TEMPE, Ariz., Mar. 08 /CSRwire/ - IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in four Blink Pedestal electric vehicle charging stations at its Tempe, Arizona store as part of its partnership with ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), a leader 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. Drivers can get a Blink InCard at www.blinknetwork.com.
“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.”
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, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and installing solar panels atop 85% of its US locations.
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. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Tempe presents 44 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. Also, IKEA completed installation of a solar energy system atop the store in 2010.
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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