The US startup Volta wants to offer electric car drivers free DC charging in the first 30 minutes, refinanced through advertising. The first 150 of these DC chargers are to be installed nationwide within the next twelve months at busy retail locations.
Volta says its business model will help brick and mortar locations to attract customers while “sponsoring brands leverage the stations to generate meaningful uplift” on the large screens that cover the charging stations. Advertising aside, each charging session is free for 30 minutes before customers can opt to pay a fee to continue the session.
Each of the new chargers will offer speeds from 50 kW to 100 kW using the CCS standard only. According to Volta, half an hour of charging will deliver up to 175 miles of range, a good 280 km.
There will be 150 such DC charging stations to start with. The first site will open this Friday in Norwalk, Connecticut followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
In Norwalk, Volta is working with SoNo Collection, a retail centre currently being built by Brookfield Properties. The site will offer a total of 12 chargers, including a mix of the free Level 3 fast-chargers alongside Volta Level 2 chargers.
Brookfield Properties plans to roll the Volta fast charger network out to their properties nationwide, according to Scott Mercer, Volta’s founder and CEO. To determine the best locations, the startup says it will leverage “a combination of data modelling and venue customer behaviour to determine the optimal ratio of Level 2 and DC fast-charging stations for each location”.
Volta was founded in 2010 and recently received funding for the above expansion.