Number Of ChargePoint Locations Now Outnumber McDonald’s, Starbucks, 7-Eleven And Walmart

JUL 8 2014 BY MARK KANE 49

ChargePoint station

ChargePoint station

ChargePoint Network just exceeded the mark of 18,000 charging points across the U.S. and Canada and, as it turns out, this figure is more than quite a few popular restaurants and retail outlets.

“With 18,000 charging locations across U.S. and Canada, ChargePoint has more spots than the number of:

  • Starbucks: 14,958*
  • McDonald’s: 13,890**
  • 7-Eleven: 8,160**
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: 7,681**
  • Walmart: 5,256***

*According to Loxcel Geomatics June 27, 2014

**According to Entrepreneur magazine’s 2014 profiles

***According to Walmart’s corporate profile on its own web site”

With so many locations, on average it should be easier to find a charging station than a McDonald’s.

According to ChargePoint, every 9 seconds someone connects to a ChargePoint station.

Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO stated:

“When people realize how many places there are to charge an EV, they’re more likely to consider one for their next vehicle. With the ability to charge at home, work and throughout your day while you shop, eat and play, owning an EV is easier than ever. Not only does ChargePoint alone have more locations than many popular retailers and restaurants, you might be surprised to find charging stations at many stores you often visit.”

Categories: Charging


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49 Comments on "Number Of ChargePoint Locations Now Outnumber McDonald’s, Starbucks, 7-Eleven And Walmart"

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I tried to use charge point the other day for the first time and they wanted me to answer a survey so I hung up and drove to an NRG station and was much more user friendly.

This is the reason why Tesla’s model is superior. Public EV charging should be free for the user, because monetization of charging is too unreliable and annoying.

Those who are selling cars should offer free EV fast charging services, because thouse who do not offer it free, cannot expect to sell that many electric cars. It is just too convenient that if you can just plug-in EV into charging point and go for shopping or dining.

Extensive slow charging network should be financed by tax payers. It is very cheap to install slow charging point into every streetlight pole if there is no attempt to restrict usage only for those who are paying.

That is a ridiculous statement. public charging no more needs to be free than gasoline needs to be free for gas drivers. If we want these stations to continue to expand, there must be profit behind them.

It is still up for grabs as to the best business method to monetize them, however. With a Tesla, it is paid up front. With Nissan’s current “no charge to charge” it is also paid up front. But not for the lifetime of the vehicle. And that may be the best method, who knows. Time will tell.

David, there is a problem, that payment costs are too significant portion of total charging costs. E.g. if you install slow public charging point with a fare collector, the installation costs are about $3000 per socket. But if you install free to use slow charging point into streetlight pole, the installation costs are just $30 per socket. Like I said, people want free fast charging and those who do not offer it for free, cannot expect to sell that many cars. Similarly, if Walmart does not offer free fast charging, it loses most of their customers, because people chooses their shops where they can charge their car for free. E.g. for Tesla there are no expenses from supercharging network, because offering free supercharging, increases the value of Tesla car more than it causes extra costs for Tesla. Therefore Tesla is actually generating more profits if it offers fast charging for free! This is the reason that the cost of Tesla car is actually cheaper than it would be if Tesla would not offer free supercharging. Therefore customer of Tesla is actually paying negative upfront payment from the right of using superchargers! Because without free supercharger, individual Tesla car would be… Read more »

What is your definition of slow? While level 2 chargers typically deliver no more than 40 amps, the speed of charging is left up to the vehicle charger. The new i3 can draw up to 32 amps yielding about 25 miles per hour of charge. That’s more than sufficient for a typical shopping run to a neighborhood shopping center. DC Fast Charging is needed when you need to make a long trip when waiting 4 hours to “fill up” is not practical.

The definition for slow charging is somewhat problematic, because in United States there is only 110 V grid where as in Europe there is more than twice as fast 230 V grid. And also 400 V high power plugs are quite well available.

Typically slow charging is significantly less than 10 kW.

The grid here is 240V at residential homes. But we use 120V split phase outlets. So both home and public level 2 chargers are 240V. We don’t use three-phase wiring for homes though and thus we don’t have 3 phrase chargers for EVs.

Tesla isn’t giving away free electricity. You are simply paying for it up front with the Supercharger option in the car. It’s a good approach though.

Incentives are the best way to entice EV buyers I agree. Once you make the jump, you quickly realize the driving experience is superior, electricity cost much less than gas, and the maintenance is significantly lower.

No, 85 kWh Tesla cars are actually cheaper with supercharger than without free supercharging, because free supercharging increases the value of Tesla cars more than what are the costs of supercharging network.

Actually one who is paying the bill of Tesla Superchargers, is Toyota customer, because superchargers are increasing the value of Tesla cars compared to Lexus cars. Therefore Tesla sales are reducing Lexus sales and hence the profitability of Lexus decreases.

