IKEA officially plugged-in two Blink® electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Houston store as part of its partnership with Car Charging Group, Inc., the new owner of the Blink Network and Blink charging stations, and the largest provider of EV charging services with more than 13,750 charging points in 35 states and three countries. To charge an EV at IKEA Houston, drivers pull into a designated parking spot, tap their Blink InCard (RFID card) to the reader below the screen, plug the charger into the EV, and then shop and eat at their leisure in the IKEA store while the vehicle is charging.
|Source: Ikea / BusinessWire|
This initiative represents the 12th such U.S. project for IKEA, with installation underway at other locations. In all, installation of units currently planned will bring the number of Blink charging stations available at IKEA locations to 55. Drivers may also call Blink Customer Supportfor a guest code for the charging session and/or become a Blink member, which provides discounted rates at Blink stations. Information about Blink membership is also available at blinknetwork.com.
“IKEA has a never-ending job of asking what we can do today to contribute towards a better tomorrow,” said Nabeela Ixtabalan, Houston store manager. “Hosting electric-vehicle charging stations is one way to help accomplish this goal – and we could not have done it without the support our partners Car Charging and Reliant Energy.”
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms. Operationally, IKEA eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased-out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only L.E.D. IKEA also is installing electric vehicle charging stations at 17 locations in the U.S.
Located on 15.6 acres along I-10’s Katy Freeway at Antoine Drive, IKEA Houston opened originally in July 1992, and then moved into a new 300,000-square-foot store in August 2004. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, this IKEA store presents 48 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 300-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, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. Also, IKEA completed installation of a solar energy system atop the store in 2012.