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Starbucks Charging More Than Your Morning With EV Stations

Coffee, pastries, soothing music, and electric vehicle (EV) chargers? While this might seem like a strange combination, get ready to see more of it. As of early August, Starbucks finalized locations for its plan to roll out an extensive EV charging station program in the West. In conjunction with Volvo Car USA, the coffee shop chain is continuing its strong support for sustainability measures in its stores and business practices. 

So far, Starbucks has slowly implemented these charging stations, with the first one installed at its store location in Provo, UT. This effort will be one of many Volvo plans to deploy along a route from Denver, CO, to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, WA. The goal is to have up to 60 charging stations installed at 15 stores every 100 miles along the route. With EVs becoming a more mainstream transportation option for Americans, the timing of this plan is ideal. It also helps Starbucks reach its aspiration to be resource-positive by the beginning of 2030.   

This EV charging station project is not the first time Starbucks has set lofty goals for the company’s sustainable future. CEO Kevin Johnson outlined a five-point plan in a letter to shareholders in 2020. The company’s goals included switching to more reusable packaging, offering more plant-based options on the food menu, conserving water, investing in regenerative agriculture, and participating in more sustainable business operations.

They already have enacted policies like the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) program that ensures all coffee beans are sourced ethically and plans to reduce water use in coffee cultivation and brewing by 50% by 2030. 

Photo Courtesy Volvo Cars USA

“Today, more than ever, the world needs leadership in environmental sustainability,” Johnson continued in his letter. “We agree with the consensus of scientific experts who note that without drastic action from everyone — governments, companies, and all of us as individuals — adapting to the impact of climate change in the future will be far more difficult and costly, taking a toll on our supply chains, our business, and more importantly, the lives of everyone involved, including coffee farmers, our suppliers, Starbucks partners, customers and every community we serve.”

The impact of a worldwide coffee chain assisting in EV charging infrastructure will hopefully be an inspiration to other businesses, and the collaboration with Volvo might influence other firms to follow suit.

Volvo shares a similar ambition with Starbucks: the desire to eliminate its carbon footprint as much as possible before the next decade. In a press release on the upcoming charging station venture, the car manufacturer emphasized a desire to get the under-resourced, rural U.S. connected to the EV charging grid, especially since this area is a huge tourism area. Fifteen cities were included in the press release, with many being close to landmarks such as Zion National Park in Utah. 

“Together with Starbucks and ChargePoint, we are creating an EV charging network that can fit seamlessly into everyday life,” said Andreas Gustafson, senior vice president of the Americas Region and president and CEO of Volvo Car USA.

Volvo plans to produce only electric cars by 2030.

Photo Courtesy Volvo Cars USA

As more businesses and car manufacturers partner up to get America up to speed with EV infrastructure, the transition to electric will likely pick up steam. The current administration also unveiled its plan earlier this year to award nearly $5 billion over five years to build thousands of EV charging stations. A strong network of fast, direct-current chargers at popular locations like Starbucks will make that transition much more seamless.  


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