Volta’s Vision for Fan Engagement from the Green Sports Alliance Summit Main Stage

Free Volta EV Charging Stations at the Oracle Coliseum in Oakland

Free Volta EV Charging Stations at the Oracle Coliseum in Oakland

“How can we leverage the power of business and excitement around sports to drive sustainability?” That question drives Green Sports Alliance (GSA) members, which happens to include two stadiums that host Volta’s free EV charging stations—The Oracle Arena / Oakland Coliseum and the United Center in Chicago—as well as many of their member teams. Each year, the Alliance holds a summit to share ideas and inspiration about how to drive sustainability through sports.

“This is so much bigger than providing a few plugs for EV driving fans. This is about leveraging the power of stadiums as iconic cultural centerpieces to show the world that clean mobility is here, and it’s for everyone.”

At this year’s summit, Volta CEO and Founder Scott Mercer spoke from the main stage as part of the thought leadership panel alongside other key executives in the sustainability space. Below is a recap of key questions and an overview of Volta’s vision for driving fan engagement through unique, positive sustainability experiences in the sports world.

1. What is your sustainability story?

“While being environmentally and socially responsible is key to us at Volta, it’s also very important to us to build an EV charging business model that is financially sustainable. That’s why we built a unique model where the charge is free to EV drivers, entirely enabled by sponsors and content. The community as a whole feels inspired and empowered to make the leap to an electric car.

“Stadiums make perfect partners to drive exposure, engagement, and inspiration for fans by showing that EVs are here, and their community is ready to make this change. Teams benefit from new fan engagement opportunities using the digital screens on the stations where we dedicate one of the rotating digital sponsorships to their use.

“This is so much bigger than providing a few plugs for EV driving fans. This is about leveraging the power of stadiums as iconic cultural centerpieces to show the world that clean mobility is here, and it’s for everyone.”

Free Volta EV Charging Stations at the United Center in Chicago

Free Volta EV Charging Stations at the United Center in Chicago

2. Where do you see the puck going in the future of your industry? How does your work act as a catalyst for sport?

“Shifting transportation to clean, electric power is a massive undertaking. While rolling out enough chargers in enough places is extremely important, an equally critical piece is enabling this huge social shift that’s going to be involved in remaking American car culture to fulfill this electric vision.

“Sports stadiums are ideal partners to both enable this change, and also to benefit from it. Volta brings a whole new way for stadiums and teams to engage with sustainable transport. It’s our vision to leverage the excitement of technological innovation and connect that with the excitement around sports to create a whole new category of fan experiences. These aren’t just a row of posts with cords attached that benefit a handful of fans. We envision a sports team that has a Volta station for each one of their star players, with our digital screens hosting interactive fan engagement experiences so they can see themselves in a photo with their favorite player and maybe enter for a chance to win free tickets and share on social media.

“These types of meaningful, memorable experiences can have a ripple effect beyond the game. Together, we can inspire change in local communities and people’s lives as we accelerate EV adoption and provide a cleaner future for everyone.”

3. How do you know that you’re actually making a difference? What can you measure?

“We know we’re advancing sustainability in two ways: infrastructure and influence.

“So, first, we’re building the most highly utilized charging network on a per-port basis. We’re seeing an average usage of 8-10 hours a day. Through our live data monitoring we’re able to prove how much carbon we’ve saved and then sell carbon credits on the California market. To-date, we’ve prevented over 9 million pounds of CO2 from going into the atmosphere and we’re installing a new station almost every day so the pace of that impact keeps accelerating.

“Second is this cultural piece. We’re influencing millions of Americans to consider making that leap to an electric car. Third-party research studies have shown us that up to 68% of people who see a Volta station in the wild will consider going electric for their next car. That’s truly inspiring to us to see that we’re delivering millions of free electric miles to today’s EV drivers and at the same time, inspiring millions to make that shift from gas to electric, which for millions of people in the US is the single most powerful climate action they can take.”

If you are a venue manager interested in free EV charging services, let us know here. If you’re a fan excited to see your team lead the charge on electric vehicles — tag them and let us know on our Facebook page.