Electric car chargers are coming to locations you may not have expected but can definitely get excited about: Taco Bell.
Diversified Restaurant Group (DRG), which operates almost 300 Taco Bell locations in four states, has partnered with an electric vehicle charging startup called ChargeNet Stations, USA Today reports. Together, the two will work to install charging stations at more than 100 of DRG’s California Taco Bell locations this year.
The convenience of this pairing was one of the reasons that ChargeNet Stations CEO Tosh Dutt was excited to work on the project.
“You can get an EV charge and a chalupa all in one easy stop,” Dutt said in a press release.
Yet there are far more benefits to this convenience than a simultaneous chalupa and charge — although none that are quite as tasty.
With California on track to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035, an increase in the accessibility of EV chargers is essential. Accessibility is a priority for ChargeNet Stations, which, thanks to subsidies from the state of California, will place half of the locations in underserved communities in the greatest need of more affordable and widespread EV use.
The cost for the restaurants will be offset by the use of clean solar energy. People who use electric vehicle chargers will pay about $20 for a 20-minute charge that will last them 100 miles.
An increase in EV charger accessibility could lead to an increase in EV usage, which would be a win in sustainability as the use of gas-powered cars wanes.
“We’re solving a demand problem we know is coming,” Dutt added in the press release. “What we’re doing is creating a seamless opportunity for a quick charge at a convenient place and for a good price — and it’s good for the planet.”
While Taco Bell is one of the largest brands to get in the EV charging game, it’s not the only one. Starbucks plans to install EV charging stations for Volvo electric vehicles at its stores all the way from Seattle to Denver, and Ikea has announced its plans to open public charging stations at over 25 of its U.S. locations.
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