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New Starbucks charging stations part of area’s EV evolution

By Genelle Pugmire - | Aug 14, 2022
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A Starbucks location at 979 S. University Ave. in Provo is one of the first stores along a 1,350-mile route from Washington to Colorado where electric vehicle charging stations are being installed.
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A Starbucks location at 979 S. University Ave. in Provo is one of the first stores along a 1,350-mile route from Washington to Colorado where electric vehicle charging stations are being installed.
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This map shows the 1,350-mile route from Washington to Colorado along which electric vehicle charging stations are being installed at 15 Starbucks locations, including one at 979 S. University Ave. in Provo.
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A new electric vehicle charging station is pictured outside a Starbucks location at 979 S. University Ave. in Provo.

Residents of Provo and surrounding areas can now fuel up on coffee while their electric vehicles get a charge, keeping both up and running.

Starbucks, in partnership with Volvo Cars, announced last week that its East Bay store in Provo, located at University Avenue and 900 South, is among the first of 15 planned locations from Denver to Seattle to have charging stations for electric vehicle, or EVs, available for use.

The news marks the start of a pilot first announced in March to install EV chargers at up to 15 Starbucks stores along a 1,350-mile route from the Rockies to the coffee company’s headquarters in Washington state as part of a commitment by Starbucks to reduce its carbon footprint and invite customers to join in efforts to better the planet, according to a press release.

When complete by the end of the year, the route will offer charging stations, powered by ChargePoint, at Starbucks stores located approximately every 100 miles along Interstate 70, I-84 and I-90.

This route will unlock to electric vehicle drivers some of the West’s most iconic locations, including Snoqualmie Pass in Washington, the Snake River in Idaho, Arches National Park here at home, tourist destinations like Park City and Vail, and major community hubs like Boise and Salt Lake City.

“Our Planet Positive initiatives have a central role in our long-term business strategy, and directly address what our customers are asking for,” said Kevin Johnson, chief executive officer at Starbucks, in a news release. “We are moving toward a more circular economy, and we are doing so in a very intentional, transparent, and accountable way.”

According to Johnson, Starbucks’ 2030 goals will not only reduce the company’s environmental impact but also strengthen the entire supply chain from agriculture practices to the way stores are powered and an environmentally friendly menu.

“We have a bold long-term sustainability vision and ambitious goals for 2030,” Johnson said. “Starbucks partners around the world are passionate about protecting our planet and are at the very center of driving the innovation that enables us to give more than we take from the planet.”

Starbucks isn’t the only Provo location for EV charging. According to Kat Linford, Provo City Power public relations manager, Provo is working hard to bring EV charging throughout the city.

“Electric vehicles are becoming one of the fastest-growing markets, making all auto industries rethink manufacturing, with most already offering an electric option,” Linford said. “Because of the growth over the years, it has necessitated a demand for charging stations throughout the city. … Provo City installed 20 electric vehicle charging stations in nine different locations — on city property — which are now fully operable and open for public use.”

Provo received $267,850 from the national Volkswagen Settlement Fund and used that money to purchase and install the charging stations.

Neighboring Orem has also installed EV charging stations for public use.

“The City of Orem has long seen the importance of electric charge stations throughout the city as more and more people switch to electric vehicles,” said Pete Wolfley, communications and innovation officer. “We are proud to provide six charging stations here at the City Center and salute our community partners such as University Place and Mountainland Association of Governments for their commitment to providing charging stations as well at their properties.”

“We currently have several hybrid vehicles in our city fleet and look forward to having electric vehicles for city use as it makes fiscal and operational sense,” he added.

“These are fast D.C. charging stations,” said

Taggart Bowen, engineering section manager with Orem City, said the stations, installed in 2020, are level 3 DC fast chargers that can power vehicles very rapidly.

“The level 2, to charge up a vehicle 80%, takes three to four hours,” Bowen said. “The fast level 3 stations, to charge up a vehicle 80%, takes 30 minutes.”

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