McDonald's Debuts Plug-In Car Charging Station


Come July 14th, a new “green” McDonald’s will be opening in Cary, NC. It will be the first U.S. location for the fast food chain to offer electric car recharging.

The restaurant–located at 1299 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary–will be using a ChargePoint station to provide the service. ChargePoint is a private fee-based network of charging stations. They provide grid access and related services for owners of plug-in cars.

Also, the building is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED). It is part of a LEED for Retail pilot program. Details from this McDonald’s will be used to create two new LEED for Retail rating systems.

“Our customers will have a dedicated place to park and recharge their vehicles,” said Ric Richards, the independent owner of the McDonald’s.

The restaurant will also feature an interactive component for educating customers about the building. It will use an Energy Efficiency Education Dashboard (EEED) that can display live data about a building’s energy efficiencies and green initiatives streamed from the building’s automation system.

“QA Graphics is excited to help McDonald’s inform the public on all the green features they have integrated into this new building,” said Dan McCarty, president and founder of Quality Automation Graphics. The system was designed by Quality Automation Graphics.

It will show a 360 degree digital tour of the inside of the building, where users can select different features to learn more about the innovative designs like water efficient equipment, recycling areas and more.  It will also provide users with local transportation information, including pedestrian paths and bicycle paths.

Other sustainable highlights include:

  • Use of solartubes designed to use 97 percent natural light
  • LED lighting fixtures
  • Renewable materials like sunflower seed board and bamboo
  • Drought tolerant landscape plants

Of course, McDonald’s has been criticized for decades about their environmental practices. Most notably, the destruction of the rainforest to make way for cattle ranching.

I don’t wanna be a half-empty and just chalked this all up to Shamrock Shake-flavored greenwashing. Not that I would argue it isn’t. But a lot of people visit McD’s. I just think there are definitely some educational opportunities here.


Jerry James Stone

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.