Next up: decarbonizing parking lots while driving down the bottom line

By 2035 California will stop selling new internal combustion passenger vehicles to help curb climate change—a sure sign electric vehicles are going mainstream.

Quick-serve restaurants have looked for ways to reduce carbon, including launching menus featuring plant-based meals. Now, a California Taco Bell is about to offer patrons electric vehicle (ev) charging stations powered by ChargeNet Stations. It’s a move that clearly makes sense for the environment, but, surprisingly, it also helps reduce the restaurant’s energy costs.

The first ChargeNet Stations’ units that incorporate solar energy storage and EV fast charging, along with a smart optimization platform called ChargeOpt, are about to be unveiled at a San Francisco Taco Bell with nearly 80 more already slated to open later this year. ChargeNet Stations offer EV drivers a near 100-mile charge in 15 minutes or less for about $10.

The software innovation converts a restaurant’s parking lot into a profit center by creating and storing reusable energy. It’s a ‘win-win’ for consumers, restaurant owners, and the planet. Consumers are attracted by convenient locations and affordable fast charging. Restaurant owners generate new business and save 20-40 percent on their electric bill by using energy generated by the ChargeNet Stations.

“This helps solve a huge demand problem we know is coming,” says ChargeNet Stations CEO Tosh Dutt. “Right now, EV charging is a ‘planned’ chore. It can take longer than filling up at a gas station, a good location can be hard to find, and not everyone has a spacious garage to use as a charging station. What we’re doing is creating a seamless opportunity for a quick charge at a convenient place for a good price—and it’s good for the planet.”

Installation requires only one additional meter to support the charges but doesn’t require utility service upgrades. With the special service model and government incentives, Diversified Restaurant Group, the first to debut the ChargeNet Stations in California, will pay nothing upfront while pocketing a portion of the revenue generated from the chargers.

Each parking lot is equipped with six fast-charging stations, which sit under a solar array rooftop. Customers pull into the space, plug in, and order their meal.

Dwell times, which can be a pain point for EV owners and concern for operators, are smartly managed with rapid recharging capabilities and carefully targeted incentives. In the event of a power failure, restaurants can use the stored power to continue operations. No maintenance is required. If a charger or solar panel malfunctions or needs to be replaced, a service provider is dispatched the same day.

The software also consolidates data from a brand’s native app and point of sale to build an anonymized consumer profile for each EV driver. This means based on past orders operators can target promotions and obtain metrics about which menu items EV drivers prefer, further adding benefits for restaurant operators.

To learn more, visit

Sponsored Content