West Virginia McDonalds Adding Two EV Chargers


When you think of the Golden Arches, do you think green too? Well if you don’t, soon, you might have to. A new McDonalds opening in West Virginia is adding two EV charging ports.

The two charging ports come from American Electric Power, a major supplier of electricity to the Southwho wants to demonstrate the use of electric vehicle charging stations. While I question the location (coal-mining West Virginia isn’t exactly an environmental haven), it’s nice to see more restaurants getting in on the EV game. Cracker Barrel same time seems to be catching on.

It’s the first McDonalds to have a Level 2 Electric Charger in the U.S., though Cracker Barrel is adding  EV chargers to 24 restaurants in Tennessee. The idea of filling up your belly and your electric vehicle at seems to be catching on with Americans and American companies. The company that revolutionized fast food could have a dramatic impact on EV charging, should it so decide. Imagine if all of the more than 12,000 McDonalds restaurants in America had charging stations? You’d have a hard time arguing that the infrastructure for electric vehicles aren’t in place.

Even if that happened, it wouldn’t make McDonalds all that green in the grand scheme of things. Of course, compared to American Electric Power, one of the largest producers of coal power in the U.S. (26,595 MW from coal alone in 2005), McDonalds looks downright carbon neutral.

How serious McDonalds is about going green remains to be seen, but if they get on the green bandwagon and add EV chargers to all their stores, it would make overall acceptance of electric cars that much easier to swallow (ha).

Source: Green Car Advisor

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • In high densely metropolitan areas this could be problematic as there will likely be people who are not patrons of McDonalds parking their electric vehicle for charging. Let the food fights begin! Nothing like getting hit upside the head with a Happy Meals wielded by screaming children.

    • Ziv

      Problematic how? You don’t buy a meal, you don’t get to get any electricity. You aren’t going to completely fill your pack at a McD’s, you will put a kWh or 2 in, which is a dime or two of expense for McD’s. But it gives you a reason to go to a McD’s when you might otherwise have gone to a better cafe. And that is why McD’s will be doing this relatively soon in a lot of locations.

      • Ziv,

        I reside in Southern California, and people game the system to the Nth degree. It doesn’t matter whether it’s handicap parking; parking in two stalls to avoid door dings; parking where it clearly states or indicates not to park; parking a crew cab, long bed, dually truck in corner spots so they jut-out to be unsafe for everyone else. The list goes on.

        Not to mention what will happen when Junior who just acquired his license takes his parents electric vehicle to McDonalds to chum-up with his friends, and occupies the space from dawn until dusk. Believe me, Junior will do it.

        • ziv

          Good points, so McD’s may have to scan a credit card to let you park behind the gate. You get the electricity for free if you have a code on your order to input when you leave. If you leave after more than 30-40 minutes, the amount you are charged goes up rapidly.
          This isn’t rocket science, it is sales and marketing interacting with new technology. This is one of the few things that Americans still do well at. And yes, people will try to game the system, but it comes down to charging them more if they do. It is opportunity charging we are looking for, not the right to a free charge guaranteed for life.

          • Well said. Next up for McD’s: discount biodiesel and happy-meal gift shops!

  • John Cooper

    Oh wonderful. McDonalds spends ten or twenty thousand dollars adding these charging stations (plus who knows how much in increased utility bills) and then raises prices to cover the cost. So essentially, the customers will be subsidizing the PC crowd who buy electric vehicles.

  • Jo

    “While I question the location (coal-mining West Virginia isn’t exactly an environmental haven),”

    How do you think electricity is made in West Virginia? It certainly isn’t wind generated. Electric cars will be a boon to the coal industry.

  • bm

    The Venn diagram of EV early adopters and McDonalds/Cracker Barrel patrons would look most like a pair of glasses wouldn’t it?

  • McDonalds: saving the planet with coal-powered cars!

    Well, I’ll admit it needs a little work…

  • They should filter their used fry greece and sell it as biodiesel. The diesel engines running the stuff would smell like French Fries advertising Mcdonald’s wherever the biodiesel car went.

    • That won’t work because the same people pushing for green energy are pushing to do away with meat, candy, CO2, land ownership, borders, national sovernty, and eventually people.

  • It makes me chuckle that you excoriate AEP for their carbon foot print when the sainted electric vehicles that will get their energy from AEP are considered zero emissions. Until folks start endorsing nuclear power there will be no such thing as a zero emission vehicle.

  • Electrict cars aren’t green if 46% of the electricity generated in the USA comes from coal. NG cars are greener.

    • That really is not the point of electric vehicles

      Removing toxins from the local environment (city streets) will improve air quality and general public health.

      Once toxic gases are isolated (in this case a coal generator), it can (and will) be replaced with cleaner alternatives….such as Natural Gas, Nuclear, or renewables.

  • “How serious McDonalds is about going green remains to be seen,”

    What does that have to do with anything? Electric vehicles require locations where you can charge them up. There is a need, therefore, someone will meet it. Whether you think they’re “green” or not is irrelevant.

    If you want people driving electric vehicles, then you should be cheering on anyone willing to offer the infrastructure to support them – because they’re not powered by rainbows and unicorns. Alternative energy infrastructure isn’t going to be built because those building it want to “go green”; it’ll be built because its cost effective, convenient, and people want to use it.

  • joe

    You forget one thing when you mention “While I question the location (coal-mining West Virginia isn’t exactly an environmental haven)” and that is this: West Virginia is doing this for one reason and one reason only… jobs. West Virginia coal powers a lot of electricity plants around the nation. If McDonalds is going to serve the “Green Community” (yeah right) then they might as well make it productive for West Virginia by keeping money here by mining WV coal and not relying on foreign oil. The problem with these “Green” cars are that they rely on coal which is dirty and the batteries in them do considerable harm to the environment by mining and smelting the nickel into batteries.

  • Since coal is used to make electricity but not gasoline, EV charging stations in the heart of coal country make sense to me.

  • Selling food and electricity at 1 location. Shear genius. C’mon now, you didn’t thinki 12 bucks worth of Electricity was provided in the price of a meal?

  • RC

    Couldn’t be more appropriate than for McDonalds to add charging stations to one of their restaurants in West Virginia. Where else but a coal mining state should there be facilities for coal fueled faux environmentally friendly cars. The irony is thick enough to cut with a knife.

  • I would be interested in seeing how this turns out and exactly what it would be like. Thanks for the post

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