Most Influential Projects 2022

24 EV Charging Network Pilot

EV Charging Network Pilot

For being a driving force in new electric vehicle infrastructure

The U.S. government is thinking big: It wants half of all new cars sold in the country to be electric by 2030. To achieve this goal, US$7.5 billion was allotted to build out a much-needed network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the country.

But the private sector is making some power moves, too, with coffeemaker Starbucks and Swedish automaker Volvo joining forces to pilot a public network of high-speed EV chargers at Starbucks locations between Denver and Seattle.

The route was chosen for maximum impact: It’s an area Starbucks’ chief sustainability officer Michael Kobori has called a “charging desert.” The 60 ChargePoint machines—strategically placed every 100 miles (161 kilometers) or so—will allow drivers to road trip the 1,350 miles (2,173 kilometers) between the two cities without range anxiety. 

The hope is that the collaborative effort won’t only benefit those traveling between the two cities: “This route goes through several of what are literally federal opportunity zones, economically distressed communities,” Kobori told Fast Company. “And so, we were also thinking as we looked at this, how do we make sure to bring the charging to those underserved markets so that will open them up as well to electric vehicles?”

Speed was also a consideration. The project team is deploying chargers that can take EV batteries from empty to 80 percent charged in as little as 20 minutes, allowing drivers to fill their battery in about the same amount of time it takes to enjoy a coffee. 

Announced in March, the pilot is scheduled to be completed later this year, and Starbucks has already announced it may consider expanding the project nationwide. With over 15,000 locations across the U.S., the initiative could be a serious boon for the EV market—and the planet at large.


The Road to Planet-Positive Impact


250+ miles (400+ kilometers): 

The median distance a 2020 EV can travel on a full charge


40 minutes: 

About how long it takes for a Volvo EV to power up from 20 percent to 90 percent on a ChargePoint DC fast charger



The number of planned charging stations located at up to 15 Starbucks locations



The number of U.S. public EV charging stations as of August 2022


More than 2 million: 

The number of EVs currently on the road in the United States, but some projections have that number zooming up to 26 million by 2030