Ikea Canada To Install Free Charging Stations At All Stores

JUL 14 2015 BY JAY COLE 41

While Canada hasn’t exactly been the hotbed of acceptance when it comes to plug-in vehicles, the charging infrastructure of those EVs just got a bit stronger this month.

In The UK, Nissan, Ecotricity and IKEA Installed Fast Chargers At All 17 Locations

In The UK, Nissan, Ecotricity and IKEA Installed Fast Chargers At All 17 Locations

CTV News reports that Swedish maker of ‘all things you would not normally buy’, Ikea, will be installing public L2 charging stations in all its Canadian locations (12).

“Charging will be provided to customers at no cost, on a first come first serve basis,” the company said.

Canada becomes the 19th country that Ikea has committed to installing EVSEs at each of its stores in.

The company says that each location will be outfitted with two stations, both rated at 60 amps.  The charging units and service has been contracted through Sun Country Highway; which means these are most likely ClipperCreek EVSEs at heart.

Ikea hopes the ability to get a charge for your electric vehicle whilst meandering through its retail shop will convince more potential customers to chose the brand over the competition.

“Electric vehicle charging stations are an important step on IKEA Canada’s continuing journey towards sustainability,” Ikea sustainability manager Brendan Seale said.

Last year just over 5,000 EVs were sold in Canada, mostly in the three provinces with generous incentives (Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia).  We estimate about a 40% sales improvement will be netted in 2015.  Through June approximately 2,700 EVs have been sold in the Great White North, with the Tesla Model S leading the way with ~1,000 registrations.

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41 Comments on "Ikea Canada To Install Free Charging Stations At All Stores"

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vdiv

And in the US IKEA wouldn’t even let folks to use the existing 120V outlets and actually put padlocks on them.

vdiv
Mike777

Looks like there’s a walmart close by, how about Walmart?

sven

How do you know those outlets are on a dedicated circuit and aren’t on the same circuit, which would mean they would overload and trip the circuit breaker if EVs were plugged into all of them at the same time?

vdiv

Because EVs were successfully able to charge on those. The point is IKEA is intentionally not providing EV charging here.

Mikael

Just because there is an outlet doesn’t mean you automatically has some kind of right to charge there. Get over yourself…

Consent is important for EV charging too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8

sven

I haven’t been getting enough tea lately. 😉

Evil Attorney

The US Ikea by me has Blink chargers that charge something like several dollars an hour to charge. Total ripoff.

Someone out there

It won’t be long before all big stores will do the same. With solar panels coming down in price so rapidly it won’t be very expensive either. The advantage for the store is of course that if it takes one hour to charge your car, they will keep you in their store for one hour and possibly spend more money.

Bonaire
Exactly what we need – longer charging cars to spend more in the stores nearby. I suspect economically, this is not very sustainable unless we “EV guys” are the “mark” and we must be siphoned of our money. Movie Theaters and Malls are good places for charging but until at least Airports do it right and install hundreds or dozens of plugs (all they need are 120V) then things really are not working well. Ikea isn’t exactly on my typical shopping route. I think our family has shopped there three times over 15 years. Now, a grocery store – that is the right place for a plug. So is a College campus for commuting students. Dorm students can charge with 120V overnight. There are endless solutions that very few are working on right now. And the ones who are working on their solutions, like the Blink network, are charing a “fuel” price of well over what gasoline would cost. So some say H2 Fuel Cells are “fool cells” – we have “fool prices” at .49/kWh at some public charging stations. Fifty cents to go three miles. Ok – who’s going to convince their neighbors that EVs are good idea of… Read more »
Just_Chris

I don’t quite understand your point on price, it costs very little for a store owner to provide charging for it’s customers. The charger will cost may be $2000 installed and cars will use between 3 and 10 kWh per hour, that works out at maybe a dollar per hr? Not sure what power costs commercial customers in Canada.

If you go to ikea you are likely to be making ikea a lot more than a dollar an hr. If one extra ev customer goes to ikea and orders a new kitchen it would probably pay all the installation costs and for a good few thousands of hours charging in profit for ikea.

