McDonald’s in the UK announced that it plans to install rapid charging points for electric vehicles (EV) at its drive-thru restaurants.
The fast food giant partnered with EV charging specialist, InstaVolt to install the new charging infrastructure at its existing drive-thru restaurants as well as new ones. The rapid charging technology from InstaVolt is said to charge at 125kW. It is claimed to provide an 80% charge in under 20 minutes.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has introduced charging facilities at its drive-thru restaurants. Over the last few years it has added similar facilities in the Netherlands and Sweden. Here’s a video showing how McDonald’s introduced the concept in Sweden back in 2019.
While there are more consumers who are looking to switch to EVs, they are often worried about “range anxiety”, that their EVs are not able to undertake long journeys. McDonald’s said its partnership with InstaVolt takes advantage of its scale to provide drivers with easy access to charging points.
According to McDonald’s website, it has a total of 967 restaurants with drive-thrus across the UK. It assures that with its network of restaurants, customers are never too far from a charging point. It hopes this would provide convenience to existing EV drivers and could encourage people to make the switch if they haven’t.
McDonald’s installation of electric charging points is incredibly timely as there are significant changes taking place in the automotive industry, devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit UK car sales hard with new vehicle registrations in May dropping by 89% compared to the previous year. Conversely, EV registrations grew by 21.5% driven by pre-orders for the latest premium models according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The EV industry in UK seems to be carried by upward momentum with registrations growing to 37,850 in 2019, up 144% compared to 15,510 registrations in 2018.
In Europe, companies like Volkswagen are making significant changes to their operations. The German carmaker announced that it would convert its Zwickau facility in Saxony to exclusively produce EVs. This includes production of its own EV cars as well as for other major brands, Audi and Seat.
Closer to home, EVs are still not widely available in Malaysia. Last year, Geely Auto Group, one of the biggest shareholders in Proton Holdings, said it had no plans to bring its electric vehicle brand Geometry A, just yet.
While Geely may have the technology and Proton may benefit greatly from a fully electric vehicle program, Malaysia still lacks the incentive and infrastructure to support fully electric vehicles. The company said before it can make EVs available in the country, the country needs to be ready to accept EVs.
Geely is of the opinion that the Malaysian government has not reached a consensus to promote pure electric cars in a massive way even though there is growing interest in EVs.
It goes on to say that pure EVs need support from the facilities such as charging stations. There also needs to be incentives like subsidies for the EV industry before we can expect to see a wider roll out of EVs in Malaysia.
But that is not to say there aren’t any brands are bringing EVs to the Malaysian market. Mercedes-Benz showcased its fully electric EQC SUV in Malaysia last year and announced that Malaysia will be first country in the Southeast Asian region to receive it this year. According to PaulTan, the EQC 400 4Matic is expected to retail from RM600,000.
EV are set to play a critical role in reducing air pollution and addressing climate change. Stats from the International Energy Agency show in 2019 alone, all EVs combined avoided the consumption of almost 0.6 million barrels of oil products per day globally.
A report by BloombergNEF (BNEF), Bloomberg’s research service on energy transition, found that even though gas-powered vehicles still account for half of all global auto sales, the market has already peaked. EVs are expected to weather the global downturn better than gas-powered truck and cars. BNEF’s forecast calls for 1 in 10 cars sold to be battery powered by 2025, which is estimated to be about 8.5 million cars.