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USA: Price Chopper making big push into electric vehicles with free charging stations

Price Chopper will soon open an electric vehicle charging station at its store in Niskayuna, New York – the first in what could eventually be a large network of charging stations at the supermarket chain.

A canopy and other equipment have already been installed in the parking lot at the store in Niskayuna. Three pedestals, powered by GE WattStation technology, will be up and running over the next month, providing free charges to people who own fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The idea is elementary: give drivers a place to fill-up while they are shopping inside the store.

Price Chopper isn’t the first to do this. There is an electric vehicle charging station less than two miles away at the ShopRite in Niskayuna.

But Price Chopper, owned by The Golub Corp. in Schenectady, is making a big push into the emerging field of alternative fuels with plans for regional “clusters” of charging stations spread throughout its 130 stores in six Northeast states.

Leading the effort is Joe Berman, the 35-year-old manager of sustainability at the Golub Corp.

“Price Chopper is very sensitive to its own environmental footprint and we recognize the fact that we need to minimize our emissions,” Berman said. “What we’d really like to do is provide our customers with the opportunity to minimize their greenhouse gas profile, too.”

Price Chopper was awarded $46,106 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to build the station in Niskayuna.

The company also received a $321,000 NYSERDA grant to build charging stations at four other stores in the region. Price Chopper is paying $189,000 under the cost-sharing agreement, Berman said.


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