One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle is bypassing a separate trip to the gas station by combining your shopping trip with your charging process. Filling two needs with one deed, so to speak.
Walgreens stores were the first “grocery” or convenience store to enter the EV charging market over a decade ago, and they still are going strong with their electric vehicle charging presence.
Of course, like all of the major retailers, the EV charging efforts are strongest along major interstates and in major cities throughout the country.
If you’re newer to the concept of charging your EV as you shop, you’re likely wondering just how efficient the process is when it comes to filling your battery back up.
Generally, you can expect to find free Level 2 charging for at participating Walgreens stores with Volta electric chargers. Less common, but also free for 30 minutes, are the Level 3 chargers from 50-100kW. Level 2 chargers will add about 10-12 miles per 30 minutes of charging, and Level 3 chargers will add 75-150 miles to an EV battery in 30 minutes at the 50-100kW range.
Below we’ll discuss where you can charge your vehicle at Walgreens, how long it takes to charge an EV at Walgreens, and the cost of charging an electric vehicle at Walgreens.
Can I Charge an EV at Walgreens?
Like most retailers, Walgreens certainly does not offer electric vehicle charging at all or even most of their stores, since the EV market is still in its infancy. However, Walgreens has taken a leadership role in bringing these chargers to their EV customers at a very fast rate.
Walgreens partnered with Volta back in 2019 and earlier in 2022 it was announced that Volta would be installing over 1,000 EV Level 3 charging stalls to over 500 Walgreens locations. Since the time a customer typically spends in Walgreens is relatively short (30 minutes or less), Walgreens believes that Level 3 chargers are the most ideal for the optimal customer experience.
There were over 9,000 Walgreens stores in the US (and US territories) in 2020, so it’ll be a while until all (or the majority) will have EV charging technology in their parking lots.
Still, 500 locations being developed in the next couple years is over 5% of the total stores.
To find if your destination Walgreens has EV charging, it is easiest to simply visit their store directory which is sorted by state and then city. Once you’re in the city, you can add a filter by clicking “Filters”, then “Conveniences” and then “Electric Vehicle Charging Stations”.
Stores like Walmart and Target should take note of how Walgreens at least posts this information online.
You can also search the Volta charging network map by clicking on the map below to cross reference a Walgreen store from Walgreen’s store directory. As you’ll see, the primary clusters are around the United States’ East Coast, West Coast, Texas, and Chicago. With this map you’ll be able to see if your Walgreens offers Level 2 or Level 3 charging.
How Long Does it Take to Charge An EV at Walgreens?
The Walgreens locations that I was able to locate that advertised charging speeds in the Level 2 range were typically at 6.6kW per hour.
Essentially, that will only add on about 10-12 miles of driving distance per half hour of charge.
Admittedly, it’s not that impressive, but every mile gained counts for something. Since most round trip commutes to Walgreens are going to be 20 miles or less, then the visit itself essentially covers the mileage.
What’s exciting for EV drivers is that Volta is installing more and more Level 3 fast charging stations at Walgreens locations throughout the USA.
If you’re lucky enough to find one at your particular Walgreens, you’ll probably see them in the range of 50kW to 100kW. “kW” is short for kilowatts, or 1,000 watts.
Charging done at these speeds is done with Direct Current (DC) and not Alternating Current (AC), so it can bypass the onboard converter and charger in your EV and charge the battery directly. When using DC voltage, you are charging at Level 3 charging speeds. Sometimes this is referred to as “rapid charging” or “fast charging”.
On average, the typical range that you would gain per minute of rapid charging at these speeds will be 5-6 miles per minute, depending on the charging speed and the vehicle efficiency. Either way, most vehicles can charge from empty to 50% in 30 minutes at these speeds.
Let’s take a look at the table below at some of the top 11 selling models in the USA and see what times you might expect if you were to charge at a charging station if you were to come across 50kW and 100kW Level 3 Fast Charging Stations at Walgreens.
Regardless, if the charging speed exceeds your vehicle’s max limit, then your vehicle will only receive up to its max. You can still use the charging station, you just won’t max out the potential of the charger.
|Level 3 Charging Limit in Kilowatts
|Driving Miles Gained Charging at Walgreens with a 50kW for 30
|Driving Miles Gained Charging at Walgreens with a 100kW for 30
|Tesla Model Y
|Tesla Model 3
|Ford Mustang Mach E
|Chevy Bolt EV
|Tesla Model S
|Hyundai Kona Electric
|Tesla Model X
If you’re wondering how these numbers were calculated, you can check out my article here on Level 3 charging and you’ll be able to see the easy to use formulas so that you can calculate charging times and miles gained per minute of charging for any EV.
Is it Free to Charge an EV at Walgreens (How Much Does it Cost)?
Generally, select Walgreens stores (partnered with Volta) offer free electric vehicle Level 3 fast charging for up to 30 minutes but will charge a fee beyond that time limit. Level 2 charging stations are completely free. Volta charging stations are the primary charging provider and have a “30-minutes free” business model to the end customer by charging advertisers high enough rates to show their digital advertisements at the charging stations.
Yes, you’ll have free charging which is awesome. You’ll just have to deal with being bombarded with digital advertisements at the charging stations — that’s if you’re even standing there to watch them. More than likely you’ll be inside the store and won’t see any of the advertisements, so we’ll see how long this business model plays out.