The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the first "electrified" Taco Bell fast food restaurant, with EV chargers available in the parking lot. The grand opening for the event will take place later this morning to publicly unveil the charging stations and open them for public use.
Something that appears like a simple novelty could be the groundwork for similar partnerships between business chains and EV charger companies. ChargeNet Stations also is going to offset utility costs for host restaurants by leveraging solar panels to collect and store energy that customers use for their vehicles.
Of course, nothing is free in this world - the six chargers sit underneath a solar array that takes up 10 parking spots - and around $20 will provide 100+ mile charge in 20 minutes or less. Any other pricing information wasn't disclosed.
The electrified Taco Bell is located at:
465 El Camino Real
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tosh Dutt, co-founder and CEO of ChargeNet Stations, added the importance of providing EV charging solutions in as many places as possible:
"We are committed to catalyzing the EV revolution to ensure it spans across all demographics - we want people everywhere to have access to convenient charging and Taco Bell is a great place to start. An estimated 120 million Americans eat at quick-serve restaurants every day. About half of our locations are in marginalized communities across California, providing charging access to people who may not have the luxury of a home charging station. Our goal is to democratize EV charging across California and beyond."
This is likely a clever strategy to gain attention to expanding EV charger access - a major concern as California is pushing forward to ban gas-powered car sales. It's one thing to have an EV charger in a general shopping plaza parking lot or parking garage, but individual restaurants teaming up with EV companies may help alleviate EV battery range concerns.