Business Strategies

How Fast-Food Restaurants Capitalize on EV Charging Needs: 7 Case Studies

Image via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re out on a road trip and crave your favorite burrito or burger, there’s some good news if you drive an EV. Chipotle — and a host of other fast-food restaurants — have capitalized on the growing EV trend and now offer EV charging stations at some of their eateries.

As Forbes’ Doron Frenkel points out, one of the main drawbacks of taking your EV on a road trip is a phenomenon called “charge anxiety” — the fear that you won’t find a charging station along your way.

Chipotle and several other fast-food restaurants have begun to offer EV charging at some of their locations, allowing customers to fuel their crave while topping up their EVs’ charge. You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief across America. Accessing EV charging stations at more locations — especially at popular fast-food joints — goes a long way toward easing EV owners’ fear of taking long trips.

Here are some fast-food restaurants that have stepped up to the plate to meet EV owners’ needs.


If you’re out on a road trip and crave your favorite burrito or burger, there’s some good news if you drive an EV. Chipotle — and a host of other fast-food restaurants — have capitalized on the growing EV trend and now offer EV charging stations at some oChipotle has always been on the leading edge of an eco-friendly dining experience that almost everyone can afford. Now, it has added EV charging infrastructure to several locations, allowing its customers to charge their EVs as they enjoy a healthy burrito or bowl of their favorite Mexican foods.

But that’s not all the chain has done to promote a sustainable future. Recently, it rolled out an innovative restaurant design that draws 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, like solar and wind. Like many existing Chipotle restaurants nationwide, most of these “Responsible Restaurants” will also offer EV charging stations.

Two locations are already open, one in Gloucester, Virginia, and the other in Jacksonville, Florida. Chipotle hopes to open a third location — in Castle Rock, Colorado — in the summer of 2023. By the end of 2024, the company hopes to add over 100 more of these all-electric restaurants.

Taco Bell

Fast-food lovers who need a bite of lunch and a quick charge for their EVs can soon get both at some Taco Bell restaurants. Combine that convenience with the fact that most Taco Bells stay open until the wee hours, and you have a winning combination.

The first Taco Bell with EV fast-charging stations opened in October 2022. The company plans to follow up that move by adding 120 more California locations, a savvy move given the available federal, state, and local funding for EV charging infrastructure.

That number will likely increase nationwide since Taco Bell’s target demographic — young adults ages 18-34 — also aligns with that of EV makers. Fifty-five percent of people between 18 and 29 are interested in purchasing an EV.

Since many young adults live in apartment buildings without private EV charging facilities, having a low-cost way to enjoy a meal and power their cars is necessary. As the CEO of ChargeNet – Taco Bell’s charging station provider – Tosh Durt, says, “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. We are out to democratize EV charging across California and beyond.”


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Subway has jumped into the EV charging game with both feet, providing its customers with more than just charging stations. Their plans include EV “charging oases” with playgrounds and relaxing green spaces where diners can relax after a meal as their vehicle charges up.

Partnering with GenZ EV Solutions, Subway plans to furnish its charging oases with charging canopies, picnic tables, Wi-Fi, restrooms, and other amenities. With its wide selection of sandwiches, bowls, and salads, these extras will likely boost the company’s customer satisfaction rating, eventually producing a rise in its revenue.

Subway’s EV charging facilities feature fast-charging technology, enabling customers to charge their vehicles for 120 miles in only 17 minutes, enough to grab a sandwich and catch a breath afterward.


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Both a convenience store and a fast-food restaurant, 7-Eleven is now adding yet another service to its broad range of offerings — fast EV charging stations. Called 7Charge, the 7-Eleven network of EV chargers allows customers to pay for their charge on their dedicated app or a credit card.

That’s not all. 7-Eleven plans to staff their charging stations 24/7 so that customers can access help if they need it. These charging stations are compatible with CHAdeMO and combined charging system (CCS) plugs. Teslas, too, can charge up, provided they bring their DCFC fast-charging adapter.

As 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto puts it, “For over 95 years, 7-Eleven has innovated to meet our customers’ needs — delivering convenience where, when and how they want it. Now, we are innovating once again to meet our customers where they are…to provide EV drivers convenience of the future…today.”


The grandparent of fast-food chains, McDonald’s led the way again when it opened the first fast-food restaurant deploying EV charging stations in Cary, North Carolina. Partnering with EV charging infrastructure provider NovaCharge, McDonald’s opened this “green restaurant” in 2009, incorporating charging stations, eco-friendly materials, and methods into its design.

Now, the company is expanding its EV charging offerings into more restaurants, starting with 41 California locations. These charging stations, powered by Blink, offer access to all customers, but customers who use the Blink app get access to a wide range of perks, including discounts.

Burger King

Like McDonald’s, New England-based Burger King franchisee partnered with Blink to introduce EV charging at 10 of its restaurants back in 2020. This partnership reduced the restaurant’s installation cost since Blink owns the Level 2 chargers. More convenience for its customers and little to no cost for the restaurants became a win-win proposition for Burger King and the charging infrastructure provider.

The iconic burger chain plans to transition to an all-EV fleet by 2030, at least in 16 states. Burger King management intends to provide support staff to these locations to assist in the deployment.


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Traveling from Seattle to Denver and back again just got a lot easier for EV drivers. Last August, Starbucks announced plans to install EV charging stations in as many as 15 Starbucks locations along the route in a partnership with ChargePoint and carmaker Volvo.

Not only will drivers be able to boost their energy with one of the coffee shop’s signature brews, but they’ll also be able to relax once they’re on the road, knowing there is another fast-charging opportunity just down the road. With 15 stations along a 1,350-mile journey, there should be a charging station at least every 100 miles along the largely rural route.

Starbucks chief sustainability officer Michael Kobori celebrated the move, citing its convenience and experience-enhancing potential. He said, “Access to EV charging should be as easy as getting a great cup of coffee – and now, it can be. We look forward to continuing this partnership with Volvo and ChargePoint, exploring new ways to enhance the Starbucks Experience and inviting customers on our journey to become a resource-positive company.”

Learn More about How Adding EV Charging Technology Can Enhance Your Customers’ Experience

If you’re a fast-food restaurant or convenience store chain owner, you could duplicate the success these leading corporations have enjoyed. Discover the potential of adding EV charging stations to your other offerings — and watch your revenue grow.

At an EV Charging Summit event, you’ll be able to learn about the latest developments in EV charging technology and how you can put them to work to enhance your business. Register for our next event today!

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