As many industry analysts will tell you, the switch to plug-in cars by the general public requires an increased support network of public charging stations.
Enter businessman Tom Wolf. Owner of 14 franchised McDonald’s restaurants, his latest restaurant in Huntington, West Virginia is among the first McDonald’s in the U.S. to offer customers level 2 charging point for their electric car while they eat.
Charging your electric car at McDonald’s isn’t new, but still remains somewhat of a novelty.
In the 1990s, a McDonald’s in Arizona provided charging for electric vehicles and earlier last year several franchised McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. opened charging stations for electric vehicles. Earlier this month, a Dutch franchised McDonald’s in the Netherlands opened electric vehicle charging points for customers to use.
Let’s face it. McDonald’s doesn’t have a great public image right now. Earlier this year, a series of character-branded drinking glasses offered as part of a promotion for the final part of the Shrek film trilogy were withdrawn after it was found they contained dangerous levels of cadmium.
Sign indicating public electric-vehicle charging station
Then in October, an Ohio McDonald’s franchise hit the headlines when the owner told his employees who to vote for in the midterm elections.
So could the enterprising idea to offer electric car charging with every meal be a way of improving McDonald’s public image? Should all McDonald’s consider offering free charging with every meal?
Maybe, maybe not. McDonald’s is a large multinational franchise. But for Wolf and the handful of enterprising franchise owners like him, the addition of a Level 2 charging station could well encourage visitors to his latest restaurant and encourage them to eat in rather than take-out.
In an area not known for its electric car support, Wolf’s venture could provide a lucrative sideline to those from further afield looking for a top-up charge at potentially the only public electric car charging station for miles around.
In the half hour it could take a family to eat their meal, a level 2 charging station could provide between 15 and 30 miles of additional range, depending on the car’s state of charge and battery temperature.
Of course, the more charging stations there are, the easier it becomes to own an electric car.
Rabobank EV charging
More places to charge means more people will want to own an electric car. As more people own electric cars, businesses which support electric car charging will see a raise in patronage from those looking for somewhere to charge, resulting in increased profit.
It is simple business logic, and one that we are seeing again and again as everyone from Best Buy through to Home Depot jumps on the electric car charging station bandwagon.
Just a word of warning. Regularly charging your electric car at a fast-food chain may be fine for your car, but not so great for your health.