This is the funny thing of dynamic markets that it is often very complicated to track down who is ending up paying the expenses.

But it is very likely that the marginal cost of Tesla chargers is negative. Therefore 85 kWh Model S is actually cheaper with supercharging option than without!

Pure speculation on your part

Lou, you are also speculating.

Answering some questions makes NRG a better service? Pretty silly commentary. I’ve owned an EV more than 2 years. Chargepoint system offers better features than NRG and it’s often cheaper as well.

I used an NRG Lvl 2 charger yesterday. Funny .. all the equipment was Chargepoint and it cost me $1.50 per hour!

Oh c’mon… 18,000 “locations”. So if 4 ChargePoints sit in a parking lot, that counts as 4 locations??? Really?

So, by that count, if there are two barista stations in a Starbucks, does that mean Starbucks has 2 Starbucks “locations”??

Or if McDonalds has 4 cash registers in the building, with a fast friendly staff to assist you at each, does that mean they have 4 McDonald’s “locations”?

Can I get a (cough) B.S. here?
Get over yourselves ChargePoint. You don’t make the best product.

Oh, and I’m not like one of the sheep who is willing to pay your annual fee to use your network. (Even gas pump companies don’t charge annual fees to use their pump, other than CostCo, so why should you charge a fee?)

There is no fee for Chargepoint. NRG offers “pay as you go” too.

Mark, are they counting by the number of ports? For example, if my local library has 2 ports for 2 parking spaces, do they count that as 2 locations?

Probably yes.

That’s gotta be a port count of ChargePoint stations including 120v outlets. Counting each of these as “charging locations” is like counting cash registers as “retail locations” because that’s where you can buy things at Walmart. Lame, ChargePoint – let’s see some real leadership, not false analogies and empty promises of “openness”

I just tried the ChargePoint and Plugshare websites and asked about my area. If I try to drive electric from Huntsville, AL to Birmingham, AL (102 miles), I better plan on carrying a portable generator with me.

So, as I read the line: “With so many locations, on average it should be easier to find a charging station than a McDonald’s.” I have to add if I were to live in a compliance car state.

Actually Mr. C, On the run from Birmingham to Huntsville you will be fine by stopping in to see good ol Cullman Camp Ground, plug in and take in the, “nice trees, grassy sites, a pond with a few cattle & peace & quiet.”

A Nema 14-50 will top off your Electric Fueled Vehicle in no time flat.

Do give the clerk a $10 bill for the fuel. though!

In my Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle, I just keep on going and going and going!


Source- Plug Share Dot Com, Search Window for Huntsvill, Alabama-


Thomas J. Thias


That’s great.I have a Volt too but I’m pretty sure the point here is to keep going and going without burning the Petrochemicals. You know that whole emissions, save the environment, renewable energy thing!

Mark, what do you drive? Are you connected to the Tennessee Valley EV Drivers group?

Mark C – “I just tried the ChargePoint and Plugshare websites and asked about my area. If I try to drive electric from Huntsville, AL to Birmingham, AL (102 miles), I better plan on carrying a portable generator with me.” Suggests that maybe you did not try the PlugShare Trip Planner, maybe? Or local Options don’t fit with your desire or preference? Looking at a generic run per your line above, I added to sites along the way – It’s 28.6 miles from Huntsville, AL to Lynn Layton Nissan, in Decatur and then 34.1 Miles to Serra Visser Nissan in Cullman, leaving 47.1 miles to Birmingham. Of course – these stops are not required in a 60 kWh Tesla Model S, and if your drove a Kia Soul EV you might need just the second one, but if you drove a iMiEV – you would be squeaking to make the second stop – if you skipped the first. So – you did not say which vehicle you had in mind to make this trip! A Kia Soul EV Recently drove in LA area 105 Miles between charges, on the freeway, @ 65 Mph – Speed Limit, right lane, so with… Read more »

Bah, humbug. I bet McDonalds has more users per minute than CP has per year. This whole thing presumes people actually care. There’s a reason that CP has incredibly low utilization (about 1 charge every 2 days).

Aren’t statistics wonderful…

“According to ChargePoint, every 9 seconds someone connects to a ChargePoint station.”

Let’s see, there are 86,400 seconds in a day. So every day, there are 9,600 charging sessions on the network.

This seems rather low for a network of 18,000 EVSEs. That means, on average, each chargepoint gets used once every other day.

I still have my doubts for the long-term viability of an L2 charging network.

Believe it, Brian. Blinks has the same terrible utilization. The charging networks serve only one valuable purpose for EVs – they help prospective buyers rationalize away range anxiety.

