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USA: More retail centers installing electric vehicle charging stations

Mall operators and retailers consider the chargers a good investment, a way to one-up competitors and burnish a green reputation — even
though few of their customers own electric vehicles.

Charge it” may soon have new meaning at shopping malls and retail centers across the country.

As sales of electric cars begin to pick up, retailers nationwide are installing electric vehicle charging stations in their parking lots so customers can plug in and juice up their vehicles while browsing inside.

Leading the way is drugstore chain Walgreen Co., which is installing chargers at about 800 stores nationwide, including about 100 Southland locations.

Macy’s Inc. is installing chargers at a handful of department stores in San Diego. Kohl’s Corp. is undertaking a pilot program to equip 33 stores nationwide with charging stations, and Best Buy said it will test them at 12 locations, including San Diego and Los Angeles.

Retailers view the chargers as a good investment for the future, a way to one-up competitors and burnish a green reputation. Although adoption of electric cars has been tepid so far — only about 17,000 sold in the U.S. last year — many retail chains are hoping to win goodwill with eco-conscious, high-income customers by offering an amenity that very few actually need yet.

California leads the nation with about 89,000 registered electric cars on the road last year, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
More latimes.com

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