There’s a lot of good news in the EV world—increasing offerings, high demand, improving tech. But everyone agrees that there are major challenges in spinning up enough public chargers to keep pace during the transition. That’s why we’re seeing so many companies trying to get ahead of the curve, putting chargers in places advantageous for their business. Automakers like GM are making the investment, knowing it might help ease buyers into their EV offerings. And non-automotive businesses that rely on vehicle traffic to fuel sales are also in on it. Volvo teamed up with Starbucks to put chargers at the coffee company’s stores. And now IKEA is collaborating with Electrify America to put hundreds of DC fast chargers at their American stores.
The deal has two parts. One involves chargers in the public parking areas at 25 of IKEA’s stores in the U.S. Customers at the store will be able to charge while shopping, and those pit-stopping for a top-up might also wander into the store. It makes a lot of sense for retail outlets to give potential shoppers reasons for visiting the parking lot … and hopefully, they’ll spend some cash while they’re waiting on goods.
By the end of 2023, IKEA plans to have 200 individual DC fast-chargers operational. The first will go online in late 2022. Charging speeds will vary from 150 kW to 350 kW—it’s not clear what the split will be, or if all locations will offer both. It likely depends on the infrastructure situation at each individual store.
The other part of the deal is a significant number of chargers intended to be reserved for the company’s burgeoning EV delivery vehicle fleet. The commercial chargers will be installed at the same time—the goal is for 225 of these to be installed, as well. The goal is zero-emissions home deliveries by 2025, and given EV delivery vehicle’s strengths this local-delivery use case seems ideal.
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