The reasons for low utilization are pretty well understood. Charging at home is easier, cheaper and people generally do not drive their EVs outside of their home range. There are some that contend the problem is placement of the EVSEs but there is no placement that can overcome the cost and simplicity of home charging.

and by the way, those utilization stats include free EVSEs. Yikes! Imagine how bad it’s going to get when free goes away.

I’m expecting just the opposite.

Soon to be realised as the greatest Customer/Tenant, Repeat Business/Loyalty generator of all time for business, hospitality, big box, stadums…the list goes on.

Lately, the over 46 FREE Electric Fueled Vehicle Filling Stations in a 15 mile radius of my home seem to be in use more then not.

Drawing the paying customer in and doing so repeatedly is how business works.

As cheap as L2 refueling/charging is per time spent by the customer spending money this will catch on quickly as we pass one quarter of a million EFV’s since November, 2011, just 32 sort months ago.

The list of available EFVs to purchace and lease is growing by leaps and bounds.

Link Goes To Cars/Plug In Cars Dot Com-

I can see the sign now: Free Color TV, Pool, Wifi and EV Refueling!

Merchant, employer and Hotel/Motel Note, 110V AC-Ok. All EV’s refuel this way!


Thomas J. Thias


@SeattleTeslaGuy, @Thomas J. Thias – I am sure the idea of ChargePoint’s Business Model of Charging and Monitoring EV Access for ‘Reservations’ is the antithesis, or exact opposite of SunCountryHighway’s – Businesses install 40 Amp to 60 Amp to 100 Amps EVSE’s and offer FREE EV Charging to guests, customers, etc! – which attracts EV Drivers to their place of business – just like a Billboard would, and then they remember how nice they were, etc. etc.!

I just listed some new sites around Toronto, Ontario – on my PlugShare Blog – – so it will be interesting to monitor and see what happens on these ones, for example.

My own idea is along the lines of – Treat EVSE’s and even DCQC’s as Billboard installations – Expensive to build, initially, but low operational cost & generally are there to attract and direct customers to the business!

Oh, I believe it. I just don’t believe that Chargepoint would be so eager to advertise such low utilization. There are maybe two dozen in my county, and I use them maybe once per month (more often the free ones than the paid ones).

I don’t think that sprinkling the countryside with 6-7kW EVSEs really is the key to wider EV adoption. We need a logically placed network of fast chargers along the highways, exactly like Tesla is doing. I just hope Nissan and BMW jump on board when they release the next generation / longer range models.

Brian, it is obvious that Tesla not just ‘Get’s it!’ – but – is leading the way in a logical fashion in not just putting them out there – but is putting them on routes, planning routes that they are putting them on and then telling us what there plan is! That Whole picture of DCQC installation is what makes them unique! Nissan has started into the game with a plan to install some 400 DCQC’s in USA (With not much discussion of what they will do in Canada, Leta lone in Ontario, Quebec, and BC – the first 3 provinces that had rebate programs!). Kia Canada (and Maybe KIA USA is the same) – has told me that they are leaving it up to Dealers what they will install, but in Europe has started a roll out of 100 kW Multi-Standard DC Quick Chargers (The extra power actually shaves just 5 minutes of the charge up of the Soul EV over that of a 50 kW Charger of the similar format!) Just as Tesla Started out and had 6 Supercharger sites in California, and 2 in the east coast, until they announced their ramp up game plan – other… Read more »

I agree with your general point, but there is one location where it makes sense: the workplace. The company I work for recently got several Chargepoint stations installed on the parking lot, and they are very popular now. I estimate that we have two or three dozen EVs on site (mostly Leafs, Volts, Ford Energis, and a few Teslas). The chargers are subsidized by the company as a benefit to the employees. This model works.

I really don’t understand the business logic of rolling out a L2 slowcharging network. The added value to the user of slowcharging is simply too limited to pay for.

I think slow homecharging makes sense and public charging should always be fast DC. People are willing to pay for speed and convenience.

I think even if the Tesla superchargers were a paid service, people would use them frequently

Most of the time you will charge at home at super low cost, and when on a roadtrip there is no problem to pay for convenience

L2 is cheap to install. It should really be cheap to manage too.

QC makes sense for fast top-up, but there are destinations like amusement parks, state and national parks, stadia and concert venues where people spend hours and _if the chargers could be reserved_ L2 could be very helpful.

Agree 1000%

Actually, location is key. ChargePoint has focused on putting stations in the centers of cities. Great if you’re topping off, but not so good if you’re traveling.

Just like there are gas stations along highways and truck routes, you need EVSE there as well. Pair them up with food places and you have a win-win. People come in to eat while charging, they get more customers, EV owners can up their travel on major roadways. Definitely an investment I’d make if I ran a small diner in a connecting town along a truck route.

