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IKEA EV Charging Locations Will Nearly Double by End of Summer

Swedish retailer IKEA has already established itself as a solar power leaderin the U.S., and now it seems intent on leading the charge into the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure of the future. The company has just announced plans to install 24 Blink EV charging stations at eight U.S. locations, which will almost double its tally of nine locations two years ago. When the project is completed by the end of this summer, IKEA will have a total of 55 charging stations at 17 locations, including 16 retail stores and its U.S. corporate headquarters in Conshohocken, PA.

The numbers tell only part of the story, though. IKEA’s EV charging station project belongs to a national public-private initiative supported by the Energy Department. Called The EV Project, it has enlisted corporate sustainability leaders like IKEA to accelerate the development of a widespread, convenient and easily accessible EV charging infrastructure throughout the U.S.

IKEA’s EV charging stations
IKEA’s previous round of EV charging stations covered stores in the solar power and EV-friendly states of Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

The new initiative will bring stations to several states that are not particularly known for their receptiveness to alternative energy and EV technology, at least not as a matter of winning widespread support for sustainability-related public policy. That includes Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Illinois.

That’s significant because IKEA has designed its charging station program to raise awareness about the convenience of EV charging among all of its customers as well as to serve the relatively few who own EVs. Although the number of charging stations is relatively modest, they are and will be located in premium parking positions where foot traffic is at its peak, guaranteeing high visibility.

In that context, it’s worth noting that the number of gasoline stations in the U.S. has been plummeting over the past generation while the number of public EV charging locations has been soaring. If that trend continues, the allure of convenient EV charging at retail stores could play a key role in getting hesitant car buyers to test drive a plug-in EV.

Leveraging renewable energy beyond the bottom line
Businesses like IKEA have come a long way from the idea that installing on-site wind turbines or rooftop solar panels is simply a way to reduce their own energy bills.

By generating renewable energy, businesses can secure their own sites from grid disruptions while also contributing to community and regional grid stability during peak use periods, and helping to improve community health by reducing reliance on local conventional power plants.

More http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/06/ikea-doubles-down-ev-charging-stations/

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