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Celebrating National Drive Electric Week with a Volta Retrospective

Kirsten Krososec

Here at Volta, it has been quite a busy summer. We have formed new partnerships, made history in the charging industry, partnered with a music icon and so much more. Since the beginning of June, our stations have provided almost 7 million free miles to electric drivers across the country. Through it all, we’ve been focused on expanding our charging network and helping to accelerate the electric vehicle movement. Our mission is to build infrastructure that drives the world forward, and we live by that; our work is driven with the future in mind. Sometimes, it’s important to take a minute and reflect, and that’s what we want to do for National Drive Electric Week 2020.

CEO Scott Mercer sold this 1967 Jaguar XKE to get the seed money for Volta.

If you weren’t aware of the Volta’s history, consider this your intro course. We were founded in Hawaii in 2010 by Scott Mercer, who sold a restored 1967 Jaguar XKE to get Volta up and running. Mercer remains the CEO today, and was named to this year’s 40 under 40 list by the San Francisco Business Times. In Hawaii, the first-ever Volta charging station was installed at a popular Honolulu shopping mall, where Volta’s ad-based charging method proved to be successful. Volta maintains a strong presence in Hawaii today, with 46 stations located throughout the islands, and we remain forever grateful to the Aloha State for giving us a chance.

2014 was a pivotal year for Volta: Mercer returned to California and partnered with now-president Chris Wendel to raise funding for the company. Investors were initially skeptical of Volta’s success translating to the continental United States, but it soon became clear that the rise of electric vehicles was inevitable, and the funding began flowing in. Volta hit 100 charging stations in 2016, located primarily in California and Hawaii, with the numbers continuing to grow since then. We now have almost 1,400 stations in the ground and have built networks in major cities across the country, from Phoenix to Boston and everywhere in between. The growth doesn’t stop there: one of Volta’s values is that “we will always be smaller than our ambition,” and we work every day with that in mind.

Pictured above is Volta’s first office, a coffee shop that Mercer worked from while in Hawaii.

Pictured above is Volta’s first office, a coffee shop that Mercer worked from while in Hawaii.

At Volta, our ambitions are propelled by the knowledge that electric vehicle infrastructure is of critical importance to the environment, and is one of the crucial next steps in increasing renewable energy adoption. The increase in major wildfires raging across the west coast this summer makes our role in environmental conservation all the more urgent, and we can do that by increasing the adoption of electric vehicles. The more people who drive electric, the healthier for the environment; and the more free charging available to electric vehicle drivers, the greater the incentive to switch. This is why we celebrate National Drive Electric Week – because making the switch to electric is the way of the future. We are forecasting that the “future” is a lot closer than most people think…

Even with all the excitement Volta has seen this summer, things are only going to get busier. We have a long list of stations scheduled for installation before the end of the year, with hundreds of advertising partners using our network to promote their brands. As the most utilized charging network in the US, we’ve seen our usage steadily climb since April, and we expect that to trend to continue as states further loosen their COVID-19 regulations.

Volta has several major announcements coming soon that we cannot wait to share; be sure to follow @voltacharging on your favorite social media platforms to stay informed. In light of National Drive Electric Week, we want to leave you with this: we are committed to helping the world #DriveForward into an electric future, and we hope that you will come along for the ride.

Kirsten Krososec
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