Costa Coffee to install EV chargers at hundreds of UK drive-thrus

Pictured: InstaVolt's rapid charging hub in Necton

The ambition forms part of a new partnership with EV charging point installer and operator InstaVolt, which could cover all of Costa’s existing drive-thrus and those planned in the coming years.

The charging points will be vehicle-agnostic, making them compatible with all electric car models currently on the UK market, and will have a 120kW rapid-charging function. InstaVolt claims that this feature will enable many models to reach 80% of their maximum range on a 20-minute charge.

“It’s exciting that in the time it takes for our consumers to order and enjoy their favourite Costa coffee, they can add an extra 100 miles in range and help our country reach its net-zero ambition,” Costa’s property director for the UK and Ireland, James Hamilton, said.

Costa is notably striving to reach net-zero by 2040, through its membership to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) climate action roadmap. This is ten years ahead of the UK’s legal deadline.

A subscription-free ‘pay as you go’ model will be used for customers and staff wishing to use the new chargers, with InstaVolt claiming that worries about the ease and price of charging is deterring some people from switching to EVs. Costa Coffee will keep its existing 176 EV chargers across the UK as the rollout progresses.

“One of the biggest barriers to customers making the switch to green clean vehicles is often a perceived lack of public car charge points,” InstaVolt’s chief executive Adrian Keen said, “We are proud to be partnering with such a well known and loved brand to build out the charging network and deliver industry leading charging technology to brand new locations.

“Our work with Costa Coffee will support in achieving the Government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and offer additional peace of mind to drivers wanting to speedily recharge their cars batteries while they pick up their favourite coffee. EV charging needs to ‘slip in’ to customers everyday lives, and by partnering with Costa Coffee, we’re able to take additional steps towards combatting range anxiety in the UK.”

Other big-name businesses using InstaVolt to roll out charging infrastructure across their UK and Ireland locations include KFC and McDonald’s. The KFC partnership could cover up to 450 restaurants, while the McDonald’s partnership could reach more than 1,300.

Similarly, hotelier Whitbread is working with ENGIE UK & Ireland and Geniepoint to add 600 charging points within the next three years, with the option to add up to 400 more in the longer term.

The news from Costa Coffee comes just days after the Green Finance Institute (GFI) convened a new business coalition working to unlock investment into low-carbon road transport systems, with members including Uber, Triodos Bank and Lloyds Banking Group. Transport has notably been the UK’s highest emitting sector since 2016, when it overtook power generation, and, pandemic aside, emissions have been steadily increasing.

Sarah George

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