As the electric vehicle market gains momentum, one Missoula retailer is embracing the future by installing a charging station for its EV customers.
Earlier this year, Walmart announced plans to more than double the number of sites with electric vehicle charging stations. That push, which has grown to Walmart operations in 34 states, now includes the Missoula store on Mullan Road, according to building permits on file with the city.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed the project this week.
“Walmart’s EV charging station expansion will provide customers with added convenience,” said Micah Ragland, director of sustainability communications for Walmart. “Several of the new units will feature super-fast chargers that can charge a car in between 10 to 30 minutes.”
The charging station at the Mullan store will be the newest in Missoula, offering EV owners the first stop, shop and charge location in the city, at least outside the downtown district.
“Providing this service is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and the environment,” said Ragland. “This initiative is part of Walmart’s continuing evolution to help busy families and create a more resourceful and enjoyable one-stop retail experience that allows customers to charge their vehicles as they shop.”
Last March, in partnership with NorthWestern Energy, the city of Missoula unveiled two charging stations in the Park Place garage downtown.
At that point in time, half of the 475 electric vehicles registered in Montana were located in Missoula County. Tesla has at least two charging stations in Missoula, and a station is also located at Missoula Nissan.
Car manufacturers, including Tesla and Electrify America – a subsidiary of Volkswagen – have been working with mass retailers to build charging stations in their parking lots.
Target and Walmart are among those adding hundreds of charging stations to their stores, with Walmart being the first in Missoula.
“This expansion will bring Walmart’s total number of charging units to well over 1,000 when complete, making Walmart one of the nation’s leading EV charging station hosts and creating a national grid of electric vehicle charging (stations) at hundreds of Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations,” Ragland said.