McDonald’s Environment Manager Heinz Hänni and GOFAST CEO Domenic Lanz discuss their collaboration in expanding Switzerland’s network of fast charging stations.

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December 2020 sees the launch by GOFAST, Swiss provider of fast charging, , of an ambitious project with McDonald’s Switzerland to expand the electric car charging infrastructure. The aim is to equip most of the nearly 90 McDrive restaurants with fast charging stations by the end of 2022. A driving force for this collaboration is from Heinz Hänni, Environment Manager at McDonald’s Switzerland, who has been working on improving the environmental impact of the almost 170 McDonald's restaurants in Switzerland for the last ten years. We met Heinz Hänni and Domenic Lanz to discuss this exciting project and future developments in e-mobility.

Mr Hänni, what prompted McDonald’s to install charging stations at McDrives across Switzerland?
Hänni: For the last 10 years, our burgers and fries have been prepared exclusively with green electricity from hydroelectric power. It is important for us that we use renewable energy sources and protect our natural resources. This is why we have been able to reduce the CO2 emissions from each Big Mac made in Switzerland by 45% in the last 10 years. The GOFAST charging points are a perfect fit for our environmental approach as we will also help to reduce our customers’ CO2 emissions. Our network of almost 90 McDrives, which are evenly distributed across the entire country, will also make e-mobility accessible to more people here in Switzerland.

Is e-mobility also part of your logistics operation?
Hänni: More than 80 per cent of our ingredients are sourced from Swiss suppliers, but we do not currently use electric trucks to transport them to our restaurants. Instead, we use an environmentally friendly combination of trains and trucks, some of which run on biodiesel. We close the loop by having the used frying oil from our restaurants turned into biodiesel.

Mr Lanz, you have said that the partnership with McDonald’s is a stroke of luck for e-mobility. What do you mean by that?
Lanz: On the one hand, I mean the expansion of our charging network by almost 90 new fast charging stations in very good locations. But above all, I see it as the perfect combination of our two offers. The first generation of drivers of electric vehicles has put up with inconveniently located and sometimes also poorly operated public charging stations out of pure idealism. We are currently on the brink of a new customer segment. The next generation of drivers of electric vehicles won’t want to have to deal with these teething problems anymore. They expect to be able to combine easy charging with other activities such as eating or shopping. The partnership with McDonald’s is therefore a game changer.

The same would therefore also apply to shopping centres or other facilities with high numbers of visitors?
Lanz: Of course. Our primary activities in the future will be shopping, eating or going to the cinema and while we are doing that, our car will be charging its batteries. We expect that these types of facilities will have to offer their customers fast charging solutions for electric vehicles in the future.

Mr Hänni, how did McDonald’s go about finding a suitable partner?
Hänni: Long-term partnerships are important to us: for example, Bell from Oensingen, already supplied the beef for the first Big Mac in Switzerland, 45 years ago. Reliable and innovative partners also help us to improve constantly and to offer our guests an even better service. We re-evaluated our strategy for expanding the charging infrastructure two years ago and decided to go with the GOFAST fast charging solution after a tendering process.

Why did you choose GOFAST?
Hänni: Our guests love our quick, friendly service so they should also be able to charge their electric cars quickly. The GOFAST fast chargers give them a 300 kilometer charge while they are enjoying their Big Mac meal. That is what convinced us.
It is also important for us to work together with experienced partners who offer the best product on the market. GOFAST is Switzerland’s pioneer in super-fast charging stations and has committed itself to the same values as us: sustainability, reliability and local. It is, quite simply, a perfect match.
And GOFAST has proven to be an exceptionally easy partner to work with, right from the start. We are both always focused on our customers’ needs.

Mr Lanz, are there not already enough charging stations with respect to the number of electric vehicles in Switzerland?
Lanz: It is possible that there are currently enough public charging stations with respect to the number of electric cars in Switzerland. However, the number of new registrations of electric vehicles is rising extremely quickly and this will become a significant part of the mass market in the next few years. But our aim is always to be one step ahead of demand: because no one enjoys waiting for a free charging spot. We are therefore heading in the right direction by further expanding the fast charging network through beneficial partnerships.

This was a written interview.


Learn more about the collaboration with McDonald's and possibilities to work with GOFAST.