Even as the number of electric cars increase on roads across the globe, public charging stations aren’t yet easy enough to find.
Auto makers are trying to change that — BMW, Tesla and Volkswagen are working to expand their networks of charging points. Volta, a Honolulu-founded startup, is accelerating the growth of charging station infrastructure, by installing free charging outlets with ad displays.
The company has over 100 free charging stations in five US cities. It just secured $7.5 million in funding to expand its network to 400 units across San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Honolulu.
Volta’s chargers are installed at upmarket malls and grocery stores, and allow users to top up their cars for free. The outlets double as billboards for for Volta’s advertising clients.
What’s interesting about Volta’s business is that it doesn’t actually require people to use their chargers to generate revenue — the company gets paid by advertisers regardless.
With the demand for electric vehicles on the rise worldwide, it looks like Volta could be on to something powerful here.