Home furnishings giant IKEA today officially plugged-in four Blink Pedestal electric vehicle charging stations at its Tempe, Arizona store as part of its partnership with ECOtality, Inc., a company specializing in clean electric transportation and storage technologies.
This initiative represents the ninth such project for IKEA in the United States, with the eight other locations also in the Western U.S. To charge an electric vehicle (EV) at IKEA Tempe, drivers pull into a designated parking spot, swipe their Blink InCard (RFID card), plug the charger into the EV, and then shop and eat at their leisure in the IKEA store while the vehicle is charging.
“Our mission is to create a better everyday life for the many people, and at IKEA Tempe, we just added to this effort with these electric-vehicle charging stations,” said Robby Weirman, IKEA Tempe store manager. “We appreciate the support of ECOtality and SRP in making this opportunity available to members of the community.”
ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project, a public-private partnership funded in part by a federal stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to provide the necessary infrastructure to support the deployment of EVs. ECOtality is overseeing the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. IKEA stores are in four of those states.
“Installing Blink charging stations at IKEA Tempe allows EV drivers to charge at a location that is situated in a highly visible and accessible area,” stated Marc Sobelman, Arizona Area Manager for ECOtality. “It is exciting for us to work together with IKEA to help build the public charging infrastructure necessary for mass EV adoption.”
Located on 23 acres along I-10 near Warner Road, the 342,000-square-foot IKEA Tempe opened in November 2004 and employs approximately 300 coworkers.