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A new standard for fast food?

More than 100 Taco Bell restaurants will be “electrified” next year with DC fast charging stations for electric vehicles, operator Diversified Restaurant Group announced earlier this month.

The locations are expected to be equipped with a ChargeNet Station, which offers what the companies say will add an average of 100 miles of range in just 20 minutes — the amount of time it takes to sample a handful of Chips. Nacho and rest in the bathroom.

The announcement is one such example of a change — and indeed, a variety — in which EV charging is being introduced. DC fast charging for electric vehicles is typically set up in places where the grid allows for high power connectivity and where drivers can stop the vehicle for more than half an hour. But with battery-boosted high-power DC fast chargers offering the potential to be installed in more places – including gas stations – fast charging is finding more places.

And when the operators of hundreds of fast food restaurants interested in revenue see a viable model for chargers, it’s a sign that the landscape is evolving.

US made Tritium fast charger

US made Tritium fast charger

The installation will use US-made Tritium fast chargers and use solar and battery-based power to help offset grid demand and charge faster while keeping utility costs under control. . The first of these locations opened in a South San Francisco, California location.

ChargeNet’s chief technology officer, Rebecca Wolkoff confirmed to Green Car Reports that all in the rollout at 100 locations will have 75 kW or more of power. The first place offers an on-site Tesla adapter that allows up to 50 kw with any Tesla year, but it is testing a modified Tesla adapter that allows up to 75 kW for future deployments .

That’s enough to charge Chevy Bolt EV for example at its peak power, add 100 miles in 30 minutes in that case. And if 75 kw adapters become common, it’s fast enough to charge a Tesla Model 3 from 10% to 80% in about 30 minutes.

The Diverse Restaurant Group operates more than 300 Taco Bell and Arby franchises in five states, and it says about half of its locations are in marginalized communities across California.

ChargeNet says it’s “optimizing EV chargers and renewables to turn parking lots into profit centers,” so it’s clear they’re paying attention to the strategy’s long-term revenue potential.

BMW i3 charging at the EVgo fast charger at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California

BMW i3 charging at the EVgo fast charger at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California

In the US — especially with the money spent on the nationwide electric vehicle charging network—Convenience stores are adopting EV charging rural America, and a growing group of major energy companies are seeing charging as a worthwhile field investment. For example, FreeWire’s battery booster charger is heading to some Chevron and Texaco . Stationsand the BP executive that oversees toll collection in the UK and Europe earlier this year suggested that, on an escrow basis, EV fast chargers profit almost like gas pump.

On the fast food front, it’s time. McDonald’s has yet to adopt any centralized EV charging plans in the US, although it already has in many other markets. Volvo and Starbucks is working together to build a pilot toll network on the road from Seattle to Denver — an idea that makes a lot of sense for road users and locals alike.

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