Public L1 and L2 charging is a no brainer for pretty much all the places you list. If you spend an hour drinking coffee, buying food or in a hardware store on average you are going to spend a lot more than a dollar an hour. Really, if you are a business what could you spend $2 -10k on that would put you on the map? And long term entice customers back to your business.

Bill Howland

Well if they’re arranged for 240 (not hard to do if the incoming power to the store is 347Y/600), then around here that would cost $140 per month in demand fines per charger… Not much. But if only 2 cars stop per month at the same time than those cars are very expensive to service. I believe Toronto has higher rates these days than that anyway, certainly during the day.

Quebec with its almost free electricity would be easier to swallow for the business.

lewl

At least 3 of the 12 stores have solar:
http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_CA/about-the-ikea-group/people-and-planet/energy-and-resources/

And if they’re under a FIT program, they probably still make more off of it than what they pay to buy whatever electricity is needed to run these charging stations.

Just_Chris

I think I’ve missed something, what is a demand charge? Sounds like a monthly or daily charge for the connection I geuss it is something charged in x$ per kW? Surely adding 2 or 3 chargers wouldn’t change that rate for an ikea store? I am assuming that ikea probably has a 100+ kW base load during day light hours so a few 6 kW charging stations wouldn’t make a big difference.

Bill Howland

No, you’re right, its not a big deal, but in some places it might be a consideration in the back of the mind, so to speak.

Canada, like the US has demand charges on commercial customers to, if you will, penalize customers for drawing too much electricity during peak times. They are somewhat less in general than they have historically been decades ago, but its a monthly charged based on the 15 or 30 minute integrated average peak (either 2880 or 1440 blocks of time per month, respectively).

It ranges from $5/kw in rare parts of the states where electricity is dirt cheap to $20/kw in Southern California Edison territory. I believe Toronto is in the $12/kw range but someone is welcome to correct me with the exact figures.

And these are conceivably 14 kw charging docking stations if they are cs-75’s. (60 amps).

Now all we need is some cars that can use this besides the S and roadster.

sven

This excellent article does a good job of explaining demand charges:

http://gm-volt.com/2013/04/16/new-led-lighting-makes-office-evse-possible/

The article was written by flmark who posted the third comment in this InsideEVs article about L1/L2 workplace charging. The first ten comments are about demand charging.

http://insideevs.com/workplace-charging-shouldnt-free-consist-mostly-level-1-level-2/#comment-637018

sven

This is a more technical/detailed explanation of demand charges from my utilities webpage:

http://www.coned.com/customercentral/demandbilling.asp

Bill Howland

The information Consolidated Edison just provided is Sloppy.

ConEd, whether their marketing dept realizes it or not, uses a 30 minute INTEGRATED AVERAGE to produce the monthly demand figure, or more specifically 1440 blocks of measurement per 30 day month.

I know some business owners who would only start one large motor every 30 minutes to avoid increasing the demand, which if you took the ConEd page verbatum that’s what you should do.

In actual fact, since it is an integrated average over 30 minutes, a few seconds motor starting gets swamped down to about $.01.

So there is no problem with starting all the motors at once, since over 30 minutes time it is essentially nothing. I’m sure that is certainly too difficult a concept to understand by most marketing departments.

sven
“I am assuming that ikea probably has a 100+ kW base load during day light hours so a few 6 kW charging stations wouldn’t make a big difference.” It depends on what you consider to be “a few” chargers, and the actual power draw of the chargers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the 60 Amp EVSEs that IKEA installed draw 14.4 kW (60 Amp x 240 Volts / 1000) max, as opposed to 6 kW. At 14.4 kW, only seven Teslas simultaneously charging at seven 60 Amp chargers will exceed 100 kWh, while 17 EVs charging at 6 kW would exceed 100 kWh, doubling the store’s base load. To trigger demand charges for the ENTIRE MONTH, IKEA only needs to exceed the kWh threshold for ONLY ONE 15 to 30 minute period during month! My point is a business can put in one or two high power L2 chargers for early adopters when the take rate is only 0.5% of all new cars sold, but this free charging business model will not scale well as a greater percentage of new cars sold are BEVs due to demand charges. To meet charger demand as more BEVs are sold,… Read more »
Bill Howland

Well, that’s why I said it would be $140, which it will be actually less than that since I was just emailed some advertising by SunCountryHighway, which mentions the charger number, to which I investigated and found this is only a 48 amp charger as far as the ev owner is concerned.

