Late last year, Walgreen
Prescription for success
Admittedly, the thought of charging a car at Walgreen's sounds ridiculous to me. A company like AeroVironment
When Walgreen issued this statement in July, its 800 stations would have made up 40% of the charging stations in the country. That would have put the company in an excellent position to not only dominate market share, but to establish itself as the go-to brand for electric charging. Since that time, according to American Garage Magazine, the number of charging stations in the U.S. has nearly doubled, meaning Walgreen was never the leader it expected to be.
OK, but who has an electric car?
I don't know anyone with an electric car, but I know I see news about electric cars more and more frequently. Last year, the National Academies predicted that 13 million to 40 million electric vehicles would be on the road by 2030. Partnerships like the one Tesla
Tesla and Toyota aren't the only companies that stand to benefit when Walgreen improves the charging network. Though it has a gas powered backup system, General Motors'
Visibility is crucial to the electric car industry. Right now, a major downside to owning an electric vehicle is range, or the distance the car can cover before it needs to be charged again. When Walgreen adds these stations, it will be easier for customers in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and certain parts of Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington to charge their cars.
Foolish bottom line
Adding charging stations to stores is the type of forward thinking I like to see from a company. In this case, it can serve as distraction for investors who don't want to think about how much Walgreen stands to lose if it fails to renew its Express Scripts deal. But we're still in the early stages of the electric car game, and it's too soon to declare a winner in the charging station race.