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EGEB: McDonald’s and InstaVolt roll out EV rapid charging in the UK

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • McDonald’s UK will install InstaVolt EV rapid charging points at drive-thru restaurants.
  • US House Democrats have unveiled a net zero by 2050 plan for the economy.
  • US solar farms are now expected to have a life span of more than 30 years.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

McDonald’s UK installs rapid EV charging

McDonald’s UK announced yesterday that it will install rapid charging points for electric vehicles at its restaurants with drive-thrus. McDonald’s will be working with EV charging network InstaVolt.

This will include the introduction of charging points at both new and existing drive-thru restaurants. The charging points will be able to charge at 125kW.

There are currently 967 McDonald’s restaurants with drive-thrus in the UK, according to the McDonald’s website.

Adrian Keen, InstaVolt’s CEO, said:

Research shows that drivers need to be confident that fast, reliable and simple to use charging infrastructure is never far away and this partnership will deliver that confidence to drivers nationwide.

Paul Pomroy, CEO, McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said:

As we look toward a return to normal service post-COVID-19, drivers will be able to pop in for a coffee or a meal and get an 80% charge in 20 minutes.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of EVs, said:

The UK is home to an ever-expanding network of charge points with over 300 public charge point connectors installed in the last 30 days alone. The availability of charge points across the country, at locations like McDonald’s, will show people how convenient and easy it is to own and run an electric vehicle.

House Democrats’ net zero plan

US House Democrats proposed a plan today to bring the US economy to net zero by 2050. The Washington Post reports:

The proposals would mandate electric utilities be net-zero emitters of greenhouse gases by 2040 and automakers produce only electric cars by 2035. The 538-page plan also backs placing a price on carbon emissions, imposing tougher methane limits, and boosting energy efficiency in buildings. Solar and wind tax credits would be extended through 2025, and the tax credit for electric vehicles would be expanded.

The bad news: This has little chance of becoming law because the Senate and Donald Trump are unlikely to pass it.

The good news for green energy and climate change: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL), the chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, have submitted this plan in the hopes that Democratic victories in the elections this year will change the balance in Congress in 2021. So at least it’s now officially on the table.

Longer-life US solar

The assumed life span of solar projects now averages 32.5 years, up from 21.5 years in 2007, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Further, costs have been slashed by half. Green Tech Media explains:

At the same time, the industry has managed to slash the costs to operate projects by half, with levelized lifetime operational expenditures falling from an average of $35 per kilowatt-year for projects built in 2007 to $17/kW-year for projects built in 2019 (all kW values shown are direct current, or DC).

Berkeley Lab finds that the levelized cost of energy of US utility-scale PV projects declined from an average of $305 per megawatt-hour for projects built in 2007-2009 to $51/MWh for projects built in 2019. The researchers attributed much of that cost reduction to lower upfront capital expenditures, including less expensive PV modules.

The researchers also said they’ve seen costs fall and life spans increase for wind as well, with wind farms expected to also run for around 30 years.

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.