It’s an hour before the puck drops at a Blackhawks hockey game at the United Center in Chicago. Cars are jockeying for parking spots and fans sporting red jerseys stream into the arena. On their way, they may pass a few premium parking spaces that double as charging stations for electric vehicles.

Mercer: “If you’re an electric car driver, and you go to the United Center, you can use the stations entirely free of cost.”

Scott Mercer is C.E.O. of Volta, the company that owns the stations. In addition to the four at the United Center, Volta has deployed about 60 more around Chicago, and networks in several other cities. Ads are displayed at each station, providing revenue that keeps the charging free for drivers and parking lot owners.

Volta targets high-visibility locations to get people’s eyes both on the ads and the charging stations themselves. Ultimately, the goal is to spark more interest in electric vehicles.

Mercer: “People who just see Volta charging stations are more likely to consider buying an EV the next time they look for a new car.”

More people driving electric vehicles means less carbon pollution … and more demand for charging locations. It’s a win for EV owners and the earth.

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Courtesy of Mia Yamauchi of Volta Charging.

Diana Madson

Diana Madson has been a regular contributor with Yale Climate Connections since April 2014. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition...