IKEA powers electric vehicles with solar energy

IKEA now plans to bring rooftop solar power to 85 per cent of its stores and distribution centres in the United States. Installation of arrays and electric car charging sites continues apace with one each completed since the first of the year.

The company flipped the switch last week on the most recent project – the installation of four Blink EV chargers at an IKEA store in East Palo Alto, California, a community in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The idea of bringing power generation and power as a service, in the form of EV charging, to retail locations is catching on. Walgreens, for example, is another company with robust solar and electric car charging programs. Kohl’s sustainability efforts also include rooftop solar power systems and EV charging.

Not surprisingly, electric cars and charging services are being integrated into car rental and car sharing companies. Hertz upped the ante in that area last week with its announcement that it is testing Evatran’s Plugless Power system to wirelessly charge electric cars at the rental company’s corporate headquarters in New Jersey.

IKEA’s latest expansion of its solar power initiative comes on the heels of an announcement in December to bring renewable energy to 75 per cent of its US sites.

The boost to 85 per cent, announced last month, will bring solar power to five locations: stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg, Illinois, Canton, Michigan, Bloomington, Minnesotta, and Pittsburgh, Philadelphia.