Photo by David Dreyfuss
These chargers have been ordered removed. The site has been approved for chargers but not the signage.
How Did That Happen?
Volta is a company that installs charging stations at their own expense at highly trafficked locations which are free to users. These chargers are at the site of the former Barnes and Noble on Post Road East in Westport, now being renovated as an Amazon supermarket due to open later this year.
Volta chargers have large screens that display digital advertising. Its business model is that the advertising covers the cost of installation and power, plus earns a profit. The business benefits from having this amenity (and Amazon has made sustainability a corporate focus). Volta chargers typically have J1772 connectors.
While we always welcome EV charging stations, the odd thing about this is that a proposed Volta installation just down the road at Stop and Shop was nixed by Westport Planning and Zoning, the reason being that the video display was non-conforming signage. Do they think these will remain invisible?
Volta chargers can be found at the new upscale mall, The Sono Collection, in Norwalk. Malls and supermarkets are ideal locations from Volta’s perspective with people constantly coming and going, the better to bulk up the number of advertising exposures. The chargers are placed in a prominent location, not ancillary parking. Volta has a master agreement with Stop and Shop to install chargers at a number of their locations, including 2 locations in Norwalk.
Just don’t try and sneak in for a charge after hours. They typically turn off the units when the business is not open. Operating hours can generally be found on the PlugShare app. These chargers are not yet listed because they are not yet live.