ChargeNet Stations, an electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging station development and software company, in partnership with Taco Bell franchisee Diversified Restaurant Group (DRG), has opened its first ultra-fast charging station.
The new fast charging station is located at a South San Francisco Taco Bell. ChargeNet Stations is using its innovative software technology, pairing solar energy and energy storage with Tritium’s fast EV chargers at quick-serve restaurants across California.
Tosh Dutt, ChargeNet Stations CEO and founder, said: “Call it quick food, quick charge. You can get an EV charge and a chalupa all in one easy stop.”
ChargeNet Stations are compatible with all EV connector types and offer, on average, a 100-mile (161km) charge in 20 minutes, or fewer, for around $20. Locations are being strategically positioned to make EV charging available in traditionally underserved communities.
Dutt continued: “We are committed to catalysing the EV revolution to ensure it spans across all demographics. This is why we are working with quick-serve restaurants, where an estimated 120 million Americans eat every day.
“About half of our locations are in marginalised communities across California, providing charging access to people who may not have the luxury of a home charging station. We are out to democratise EV charging across California and beyond.”
More than 100 California Taco Bell restaurants, owned by DRG, are set to be equipped with ChargeNet Stations’ fast charging, energy storage, renewable energy, and software technology. The company will be expanding to other brands, soon to be announced, as well.
The highly efficient EV charging is made possible with ChargeNet Stations’ innovative software technology that uses solar energy and advanced energy storage solutions to offset the demand on the grid and charge vehicles faster.
By integrating solar and energy storage, ChargeNet Stations keeps restaurant utility costs in check and increases renewable energy usage. This is not only convenient and cost effective but it also helps decarbonise the planet.
ChargeNet Stations’ debut Taco Bell location, at 465 El Camino Real, is operated by Taco Bell’s franchisee Diversified Restaurant Group and has six charging stations offering customers a clean, convenient EV charge.
SG Ellison, Diversified Restaurant Group president, said: “We’re always looking for opportunities to bring innovative and sustainable ideas to market, especially those that create a ‘win-win’ for our customers, the community, and our business.
“ChargeNet Stations has been a great partner and we’re looking forward to what the future holds.”
Diversified Restaurant Group currently operates more than 300 Taco Bell and Arby’s in five states and is growing rapidly. The electrifying at convenience eateries, like Taco Bell, will hopefully help to speed up the transition to electric vehicles and show easy quick and easy charging can be.
Automotive experts predict more than 50 types of electric vehicle, priced at or below $30,000 will be available in the US market within the next three years. By 2035, California plans to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel powered cars and trucks.
Dutt added: “We’re solving a demand problem we know is coming. 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.”
Jane Hunter, Tritium CEO, said: “For the first time in many decades, how and where we power transportation is up for grabs, creating countless opportunities for rapid and convenient EV charging.
“This ChargeNet Stations site sets a new standard in convenient charging, pairing cutting-edge Tritium fast charger technology with on-site solar, battery storage and the opportunity to rest and recharge with a warm meal from Taco Bell.”
Tritium, a leading direct current fast charger manufacturer, has sold more than 7,600 chargers across 42 countries. The company recently opened a Tennessee factory to increase US supply capabilities and produce Buy America-compliant chargers in 2023.
Hunter added: “This ChargeNet Stations site sets a new standard in convenient charging, pairing cutting-edge Tritium fast charger technology with on-site solar, battery storage and the opportunity to rest and recharge with a warm meal from Taco Bell.”
The partnership is expected to expand in other areas and uses funding from the California Energy Commission’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) and the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).
In addition to helping EV drivers, the state funding is creating jobs for local installers, leveraging solar energy, and supporting business owners looking to transform their parking lots into profit centres.
ChargeNet Stations has received funding from Aligned Climate Capital, the San Diego Angels, Tech Coast Angels, and the LACI Impact Fund.