The home furnishing retailer is working with car manufacturer Nissan and green energy provider Ecotricity, to roll-out the dedicated fast charging points.

Research conducted by IKEA, revealed that one in six Britons would be encouraged to switch to an electric car if more charging points were available across the UK. The project aims to allow customers to “confidently charge their vehicles while shopping in store”.

Developed by Nissan, the fast charger units can recharge an electric vehicle from empty to 80% full in thirty minutes and IKEA will be the first major retailer in the UK to make them available to its customers.

Ecotricity has said the charging points will be free for all customers to use and there will be no charge for the 100% sustainably sourced green electricity from the renewable energy provider.

Electric vehicles are a key part of IKEA Group’s sustainability strategy to produce as much renewable energy as it consumes by 2020. To get closer to that goal, the IKEA Group has set aside €1.5bn for investments in renewable energy up to 2015.

IKEA UK has had hybrid vehicles as part of its delivery fleet for more than six years and has a number of Nissan’s 100% electric LEAFs on loan as it looks to explore building a fleet of zero emission vehicles.

IKEA UK and Ireland head of sustainability Joanna Yarrow said: “At IKEA we believe electric vehicles have a significant part to play in a more sustainable future. We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and that extends to how they get to and from our stores.

“By installing more charging points and strengthening the infrastructure nationally, we believe we can start to tackle one of the major barriers to using electric cars which is the fear of not finding a convenient place to charge the car,” she added.

The chargers will form part of the Electric Highway, which is rapidly expanding charging infrastructure at motorway services across Britain. So far, Nissan has installed 97 fast chargers across the UK.

Nissan Motor GB managing director Jim Wright said that growing the rapid charging network in the UK is “absolutely crucial” to the uptake of zero emission vehicles.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “The Electric Highway is fast becoming vital to the electric car revolution. We began by installing fast-chargers on core motorways to enable electric vehicles to be driven on long journeys, and we are now including key destinations, of which IKEA are the first”.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie