Walmart’s Ambitious Plans for Nationwide EV Fast-Charging Network

March 04, 2024 by Shannon Cuthrell

Walmart plans to own and operate electric vehicle fast-charging at store locations across the U.S.

Walmart is stepping up its charging infrastructure for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. The retail giant is advancing plans to roll out a sizable fast-charging network spanning thousands of U.S. stores and Sam’s Club locations. 

Most of Walmart’s existing chargers are operated by networks like Electrify America, one of the nation’s largest public charging providers. But in 2024, the company will own and operate a series of distinctly branded stations integrated with its app and accessible from store parking lots. 


A Walmart-branded EV charging station at a test site in Cross Roads, Texas

A Walmart-branded EV charging station at a test site in Cross Roads, Texas. Image used courtesy of PlugShare 


When Walmart first introduced plans to build a fast-charging network last April, it reported having 1,300 Electrify America-connected stations across 280 U.S. locations. That footprint will grow substantially in 2024 as the company remodels 650 stores across 47 states and Puerto Rico to add new charging infrastructure. It’s also planning to build or convert more than 150 new stores to match its “Store of the Future” layout, which includes EV charging stations. 

The first two stores in the expansion will open in Florida and Georgia over the next few months. 


Tapping into a Big EV Charging Market

By 2030, Walmart plans to build out a national fast-charging network with at least 10,000 chargers across 2,500 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, per its 2023 Environmental, Social, and Governance report. 

Walmart aims to capitalize on the growing hype around electric cars. More than 1.4 million EVs were sold in the U.S. last year, adding to a total of four million on the roads today, according to the Department of Energy. The country has about 170,000 public EV chargers and about 61,517 stations. 

About nine in 10 Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart or Sam’s Club. The company’s total footprint comprises 10,509 retail and e-commerce sites, including 4,616 stores in the U.S. and another 599 Sam’s Clubs. About 240 million customers visited its worldwide locations each week in 2023. 


Concept of Walmart’s plan for EV charging stations

Concept of Walmart’s plan for EV charging stations. Image used courtesy of Walmart


Walmart already has nearly 300 charging stations with Electrify America’s 150 kW and 350 kW chargers. It started installing 120 fast-charging stations in 2018 and 2019, strategically placed off major highways. 

Many locations offer direct current fast-charging (DCFC) options and conventional slow chargers. For example, one Walmart Supercenter in Charlotte, North Carolina, is equipped with several Combined Charging System (CCS) and SAE DCFC units from Electrify America, including six 150 kW stations and two 350 kW stations, alongside one 50 kW CHAdeMO plug. 


A Walmart charging station in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A Walmart charging station in Charlotte, North Carolina. Image used courtesy of PlugShare (user photo)


It’s unclear what role Electrify America will play in Walmart’s future plans. The company has also previously worked with ChargePoint and EVgo, two major DCFC networks. Walmart stated it would own and operate chargers “using partner technology.” ChargePoint remains listed in the third-party software and licensing notice on Walmart’s website, which was last updated in November 2023. 

For now, only two Supercenters in Springdale, Arkansas, and Cross Roads, Texas, have been renovated to include chargers directly operated by Walmart. According to PlugShare, the Texas location was formerly activated with the ChargePoint network, but now drivers must download the Walmart app to receive a free charge. User photos show the stations marked with Walmart’s signature branding. The Springdale location recently reopened in a configuration as a free test site with four 100 kW CHAdeMO plugs and four 200 kW CCS/SAE plugs. 


Walmart Fleet Electrification

The latest EV charging expansion comes as Walmart electrifies its truck, van, and delivery fleet. For several years, it has been replacing its gas- and diesel-fueled vehicles with zero-emissions alternatives, including electric delivery vans and yard trucks, battery-powered refrigerated trailers, and short-range electric day cabs at distribution centers. 

This is all part of Walmart’s broader goals to reduce carbon emissions. The company uses renewable energy to power about 47% of its operations, eyeing 100% by 2035. It’s also planning to bring 10 GW of new on- and off-site clean energy projects online by the decade's end. About 600 projects are in operation or under development in nearly a dozen countries.