IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in four Blink® electric vehicle charging stations at one of its Chicago-area stores as part of its partnership with Car Charging Group, Inc. (CCGI), 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 Bolingbrook, 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.
This initiative represents the 13th 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 54. Drivers may also call Blink Customer Support (888-998-2546) for 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.
“Installing electric-vehicle charging stations at IKEA Bolingbrook reinforces our commitment to sustainability,” said Christof Stein, store manager. “Being a sustainable retailer includes a focus on the sustainable transport of people. So, accommodating the needs of EV drivers – with support from CarCharging and ComEd – meets both goals.”
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, and by 2016 will sell only L.E.D. IKEA also is installing electric vehicle charging stations at 17 locations in the U.S.
The 310,000-square-foot IKEA Bolingbrook opened in September 2005 on 23 acres along the I-355 North-South Tollway at the Boughton Road exit. In addition to 10,000 exclusively designed items, the store presents approximately 50 different room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 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.