The EV Project, a $230 million program half funded by the federal stimulus and under the direction of Ecotality, has snared another retail partner as it looks to expand the roughly 1,200 charging stations currently in place to the 14,000 units promised before the year’s end.
IKEA announced it will join the likes of Macy’s, BP, Best Buy and Sears in hosting Ecotality’s Blink charging units at select locations as part of the infrastructure program rolling out in specified regions of the United States.
At least 10 stores in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington are being considered to host the electric vehicle chargers. Participating stores must agree to maintain the installations and report data use back to Ecotality, and those selected will get charging stations eqipped to power at least two vehicles.
The company said stations at IKEA could be up and charging as early as this fall, and that the pilot program would run until December 2012. Although The EV Project may not meet its stated charging unit goal, competitors Aerovironment and Coulomb have begun to ramp up their own installations, making more and more stations available to drivers of electric cars.