There is so much bad information in your “excellent article”.

Some people stating demand doesn’t start until 21 kw and others stating it doesn’t start until 100 kw.

That may be true amoungst individual utilities but in my area (National Grid – second largest private utility in NY State), a business can pay a demand charge on as little as 3 kw. And once he HAS a meter installed (12 month minimum), he’ll pay from the first 1 kw.

sven

Would one lone charger be enough, especially if EVs become popular? The store would constantly need to install chargers to keep up with demand, then eventually get hit with demand charges from the utility when they pass a certain threshold of power demand. Costco gives out free food samples, but that’s not the reason I shop there: they sell stuff I want to buy at a cheaper price than elsewhere. I just don’t see people choosing to buy a kitchen in Ikea because Ikea has a free charger. People will buy a kitchen at a store that has the kitchen they like at a good price.

Bottom line, free charging won’t determine where I shop. If it’s offered, I’ll use it, but it won’t be the reason why I am shopping at that store.

You also fail to mention the cost of maintaining heavily used commercial chargers, which seem to break down quite often. It ain’t gonna be cheap for a repairman to make a house call.

Pushmi-Pullyu

sven, what’s with all the anti-EV FUD lately? Have you turned into an EV hater?

I can’t imagine that a commercial store would be hit with “demand charges” for electricity just because they had a few level 1 or 2 charges in the parking lot! Demand charges are surcharges the utilities apply to high-usage industrial power users. Not mere commercial users.

Bill Howland

More Nonsense.

In my area if a ‘commercial’ customer uses more than 2000 kwh per month for 2 months straight, he automatically reverts to a DEMAND rate, which in my area is a reasonable $10/ kw plus taxes.

A large barbershop can accrue 2000 kwh per month.

And when I talk with ev owners in Rochester, some of the more well-healed ones use 5000 kwh per month at their homes. Thats as much juice as I use in my home in 18 months. But then almost everything in my house with the exception of the 2 electric cars runs on natural gas, that is, any heating function I explicitly do not use electricity for, with the exception of heating the car cabins.

sven

No, not an EV hater, but maybe more disillusioned than before purchasing an EV.

Putting in more L2s in store parking lots as the percentage of EVs increases will not scale well, mainly due to electricity demand charges potentially incurred by the business. If you don’t have enough EV range to do your shopping then you probably bought the wrong type of EV (BEV vs PHEV). The upcoming longer range BEVs should hopefully eliminate the need to charge while shopping in most cases.

Reposting my comment above:

This excellent article does a good job of explaining demand charges:

http://gm-volt.com/2013/04/16/new-led-lighting-makes-office-evse-possible/

The article was written by flmark who posted the third comment in this InsideEVs article about L1/L2 workplace charging. The first ten comments are about demand charging.

http://insideevs.com/workplace-charging-shouldnt-free-consist-mostly-level-1-level-2/#comment-637018

Just_Chris

I guess if you drive a PHEV then chargers in car parks are probably not a big selling point but in a BEV they really are. If I am running errands in my leaf and have 60 km left on the charge I will not attempt the 50 km round trip to ikea to have a look at the kitchens if there is no charger. There might be another kitchen store 10 km from my house, they’ll get first look even though they might not be as big as ikea.

Same goes for super markets or pretty much any other store. I might have my favoured brand but if I need to do a long trip in the afternoon I will go to the store with the charger.

There may even be situations where I go somewhere specifically because of the charger. If I take my kids to werribee open range zoo on the other side of town I will generally make a day of it and stop a the museum which has charger and better food. The kids love the museum. I could make the trip via a fast charger if needs be but why bother?

Joshua Burstyn

Cant wait for the first time I am at Ikea. Which group of ICE owners will be thoughtless or self-entitled enough to park in the EV only spots, the SUVs or minivans?

lewl

I hope they’re around the side or back and less likely to get ICEd.
I doubt I’d go often or stay longer than an hour, but a top up is a nice gesture.

