McDonald’s restaurants in the UK could soon become the most convenient place to charge for many electric vehicle drivers, with the firm announcing plans to install thousands of EV rapid charging points at its Drive Thru restaurants.
InstaVolt is set to supply and run the EV charging network for McDonald’s, with the firm planning to install 125kW rapid chargers across the McDonald’s Drive Thru network. For electric vehicles that can take advantage of those charging speeds, that should be enough to add up to 175 miles in just 30 minutes, more than enough time to scoff down a Big Mac and fries.
McDonald’s is the first major UK restaurant chain to go all-in on EV charging. While the firm hasn’t formally announced exactly how many chargers will be installed or which Drive Thru restaurants will be getting the chargers, it has stated that both new and existing Drive Thru restaurants that can accommodate InstaVolt’s technology will be considered. What is known is that McDonald’s will be funding the installation of the new chargers through the Government’s £400m Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund.
The first wave of installations are set to be announced as they come online, although it’s certainly positive news for EV drivers in the UK. There are 1,300 McDonald’s restaurants in the UK, and many are conveniently located close to major roads – further enabling drivers to make long distance journeys with minimal stops for food or a toilet break.
McDonald’s choice in partner in InstaVolt is also a good one. While the firm doesn’t offer free charging, like Pod Point, its rapid chargers have been noted for their reliability. In fact, the firm has recently been named as the best electric vehicle charging network for multiple brands in 2020 in Auto Express’ first ever chargepoint operator survey.
The announcement comes as the UK economy starts to rebuild post COVID-19 with a renewed focus on low carbon industries and infrastructure, and as more drivers than ever consider EVs due to the dramatic improvement in air quality witnessed during lockdown.
Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “Appetite for electric vehicles, which will be a central part of the UK’s efforts to build back greener post COVID-19, is growing. This partnership and ambition takes advantage of our scale, and is a real step forward for those already driving electric vehicles, as well as people considering making the switch.
“With over 1,300 restaurants our ambition would mean you would never be far from a charging point. As we look toward a return to normal service post-COVID19, drivers will be able to pop in for a coffee or a meal and get an 80% charge in 20 minutes. We are known for speed and convenience, and this partnership with InstaVolt will provide just that for EV drivers.
“Our ultimate ambition is to have more EV charging points on our premises than any other company in the UK and Ireland.”
Adrian Keen, InstaVolt’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “We’re committed to making our network the simplest to use with contactless payment – without the need to sign up for an account – and our 125kW chargers are amongst the fastest and most reliable in the UK. Research shows that drivers need to be confident that fast, reliable and simple to use charging infrastructure is never far away, and this partnership will deliver that confidence to drivers nationwide.
“With recent reports also indicating more people are considering EV’s given the significant drop in emissions during this pandemic, we hope that this exciting partnership with McDonald’s will help encourage them to make this decision. I very much look forward to working with McDonald’s to fulfil their ambition by rolling out InstaVolt chargers across the McDonald’s estate.”
Transport Minister Rachael Maclean concluded, “Being able to easily and quickly charge our electric cars as we go about our day-to-day lives is vital to encourage more people make the switch to electric.
“This exciting partnership between InstaVolt and McDonald’s, an iconic household name, is essential as we strive to change people’s perceptions of electric vehicles. We want to make clean vehicles the new normal by installing rapid charge-points in busy, popular public spaces.”