Volta, an electric vehicle charging and media company, has announced a collaboration with Tucson Electric Power (TEP), an electric utility serving more than 438,000 customers in Southern Arizona, to install critical public EV charging infrastructure in and around disadvantaged communities in the Tucson area.
Volta will install eight EV charging stalls at high-traffic locations, such as grocery stores and entertainment venues, to ensure these communities have convenient and affordable charging options. These public options are especially critical for renters (nearly 40% of Tucson residents) and residents of multifamily housing (over 30% of housing in the US), and others who do not have access to charging at home.
This collaboration with TEP is an extension of Volta's “Charging For All” initiative, through which Volta seeks to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable and easy-to-use public charging. Charging For All is aligned with the Biden-Harris Administration's Justice40 goal, which aims to direct 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Justice40 applies to the US$7.5bn of funding allocated towards public EV charging infrastructure buildout under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
"This collaboration is a model of how charging network operators, like Volta, can support Justice40 goals now and as federal investments are distributed," said Volt's COO, Brandt Hastings. "Volta continues to prioritize EV charger installations that are accessible to all. This work includes leveraging our PredictEV infrastructure planning platform, which uses behavioural science and machine learning technology to help commercial property owners, cities, and electric utilities plan EV infrastructure intelligently, efficiently, and equitably."
The large digital displays integrated into Volta's chargers grab the attention of everyone who passes by and provide a powerful reminder that public chargers are already available in the community — an important factor when deciding to switch to an EV. These media screens comprise the Volta Media Network. By building not just a network of chargers but a dual energy and digital advertising platform, Volta says it can generate revenue from the moment charging stations are installed.
Volta says this advertising revenue allows it to build critical EV charging infrastructure in all types of communities, regardless of how many drivers own an EV in that area today. Further, it unlocks the ability for Volta and partners to subsidise the cost of charging sessions for drivers where suitable, delivering safe and affordable charging near the front doors of commercial properties and retail locations. Currently, Volta's Level 2 charging stations are free to use for the first two hours.
The first two chargers were recently installed at Cinemark Theatres located at 1300 East Tucson Marketplace Blvd and are ready for immediate use by EV drivers.
Digital advertising is being rolled out at ChargePoint public charging locations in the US
In another recent digital advertising/EV charging partnership digital video company Destination Media teamed up with digital advertising displays provider Ara Labs in September to roll out digital advertising functionality at a number of US public charging locations operated by ChargePoint.
Deployments are taking place at select AC and DC fast-charging locations within the ChargePoint network to offer an enhanced driver experience with compelling content on high-resolution, large-format networked screen hardware.
The partners say the aim is for the deployments to give retailers new revenue streams and provide valuable opportunities to engage and inform customers while they shop.