Electric Car Rapid Charging Network Coming To McDonald’s

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There’s nothing more nerve-wracking as an EV owner than being torn between tucking into a double sausage and egg McMuffin or charging your car.

Well, fear not! McDonald’s and charge point provider InstaVolt have the answer: Namely, a rapid charging network at the fast food goliath’s UK drive-thrus.

So what exactly do we know about the charging network? Will everybody be able to charge at their local Maccy D’s? If so, how much will it cost? Most importantly, when will it be fully operational?

If you own an electric car, find out all you need to know about the changes which will allow you to recharge your car’s batteries and your own at the same time!

Will I have to pay to charge my car at McDonald’s?

McDonald's EV chargers

Unfortunately, yes, you’ll have to pay to connect to one of the 125kW rapid chargers. But who knows, maybe McDonald’s will include a free full charge as part of its ever-popular Monopoly sales promo!

‘How much will it cost me?’ I hear you ask. Well, InstaVolt’s current network of rapid chargers (one of the largest in the UK) charge a flat rate of 35p per kilowatt-hour.

To give you an idea of how much this would cost for a full charge, a standard Nissan Leaf would be £14* for 160 miles, which would take roughly 48 minutes. However, the chances are that you’ll just need a quick top up to keep you on your way. So, if you’re have a 20% charge (equivalent to 32 miles in the Leaf), for example, and want to add 60% (96 miles) more, this would only cost you £8.40**. Charging time would be 29 minutes too, which is probably a more accurate reflection of the time you’d spend enjoying your McDonald’s.

Of course, it’s much cheaper to get the same charge at home because the typical home electricity cost is 14p per kilowatt-hour. Based on these rates, it would cost you just £3.36*** for the same 60% charge for your Leaf. However, it would take just shy of three and a half hours if you’ve got a standard 7kW home charger. If you have the slowest 3kW charger, the time taken more than doubles to eight hours.

***Prices and charging times calculated using the Zap-Map.com public and home charging calculators.

Which McDonald’s restaurants will have rapid chargers?

McDonald's EV chargers
Copyright © InstaVolt

InstaVolt has released a statement to say that its rapid chargers will be installed at new and existing drive-thru sites “where they can be accommodated”.

We assume that this means any McDonald’s restaurants which has a drive-thru and enough land to fit the chargers on-site.

Want to know where you could potentially charge your car while grabbing a bite to eat? Use the fast food chain’s restaurant locater to find the nearest drive-thru location to you.

When will the chargers be installed?

It isn’t clear yet when the rapid chargers will be up and running. However, more than 900 drive-thru restaurants reopened last week as the post-lockdown reopening from the coronavirus continues.

A ‘first wave’ of chargers are being installed at selected restaurants to trial the service. The exact dates will be made announced close to the time when they will be made available.

Can I charge my Tesla at McDonald’s rapid chargers?

Tesla drivers won’t need to worry about not being able to charge their car using McDonald’s new chargers. As long as you have the charging connector which comes with the car, you can hook up to any outlet.

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