"This is a very exciting step for Meijer as we continue to look for ways to expand our sustainability initiatives," said Croll. "The key to our success through the years has been innovation, and we look at sustainability the same way. Whether we are providing our customers with re-usable bags, placing rooftop wind turbines on stores or offering charging stations for the electric vehicles, we are committed to searching for innovative ways to be green."
The first charging station was unveiled today at the Meijer store in Warren, Michigan, and will be followed by stores in Allen Park and Holland, Michigan. Each store will receive two charging stations which can be used by Meijer customers at no cost.
The plug-in charging stations are manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, based in Campbell, CA. Providing 120V and 240V options, these chargers represent the most current vehicle charging technology and meet the SAE J1772 standard adopted by automakers.
Meijer is obtaining the charging stations through Roseville, Mich.-based Shocking Solutions, a leader in plug-in vehicle infrastructure solutions and consulting. Shocking Solutions is the Midwest’s exclusive distribution partner for Coulomb Technologies ChargePoint® Networked Charging Stations. Installation of the units is being handled by Waterford, Mich.-based ChargeNow.
The purchase and installation of these units represents an investment of nearly $100,000 by Meijer. In 2011, Meijer plans to expand this initiative by installing additional charging stations in 10-20 more stores throughout the Midwest.
"Meijer’s commitment to this project is a great example of their innovative practices and corporate responsibility," said John Auld, C.E.O. of Shocking Solutions. "Our Michigan-based automotive manufacturers as well as the global automotive community have made a tremendous investment into plug-in vehicles. This project not only provides Meijer customers with a location to charge their electric vehicles, it also provides validation and support for the auto industry’s efforts."
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 195 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As the inventor of the "one-stop shopping" concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings.