Sixth IKEA store in U.S. to complete installation of units
RENTON, Wash., Dec. 14 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in four Blink Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Renton, Washington store as part of its partnership with ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. This initiative represents the sixth such project for IKEA in the United States. Installation also is planned at three other IKEA stores in the Western U.S. To charge an EV at IKEA Renton, drivers pull into an EV-designated parking spot located in the garage’s loading zone, 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 Renton, and now are available to the public,” said Diedre Goodchild, IKEA store manager. “We appreciate the support of ECOtality and Puget Sound Energy – our partners in helping facilitate and promote the use of EVs in the Pacific Northwest.”
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,” stated Rich Feldman, ECOtality Pacific Northwest Regional Manager. “IKEA Renton is a Seattle-area destination for many consumers and 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, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, 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 approximately 75% of its U.S. locations.
Located on 29 acres near State Highway 167, the 353,000-s.f. IKEA Renton opened in October 1994 and employs approximately 350 coworkers. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Renton presents 50 different room-settings, including a model home interior, a supervised children’s play area, and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. 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 320 IKEA stores in 39 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.