Innovation That Matters

Free car charging at new, green(er) McDonald's

Mobility & Transport

Late last year we wrote about the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s pilot program to offer free car charging in its parking garage, and now a brand-new McDonald’s restaurant about to open in North Carolina will be the chain’s first in the nation to offer the same thing. The new restaurant in Cary—opening this week—will be North Carolina’s first “green” McDonald’s, and it aims to become gold-certified under the LEED standard. Both the interior and exterior of the restaurant have been designed with sustainability in mind. More than 95 percent of the wood used in construction, for example, comes from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, while tables and decor incorporate rapidly renewable materials such as sunflower seed board, wheat board, bamboo and kirei board. Solatubes inside provide quality natural light, while lighting fixtures automatically adjust to changing light conditions. All components used inside are free of urea and formaldehyde, while vinyl is PVC-free and all paints, adhesives, coatings and sealants are low-VOC. The kitchen and bathrooms, meanwhile, are designed to minimize the use of water. Perhaps most interesting of all, there will be preferred parking spaces for hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles, along with ChargePoint stations offering free electricity for plug-in cars. Two such stations will be available at the restaurant’s launch, according to The News & Observer. It’s not entirely clear whether a 30-minute meal offers enough time to charge a vehicle adequately, as HybridCars points out. Nevertheless, plans are afoot to install charging stations at McDonald’s locations in Sweden as well, the publication reported, and there seems little doubt that as adoption of electric vehicles increases, there will be demand for charging stations in convenient spots around the globe. Embrace such technology early, and you boost your eco-credentials; offer it as a free perk, and you could win eco-minded consumers’ hearts, minds and dollars! 😉 Spotted by: via Judy McRae



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