Chalupa & a Charge: Taco Bell Getting Electric Vehicle Chargers?

You’ve seen electric vehicle chargers pop up at your local mall, and you have probably seen the odd Tesla Supercharger at a hotel. But it’s time to prepare your body for what’s next. One local Taco Bell in South San Francisco is getting a set of electric vehicle chargers so patrons can order a chalupa through the app and get charged up simultaneously.

Some Taco Bell stores are going to get electric vehicle chargers

Taco Bell Getting Electric Vehicle Chargers
Taco Bell is getting electric vehicle chargers | John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

According to Forbes, a Taco Bell in South San Francisco is expanding in a big way. The chalupa provider is getting a re-vamp and adding some new technology at the same time. The company is adding six new DC Fast-Charging EV chargers by Tritium are going up. ChargeNet software will manage the Tritium chargers.

The electric vehicle chargers will sit on the right side of the Taco Bell building. Six chargers will sit underneath a solar array, which will cover 10 spots total. While some companies struggle to get people out and out still, Taco Bell is an excellent business move.

If drivers have a long commute to work and back home, charging in the middle of the day is a huge benefit. Plus, who doesn’t love a mid-day chalupa?

This is a collaboration with Taco Bell and the California Energy Commission

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Diversified Restaurant Group manages this Taco Bell location. The company owns and operates more than 200 Taco Bell and Arby’s stores in five states. The company will partner with local energy groups to bring this idea to fruition. The California Energy Commission’s California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) and California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) will help fund the project.

“In the end its the driver that benefits. They can pull up to an easily accessible place they know well, they can fill up a charge, they can eat a sandwich or great meal…at one of the Yum brand’s Taco Bells then drive away with 50-plus miles added to their battery.”

Mike Calise | Tritium President of the Americas via Forbes

The Tritium will be 75-kilowatt chargers offering up to 46 miles of range in 10 minutes of charging. If taco lovers already have the ChargeNet app, payment can be processed through the app.

This is a first for fast food lovers, but it won’t be the last

ChargeNet wants to integrate the ordering and charging experience within one app at some point. It isn’t clear which platform the charging would take place on, but it would be helpful to have one seamless experience at the charger. Perhaps if the electric vehicle driver already has the Taco Bell app, it would be easy to add “10 minutes of charging” onto the order along with the chalupa, cinnamon twists, and a Baja Blast.

Calise says the solar panels are also a significant part of this project. The solar array over the EV chargers allows for backup and savings for the company. Since the sun is intense in California year-round, this means cheaper electricity. “We’re getting renewable energy from the sun at very reasonable rates. It is connected to the grid, which is important because legally it needs to be connected, but also there’s a utility involved, Calise told Forbes.

The solar array also allows for battery storage, which would offer charging for EVs even in the case of a power outage. Calise says this is an energy asset to the utility, plus another way for people to change in the event of a natural disaster. This Taco Bell hopes to be completed at the end of the month. Charge up, chalupa lovers!

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