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CARSON, Calif., Nov. 10 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in four Blink Pedestal electric vehicle charging stations at its Carson, California store as part of its partnership with ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. This initiative represents the second such project for IKEA in the United States. Installation also is planned at seven other IKEA stores in the Western U.S. To charge an EV at IKEA Carson, 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.
“We are thrilled at how these electric-vehicle charging stations further the sustainability of IKEA Carson, and now are available to the public,” said Maike Buhmann, IKEA Carson store manager. “We appreciate the support of ECOtality and Southern California Edison – our partners in helping facilitate and promote the use of EVs in Southern California.”
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.
“The Blink Network is about making the electric vehicle lifestyle fit the lifestyle of drivers nationwide,” stated Tom Jacobson, ECOtality Director of Sales. “We are excited for Blink charging stations to be at IKEA Carson as this is ideally suited to offer EV drivers the opportunity to charge at a highly desirable destination location.”
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims 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. Also, IKEA is in the process of installing solar panels atop more than half of its U.S. locations.
Located on 15 acres at the S. Avalon Boulevard exit from Interstate 405, the 220,000-s.f. IKEA Carson opened in November 1992 and employs approximately 250 coworkers. In addition to exclusively designed home furnishings, IKEA Carson presents 29 different room-settings, a supervised children’s play area, a Café and a Swedish Foodmarket. 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 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 330 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA 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.
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