First IKEA store in U.S. to complete installation of units
Submitted by: IKEA
Posted: Oct 13, 2011 – 09:00 AM EST
PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 13 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in two Blink Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at its Portland, Oregon store as part of its partnership with ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. This initiative is the first such project for IKEA in the United States. Installation also is planned at eight other IKEA stores in the Western U.S. To charge an EV at IKEA Portland, 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. Drivers can get a Blink InCard at www.blinknetwork.com.
“IKEA has a never-ending job of asking what we can do today for a better tomorrow,” said Alessandra Zini, IKEA Portland store manager. “Hosting electric-vehicle charging stations at IKEA Portland is one way to help accomplish this goal – and we could not have done it without the support of our partners ECOtality and Pacific Power.”
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.
“We are excited to see our work with IKEA come to fruition with this initial Blink installation at IKEA Portland,” stated Brian Koontz, National Account Manager, ECOtality North America. “IKEA Portland is a recognizable destination for many consumers and is situated in an ideal location for EV drivers.”
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and strives for its operations to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates all locations regularly for energy conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works with Global Forest Watch to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic, etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.
Located on 19 acres at Airport Boulevard and Interstate 205, the 280,000-s.f. IKEA Portland opened July 2007 and employs 350 coworkers. In addition to approximately 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Portland presents 43 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 250-seat restaurant. Other family-friendly features include a Children’s IKEA area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. IKEA Portland was awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and offers a $20 home delivery discount to customers who visit the store via MAX light rail, which stops at the Cascades station in front of the store.
IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 320 IKEA stores in 39 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.