MC Charge : How McDonalds is redefining the Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure in Sweden

Ever since the 2008 release of the Tesla Roadster — the first mass-produced highway-legal electric vehicle (EV) powered by a lithium-ion battery — automakers, from General Motors to Toyota, have been rushing to launch their own electric cars.

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Technical limitations, production challenges, and consumer uncertainty have all had a role to play in hampering the industry’s development. But with technical capabilities improving, production costs trending down, and a societal-wide demand for sustainable solutions, the EV’s moment may have arrived.

EVs are becoming more competitive. Median electric car range has increased 171% in 7 years, from 73 miles in 2011 to 125 miles in 2018, according to the US Department of Energy. While the median cost of electric car batteries has dropped significantly in the same time frame, from $800 per kilowatt hour in 2011 to $209 per kilowatt hour in 2017, according to a Bloomberg survey. These advances are translating into sales: in 2011 global EV sales reportedly reached just 50,000 units; by 2018, electric vehicle sales had increased 40x to surpass 2M units.

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With the increase in the sales of the EV’s, the infrastructure to increase the charging stations has to be subsequently. Most of the companies are investing in this charging infrastructure especially gas stations, Malls for their parking lots. The race is unfolding on a global scale, with startups and incumbent brands alike all jockeying for market share and seeking to secure their place. Mc Donald’s has grown to become Sweden’s largest restaurant chain for Electric car charging.

After installing their first charging post in 2009, this chain now has around 55 charging stations around the country and they are not planning to stop here their aim is to have charging station across all their drive –thru restaurants.

According to a survey,48% of electric car drivers say it is difficult to find the charging stations. to make this transition more visible and to lift the need for continued expansion of charging infrastructure along the roads, Mc Donald’s updated its classic signpost, leveraging on its high visibility and easiness to recognize from afar. in an effort to make it easier for people travelling in electric cars to find charging stations.

Mc Donald’s has produced its own version of classic ‘parking signs’ that lead the electric car traveler to the restaurants’ charging stations. the first signs have been installed by McDonald’s restaurants in mjölby and munkedal. In addition to the current price of charging, the signs also show the current price of big mac and happy meal, so that both drivers and passengers can refill their own energy while the car is charging.   

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