other brands paying a fee. The partnership with Starbucks is a pilot; depending on the outcome, more co-branded charging stations could follow.

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While sales of electric vehicles and hybrids reached record highs in the US last year, they still only account for 11% of new car sales. Current oil prices might accelerate the shift away from gas guzzlers, but for Volvo to reach its stated goal of becoming a fully electric car company by 2030, it also needs robust charging networks — range anxiety and charge times are among the top reasons drivers avoid EVs.

Starbucks and other third place brands are a natural fit for facilitating those networks since they already provide relaxed environments where consumers are happy to spend some time, with or without a car slurping watts as they sip on their Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.