Starbucks, Ikea are the new 'gas stations' for electric car drivers

Starbucks, Ikea partnering with EV charging entities to set up charging stations
EV charging stations will be set up to increase availability

Starbucks and Ikea will have EV charging stations in front of their outlets. Customers will be able to grab a coffee and charge their electric vehicle. Ikea is a furniture outlet known for selling food and refreshments. The changes come as both companies partner with Electrify America to bring charging stations in more accessible proximity.

Starbucks, Ikea are the new 'gas stations' for electric car drivers
Image credits- New York Post

“Get a little coffee, hang out, listen to music,” said Gary Silberg, KPMG’s global automotive sector leader. “If you can charge your car at the same time, why not?” Ikea is partnering with Electrify America and Electrify Commercial to install 200 chargers across 25 different locations. The first locations are expected to open by late 2022 and to be completed by the end of 2023, the outlet announced on Aug. 11. Starbucks, meanwhile, is teaming up with Volvo to build 60 chargers at 15 stores from Denver to Seattle before the end of the year, with each location along the 1,350-mile route no farther than 100 miles apart. The inclusion of the charges is intended to make electric vehicle charging “as easy as getting a great cup of coffee,” Starbucks’s chief sustainability officer Michael Kobori said in March.

Charging stations

Silberg has expressed some doubts about locations jumping on the opportunity to install more charging stations because some locations may not have enough parking stations needed to reach the demand from electric vehicle owners. Additionally, he is not sure if installing more stations would provide a boost in customers for these chains, he told the outlet.

Tesla was the first electric vehicle manufacturer to trailblaze the option of installing vehicle charging stations outside restaurants and other locations. The company has over 35,000 Superchargers across the globe, making it “the largest global, fast charging network in the world,” according to Tesla. The number of electric vehicles on U.S. roads is projected to reach 26.4 million in 2030, up from the 18.7 million projected in a report in 2018. Almost 12.9 million charging ports will be needed to support the projected 26.4 million vehicles, according to Edison Electric Institute.

Starbucks announced in March a partnership with Volvo to build 60 fast chargers at 15 stores from Denver to Seattle by the end of the year. Essentially, the project turns Starbucks stores into the EV equivalent of gasoline stations along the 1,350-mile route. Each location will be no farther than 100 miles apart, and the ChargePoint DC fast chargers can charge many of the latest EVs up to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.

Ikea is following a similar path with a recent partnership with the Electrify America charging network. The home furnishings chain said it would install fast chargers at 25 stores across 18 states. Electrify America has a significant presence in the parking lots of Target and Walmart nationally, with more than 100 locations for each business providing charging for EV drivers. While Starbucks focused on customer convenience, Ikea CEO Javier Quiñones said climate change is another big factor.