Kohl’s Department Stores, along with partners Duke Energy, ChargePoint and ECOtality, will expand its electric vehicle charging station initiative with 30 new stations across 15 additional Kohl’s locations by the end of fall 2012, the company has announced.
The expansion spans two states new to the Kohl’s program — Illinois and Wisconsin — and adds additional locations to the company’s Texas EV program. Each of the participating Kohl’s locations will have two or three parking spaces reserved for EV drivers to charge at no cost while they shop. Charging stations can be activated by EV drivers in various ways including radio frequency identification (RFID) cards available at Kohl’s customer service desks, and via phone numbers provided on the charging stations.
These charging stations will be available through Dec. 31, 2013, after which Kohl’s says it will “assess opportunities to expand upon the effort.”
With the expansion, Kohl’s shoppers will be able to use a total of 101 charging stations at 52 Kohl’s locations across 14 states. Among the stations are six installed at three central Indiana stores this past spring, through a two-year partnership with Duke Energy as a part of Indiana’s Project Plug-IN.
Kohl’s charging stations will add to the more than 4,350 public EV charging stations currently in the US, according to the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.
An August 2011 report from Pike Research forecasts that more than 1.5 million EV charging locations will be available in the US and 7.7 million locations worldwide by 2017.
Kohl’s EV charging stations are among the company’s several sustainability initiatives. To date, Kohl’s has more than 120 solar locations, more than 700 Energy Star-labeled locations and about 300 LEED-certified locations nationwide, according to the company.
Kohl’s also ranks first in retail and second overall on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top green power partners, purchasing enough green power to offset 100 percent of its purchased electricity use.