They’ve already had hybrid spots for a long time, but they’re right by the door and therefore get blocked by non hybrids all the time.

Lustuccc

IKEA in Montreal have Hybrid reserved green parking spots since more than a decade.

Stephane

Those spots are a joke, usually ICE’d and also diesel are allowed to park there…

Besides, I prefer to park near the exit of Ikea, especially if I plan on buying furniture.

And yes, lack of EVSE at Ikea did prevent us from shopping there a few times last winter.

Ontario Leaf

Well, now I am happy for buying all my furniture from IKEA. I just wish they would pay their production workers better…

pk

Do we get an allen wrench to put the EVSE together?

Anon

Ha! And there will be extra random pieces sitting on the ground around them!

Bill Howland

Allen wrench to fix them? You must be referring to the (ON THE) BLINK things in the photo.

SunCountryHighway has been pretty agressive trying to get their charger docking stations both in Canada primarily but also the US.

There are TEN (!!!) 24 amp charging docking stations installed at a commmunitiy hockey rink near Hamilton, Ontario not too far from me. Unfortunately, the only time they’re really used is during electic car club meetings and Drive Electric Day.

Bill, also those 10 Level 2 chargers are also SunCountryHighway units, but only at 32 amps! They also get heavy use during EV Fest, which this year was on June 14th- did you make it out?
See http://www.evfest.ca

Other places with larger quantities of L2’s: Baka Mobile in Etobicoke, (8 Eaton x 32A); Mold Masters Arena in Georgetown, (7 Double Headed ChargePoint x 32A = 14); and the latest – 14 Double Headed ChargePoint units at 32A at the West End Parking Lot South of Wilson 1 light West of Keele. (= 28!)

Bill Howland

Well, when I plugged my Roadster into the most distant one at the time I got 195 volts at 24 amps.

CC and SunCountryHighway list their model numbers as to the branch circuit capacity and not the actual charge rate, so you have to ‘derate’ their model number by 25%.

I believe these were the discontinued ‘cs-30’s’.

Just_Chris

Two EV nerds talking over a cup of coffee.

Nerd1
“your looking pretty smug?”

Nerd2
“You bet, I was charging my car at the blink station on the other side of town when this stunning woman dashed into the car park, she said she had been waiting all her life to meet an average looking man with a passion for e-mobility, we then made love in the back seat of my leaf”

Nerd1 – looks a bit shocked and pauses for thought……..
“BULLS**T! You never managed to charge at a blink station!”

Steven

Ha!

Mark

Will we even need stores to have charging in say, 5 to 10 years, when EVs are getting 500+ kms to a charge? This seems like a stop gap solution.

Mark, having Grocery Stores with L2 Charging should in time be like them having Shopping Carts! Part of a service they all offer to make it convenient for you to come and to spend more time in store, and more money with them! Have you noticed you simply buy more when you take a Shopping Cart instead of a Basket?

I think, with step by step improvements in medium power L3 Chargers putting out 20 to 25 kW, and the cost reductions moving them down from $35,000 to under $10,000 and soon to under $5,000, we will even see them start happening in malls, and Grocery Stores: for the simple reason that those businesses will want to be more attractive to EV owners than places with just L2 units!

Just_Chris

If you have 500 km + plus ev’s you’ll need public charging much less often but there will be far more ev’s

Having 2 SunCountryHighway EVSE’s at each of 12 stores, at 60 Amps, means they want to attract some Tesla owners to come by as only they can really take advantage of more than a 32 amp service! Also, the underlying Clipper Creek hardware is reported by most users as the most robust units, with the lowest fail rate.

For the ICE’ing problem, all EVSE’s could have a camera in them with a program that identifies plates and connection delays: if a car parks but does not get plugged in within something like 2 to 5 minutes, the plate info is reported to the opertator of the station as an ICE condition, and/or the police, which could mail them a ticket with their vehicle & plate showing them blocking the station!

Make the fist Offence at $35, 2nd at $100, and 3rd + at $500! (So long as the operator has proper signage, ie: “This spot for electric vehicle charging only: Anyone parking and not charging is subject to a fine and/or Towing” that means no EV drivers get a pass unless charging!