It’s impossible to say just how utilized the Chargepoint network is just by going off a plug-in every 9 seconds is unless you know a couple things:

1. How long the average charging session is.
2. The average number of plugs per location.

Google Erlang-B model and charging stations to learn why.

All the more reason to make the 6,600 watt, on-board, charger standard.

The only critique of L2 I have is when they fail to properly identify the ‘destination’.

Forget 6.6kW. All of these should be the maximum 80A (almost 20kW) supported by the L2 spec. Just imagine that!

So in the UK they have >10kW AC stations littered across the country. And apparently LEAFs can use them out of the box. I think there’s some sort of patent BS involved keeping this high-powered cheap and lightweight inverter goodness from existing in the States, but I’ve never gotten anyone to give me a deep scoop.

Our beloved EDITORS, I’m talking to you.

The LEAFs can only use at most 6kW of that 10kW. And the older LEAFs can only use 3.3kW of that 10kW. Via what is called a Type 2 (Mennekes) to Type 1 (J1772) adapter cable. Most UK charge points do not have a tethered cable. They have a socket that you plug your own charging cable into!

I just got a LEAF and so I joined Charepoint and Blink. Looking on the Chargepoint map it looks like it shows me every charging station I already knew about in my area, none of which are on the Chargepoint network (Nissan dealers, municipal chargers).

I don’t know what BS they’re trying to pull here, but my guess is they are counting all charging stations. By the way, use as your EV “gas” buddy. It’s not a charging network but a community mapping site. Get registered and check in on stations so that EVeryone can share the intel. It’s the most extensive and up to date database and easiest to use.

I only got on Chargepoint and Blink because I wanted to be prepared for the few instances I might run into one of their chargers. Plugshare is what I use to find and verify stations.

Yes, Plugshare is a great app. Many folks make their home private chargers available as well. If your passing thru Ventura County CA, look me up

Of the 18,000 how many are owned and operated by ChargePoint? OK so charge point makes roughly $20/month/location on service fees. The problem with their 4.4 million a year business is that owners can decide to offer free power after installing a free SolarCity package on their property. Free charge = no monthly service fee = less revenue for ChargePoint.


The refueling/charging of the Electric Fueled Vehicle has spawned a vast and growing industry.
Besides ChargePoint, no less then 16 other EVSE manufacturing,installing companies are currently bringing these Filling Stations to local markets.

Here a partial list:

Related Manufacturers

ABB Inc.

Car Charging Group, Inc.

ChargePoint, Inc.

Coleman Cable Inc.

Cooper Wiring Devices by Eaton


Fuji Electric Corporation of America

GE Industrial Solutions

General Cable

Hubbell Incorporated

Legrand/Pass & Seymour

Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.

Milbank Manufacturing Company

Schneider Electric

SEW-Eurodrive, Inc.

Siemens Industry, Inc.

Southwire Company

TE Connectivity

Toshiba International Corporation

Link Goes To N.E.M.A.-

These do not include the 6 that can be found on the Home Depo website and every other Big Box store that I might buy on the cheap, as a vender to draw business in for pennies an hour, off peak.

Link Goes To Home Depo EVSE Page-

Offer em FREE cheap lectric fuel for their cars and they will, #EVPlugNStay & #EVPlugNPlay !


Thomas J. Thias


Chargepoint charges an annual fee? How much is this fee?

It doesn’t … at least not that I pay.

Ah, no.

Cody – The Fee – Referred to – is to allow a user to access their network. It is not paid by the user (EV Driver) but the User (Vendor, business, etc.) that installed the Station – so that they can have Data Tracking – and see how busy the station is (is not!) etc., as well as make the station only accessible to users who have a Paid Account (Credit card or financial information linked) so they can bill for access! $/Hr or $/Session, etc.) Clipper Creek Makes the Stations under the Canadian Brand – SunCountryHighway – – which are generally – non-networked, lower cost, without monthly fees for the operators, and are generally more robust as no network stopping the handle from releasing, etc., unlike on ChargePoint Networked and ‘Controlled’ stations! This article covers explanation of cost they are passing on to you – the EV Driver User – “A small fee covers operating and administrative costs for use of the ChargePoint station: $1 for one hour, $2.50 for four hours and $3.50 for six hours.” + (“We charge the same price that you’d pay at home,” plus a 40-cent user fee from ChargePoint) This “ChargePoint… Read more »

As has been Mentioned, because ChargePoint Seems to count every listing that is displayed in their system – this is more like counting Cash Registers, or Deep Fryers, that McDonald’s Stores, since there are also a growing number of Non-Public installations with ChargePoint at Work Place Charging sites – not open to public access, as well as some sites having just 1 EVSE station, unlike Tesla Counting Stations as Sites – and some have from 4 to 6, or even 8 – 10 Supercharger Heads or access points!