ECOtality and Kroger to Expand Partnership With Install of 225 Additional Charging Stations; 25 to be DC Quick Chargers

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 10

Nissan LEAF Charging at Kroger

Nissan LEAF Charging at Kroger

ECOtality and Kroger decided just days ago to expand upon their initial partnership by installing an additional 225 charging stations at 125 Kroger locations in “several key markets.”  Too bad those “key markets” are expanding the coverage in areas with quite a bit of chargers already.

Blink DC Quick Charger

Blink DC Quick Charger

Moving on, the agreement calls for over 200 Level 2 charging stations and 25 DC quick chargers to be installed mainly throughout the Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles areas.  The install of 25 DC quick chargers is notable when you consider that the US is currently home to only 160 quick-charge stations.

Keith Dailey, Kroger spokesperson, stated:

“As plug-in electric and hybrid cars are becoming more popular with our customers, we are pleased to offer the convenience of electric vehicle charging stations at more of our stores in markets with the highest demand.  Kroger is excited to contribute to the growth of this national network.”

It’ll cost Kroger nearly $1.5 million to have 225 charging stations installed, but there’s a healthy return on investment expected for the nation’s largest supermarket chain.  Ravi Brar, CEO of ECOtality, stated:

“Retailers across the country are quickly realizing the benefits of installing our Blink chargers. Independent research shows that Blink card holders routinely reward these establishments with more time in their stores and repeat business.”

While the charging stations vary by cost to the consumer (up to as high as $2/hour), Brian Koontz, who is Ecotality’s director of stratgic corporate development says, the real financial benefit to Kroger is that shoppers who drive electric vehicles and use the chargers typically spend 30 minutes longer in the store than that of their gas vehicle driving counterparts.

When the additional 225 chargers are installed, Krogers nationwide total will reach nearly 300.  74 charging stations have already been installed Kroger locations in Oregon, Washington and Texas.

Again, we stress that chargers need to be installed across the nation, not only in so-called “hot beds” for plug-in vehicles.  This course of action grows plug-ins in areas of the county that already strongly support the technology, while ignoring regions that may be waiting for public chargers before finalizing a plug-in vehicle purchase.

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10 responses to "ECOtality and Kroger to Expand Partnership With Install of 225 Additional Charging Stations; 25 to be DC Quick Chargers"

  1. Herm says:

    $2 an hour is for the L2 charging stations, I believe.

  2. Steve says:

    Agreed. I’m glad that they’re doing this, but other areas should be focused on as well. We have a ton of EV’s in the Detroit area. Show us some love too Kroger!!!

  3. bloggin says:

    These will be Duel SAE Combo/Japanese Standard quick charging stations.

    Here is a quote from Donald Karner, Blink Ecotality’s Chief Innovation Officer while at an EV symposium in 2012:

    “The guys back here [he indicates a competitor’s booth] are now saying, ‘oh, what everybody should do is dual port so that you can do CHAdeMo on one side and combo on the other side. Well, that’s exactly why we did that. “

  4. David Murray says:

    While I agree that chargers need to be everywhere.. there is somewhat of a conundrum faced by the companies in question. First of all, if they are plan to make money by charging $2 per hour then they need to have customers. It makes sense to install the infrastructure where you will see a more immediate return on investment. Same is true for Kroger stores that plan to get more business. If nobody in the area drives an EV, it won’t help their business.

    I’m not saying it is right. I’m just saying there are certain business decisions that play a role in this. I long for the day that every parking spot has at least one EV charge spot. I’m not sure if I’ll live to see that day, though.

    1. finecadmin says:

      The shopping centers around me all have some sort of charge spot… since NEMA 5-15 is cheap. Not what you were thinking, but if it gets you home, it gets you home. Simply knowing that 5-15s exist does wonders for the blood pressure.

  5. GSP says:

    I hope Kroger installs charging stations in the Midwest also. Ideally they would not be priced more than $1/hour, which is about the same as $4/gallon with my 3.3kW charger.

    GSP

  6. Aaron says:

    I don’t understand putting EV charging stations at the grocery store. The nearest Kroger is less than one mile from my house. If they put in a charging station, I would never use it. People don’t drive 20 miles to go to the grocery store — at least in metropolitan areas where EVs are most popular. Could someone help me see what I’m not seeing?

    1. vdiv says:

      You are right if you make a dedicated trip to the grocery store. However if it is a way point in your daily commute that changes.

      I used to go shopping to certain grocery stores, but changed those to one that does have charging stations. It was not so much because I needed the charge, but it was to promote and reward the practice of retail businesses installing charging stations.

    2. Danpatgal says:

      Right and usually go right home after that. Especially if you’re doing any typical weekly shopping that includes items that need to be refrigerated or frozen.

      I’d rather see them at hotels, restaurants, rest areas, and other attractions (parks, museums, and theaters) and most importantly: the workplace. In each of these cases you don’t have to “stretch” your time, you just charge while you’re doing something else for a few hours, just as most EV owners primarily charge at night while sleeping.

      1. vdiv says:

        It should not be an either/or choice. Because of the general limited range and limited charging speed ideally an EV should be able to charge every time it is parked.

        Some Kroger stores sell gasoline. Why can not they sell charging services as well?