A few weeks ago, I covered the story of IKEA expanding EV charging in Sweden. At that time, the company announced plans to put 1,000 charging stations in its Sweden stores (in the company’s home country).
The quick EV chargers were the product of working together between Recharge and IKEA, and they represented a significant expansion with over 300 available. They will be accessible for consumers, co-workers, and IKEA delivery vehicles.
“We are on a journey to make it more convenient and accessible for the many people to travel with zero-emissions and we have the ambition by 2030 to reduce relative emissions from customers and co-worker travel and home deliveries by 50%,” said Karol Gobczyński, Climate and Energy Leader, Ingka Group (IKEA’s parent company), at the time of their last announcement. “In 2021 we reached our goal to provide access to EV charging stations in all stores where parking is provided, ensuring a convenient experience for customers who have made the switch to electric vehicles. This new increase in charging infrastructure will support further our customers, as part of our customer experience journey.”
Now, the company is entering a new partnership with Electrify America to do the same thing in the United States. IKEA has collaborated with Electrify America and Electrify Commercial to bring ultra-fast public charging stations and delivery fleet electric vehicle (EV) charging to over 25 IKEA retail locations throughout the US, in order help reach the company’s ambition to become a circular and climate positive business by 2030.
IKEA US will be able to install four times the number of EV chargers than before with this joint effort, which supports the goal of achieving zero-emission home deliveries by 2025 and halving relative emissions from customer and co-worker travel by 2030.
“At IKEA, we believe that we must work together with our partners to tackle climate change and create solutions for a greener future. This collaboration with Electrify America will not only bring ultra-fast public chargers to our stores for the first time but it will also help us take a big leap as we work towards our targets to become circular and climate positive,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA U.S. “We look forward to continuing to innovate around new ways we can make our everyday lives more sustainable.”
In total, there will be more than 200 individual ultra-fast chargers — offering the fastest charging speeds available today from 150kW to 350kW — at IKEA retail locations across 18 states. This includes Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. The first locations are expected to open in late 2022 and continue opening until they’re completed by 2023.
IKEA built a joint venture with Electrify America in 2016 to create an electric vehicle (EV) delivery service. The Swedish furniture chain partnered with Electrify Commercial, the business unit that develops turnkey electric vehicle charging solutions for businesses, to install more than 225 individual chargers at each of its locations. For the first time, Electrify America and Electrify Commercial are deploying both public and fleet chargers simultaneously for a project.
“We are excited to establish both public and commercial fleet charging stations with IKEA – a brand that shares our goal of a more sustainable future,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America. “Through this collaboration, Electrify America, Electrify Commercial and IKEA U.S. are leading a path forward for customers and businesses toward zero-emission transportation.”
Electrify America has been expanding rapidly since it opened its first charging station in May of 2018. In fact, they’ve been opening an average of nearly four stations per week! As of now, there are over 800 stations and 3,500 individual chargers open with plans to expand to 1,800 charging stations comprised of 10,000 individual chargers in the United States and Canada by 2026.
Why This Matters
It may seem like announcing every little charging partnership deal could get a little old. After all, with all of the infrastructure funding, the Dieselgate stations that are still under construction, and all of the other DC fast charging stations going in, the pace of articles like this is only going to pick up. What’s really important to EV drivers is that these stations show up on their charging map, and help them make trips, right?
There are several things that make this particular partnership important, though.
First off, it’s the result of a continuing effort by IKEA to expand its EV charging network. It’s something the company is under no obligation to do, and for people shopping at IKEA, it’s just a convenience. A customer choosing to go to IKEA already didn’t have a comparable store to go to in most cases (it’s a fairly unique offering already). But, the company is choosing to do this regardless of whether they have to do it. This shows a commitment by the company to do the right thing, and that’s worth sharing.
Perhaps more importantly, they aren’t just talking the talk. They’re walking the walk over and over again.
This story is also the next little chapter in the saga of Electrify America, and there’s no denying that it has put a major dent in the problem of non-Tesla charging infrastructure in the United States. It started out as VW’s punishment for the Dieselgate scandal, but the company managed to come up with a decent charging network that works fairly well (even though there have been some problems lately). Its continued work at finding new real estate and parking lot partners shows that it is not going to do VW’s penance and then skip town.
Finally, this is great information for investors in both companies. IKEA has increasingly become a good company when it comes to sustainable practices, and this partnership is just the next step for both companies (IKEA and Electrify America) to take what they’re doing to the next level. Knowing where these important chess pieces are on the board and where they’re going affects everything around them. Our situational awareness of this move may be a small thing, but together with other moves we report on, it’s an important story for people to follow when their money depends on the industry.
Featured image: a rendering of what an Electrify America station at an IKEA will look like. Rendering provided by IKEA.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.