By James Noble
July 16, 2015
Swedish retailer IKEA announced that all 12 of its Canadian stores would install electric-vehicle (EV) car charging stations by the end of August.
It is expected that every location will get two chargers per store to start with and charging will be provided to customers at no cost, on a first come first serve basis.
The charging stations will be installed by Canadian company Sun Country Highway, with the charger itself compatible with every electric-vehicle currently for sale in Canada.
IKEA believes it is the ideal retailer for the initiative as its stores are typically located close to major transportation corridors, and a typical visit to an IKEA store gives enough time for an EV driver to top-up their battery, enhancing their travel range and preventing “range anxiety.”
IKEA sees the decision as an extension of its sustainability efforts, which as of last year includes powering its Canadian operations entirely with renewable energy. For its efforts, the retailer has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers for seven consecutive years.
The transportation sector is one of the largest sources of carbon and climate-related emissions and EV charging stations help reduce the carbon footprint of trips made to retail stores, but also makes good business sense. From a business perspective, the charging stations will likely encourage drivers to target their spending where they can plug in their car.
Currently there are only about 12,000 electric vehicles on Canadian roads, a small fraction of the 1.8 million trucks and cars sold last year in Canada. Quebec is Canada’s largest electric vehicle market with about half of all EV cars, followed by British Columbia and Ontario.
There are more than 2,500 public charging stations in Canada, according to the Canadian Auto Club, which has an app and website that lists the locations.
Photo Credit: Gerard Stolk