Charging and Chalupas: Fast Food Chains Begin to Offer EV Power

Taco Bell, Subway and 7-Eleven are rolling out plugs for electric vehicles

Taco Bell Defy opens in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
EV owners may start to choose their lunch depending on who has a charger.
The Washington Post via Getty

As electric vehicles become increasingly mainstream, states are investing in charging infrastructure and retail stores across the country are installing stations where EV owners can plug in. Now, a number of fast food chains and convenience stores have announced plans to provide customers with EV charging solutions, including 7-Eleven, Subway and Taco Bell.

U.S. 7-Elevens might not have the culinary pedigree of those in Japan, but people stopping in for a Slurpee and taquitos will also be able to top up their electric vehicle. As U.S. News & World Report explained, the convenience store chain has already begun installing stations across its “7Charge” network, with chargers currently up and running in Florida, California, Colorado and Texas, and plans to expand. Customers will pay based on the amount of energy they use or time they spend charging. While most EVs will be compatible with 7Charge, Tesla owners will have to bring an adaptor. 

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Fans of eating fresh will soon be able to get more than a charge while digging into a Sweet Onion Chicken footlong. Not only is Subway installing EV charging stations, but they’re creating “charging oases” that will also include things like green spaces and playgrounds, which could potentially also fill the void that was once a McDonald’s PlayPlace.

And if you live in California, you may have already noticed Taco Bells across the state have quietly been installing EV chargers. More than 100 locations have them already, and though the fast food chain — known for its iconic Mexican pizza — hasn’t spoken of expansion, that’s likely the next step.

It only makes sense that other fast food chains will also get into the charger game because they certainly stand to make money off the venture (and if they’re the only plug-in in town, possibly convert some new fans too). And now you only have to make one stop when breaking for lunch on an upcoming electric road trip.

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