Ikea customers will be able to stop, shop and charge up their electric vehicles from next week, when four new electric vehicle charging stations go live in Canberra.
The new 22kW AC charging stations, which will also be available for staff to use, are the first of a plan to roll out charging stations at Ikea furniture and homeware stores in Queensland, NSW and Victoria starting from 2021.
The EV charging roll out also aligns with the Swedish company’s plans to move to 100% electric fleets by 2025, part of a broader goal to reduce its impact and become a more sustainable company under its “People & Planet Positive” plan.
Ikea estimates that up to 14% of carbon emissions related to its operations include not only product transport and home delivery, but also customer travel.
Ikea market manager Paul Eady says that the new installations at the Canberra store are a step towards encouraging both customers and staff to reduce their personal impact also, and the choice of Canberra as the first store with chargers fits in with the territory’s clean energy plan and its high uptake of EVs.
“It really works well with the market in Canberra, which has high EV ownership,” he says.
The EV chargers are located at the front of the Ikea Canberra store, and demarcated with bright green paint. It is estimated that customers tend to spend up to an hour and a half in each visit to the store, so the ability to plug in and top up driving range – for free – is an added bonus.
“The investment in the infrastructure is about playing a lead in sustainability – actions can be small but add up to big changes for climate action,” he says.
Ikea already has electric trucks delivering products such as these ones in Queensland that are operated by All Purpose Transport, and has plans to transition its last-mile delivery services to all-electric fleets as well.
All charging stations will be owned and operated by Ikea with the exception of the Queensland chargers which will form part of the state government-owned Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH).
The four charging stations at Ikea Canberra are in the final stages of testing and will be available for use by next Monday, says Eady.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.