Fifth IKEA Store In U.S. to Complete Installations of Units
COVINA, Calif., Dec. 13 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in four Blink Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at its Covina, 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 fifth such project for IKEA in the United States. Installation also is planned at four other IKEA stores in the Western U.S. To charge an EV at IKEA Covina, 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.
“Installing electric-vehicle charging stations at IKEA Covina is another way to build upon our commitment to sustainability,” said Kristien Verbeke, IKEA Covina store manager. “At IKEA, we believe in being a good business while doing good business. Making it easier for the public to drive EVs – with support from ECOtality and SCE – accomplishes both goals.”
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 Blink installation at IKEA Covina,” stated Brian Koontz, ECOtality National Accounts Manager. “IKEA is a recognizable destination for many consumers and therefore 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, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.
Located on 12.5 acres along I-10 at Barranca Avenue, the 325,000-s.f. IKEA Covina opened in May 2003 and employs approximately 250 coworkers. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Covina presents 50 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 350-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. Also, IKEA completed installation of a solar energy system atop the store this summer.
IKEA aims 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.