Ikea to add electric vehicle charging stations in Houston, nationwide

The Houston Ikea will be outfitted with electric vehicle charging stations this summer, one of eight Ikea locations across the United States slated to get the new technology, the company announced Thursday.

The Swedish retailer of low-price home furnishings says it will add 24 more electric vehicle charging stations across the eight locations. Three stations will be installed at the Houston store. The rest will be installed at Ikeas in Frisco, north of Dallas; Atlanta; Conshohocken, Pa; Philadelphia.; Bolingbrook, Ill. and Schaumburg, Ill.

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The U.S. corporate office in Conshohocken also will be outfitted with the Blink charging stations, provided by electric transportation and storage technologies company ECOtality.

Ikea expects to complete the installations by the end of the summer, bringing the total number of Blink charging stations at Ikea stores to 55. Last year, the company installed 31 units at nine stores in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.

“We are are fortunate to be able to expand this relationship with ECOtality, bringing EV charging stations to more Ikea locations across the U.S. ,” said Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president.  ”Increasing access to EV charging stations advances our goal of helping coworkers and customers –- as well as members of the communities in which we operate –- live more sustainable lives.”

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There are 6,218 public electric vehicle charging stations in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, up from about 1,000 counted in 2011.

Ikea says the electric vehicle charging stations are part of the company’s ongoing energy conservation efforts and emphasis on using sustainable resources.

Last year, the Houston Ikea store on Interstate 10 near West Loop 610 last year installed 3,388 rooftop solar panels. Nearly 90 percent of Ikea locations have installed solar panels, according to the company.

Ikea also is phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and, by 2016, plans to sell only LEDs.

Ikea has 38 U.S. locations and 340 worldwide.