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Best Buy Joins Electric Car Infrastructure, Installs Charging Points

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As any gadget geek will tell you, the electronics retailer Best Buy is a great place to get everything from the latest windscreen televisions and kitchen appliances through to electric bicycles and even in select stores, the 2011 Brammo Enertia.

We already know how switched onto electric cars Best Buy is. The electric vehicle section of its website even includes a fuel saving calculator to encourage customers to switch to electric two-wheel transport. 

Even Best Buy’s in-house Geek Squad, a team of gadget-savvy professionals who help consumers with everything from keeping your computer virus free to installing the latest satellite navigation system in your car added four 2011 Mitsubishi i-Mievs to its fleet this year. 

Mitsubishi MiEV - Best Buy Geek Squad

Mitsubishi MiEV - Best Buy Geek Squad

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But now the retail giant has made another step towards encouraging its customers to go electric, singing a deal with Ecotality to install electric car charging stations at 12 Best Buy locations in Arizona, California and Washington by March 2012. 

Part of the EV project, a scheme supported by the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage EV use throughout the U.S., the Blink EV charging stations will offer Best Buy customers the chance to charge at Level 2, or up to 30 Amps at 240V.

The chargers will join some 14,600 other Level 2 chargers and some 310 direct-current fast charge stations throughout the entire U.S. 

But don’t expect to charge for free. The Bink EV chargers are part of the larger Blink Network, a charging scheme which connects to a web-based portal and smart phones to enable a vehicle’s charge status, history and even available chargers remotely. 

Customers are then offered a range of billing options, from pre-pay packages through to direct credit card payments. 

Why only 12 stores? At the present time, the Best Buy chargers are still in a pilot project phase. The data collected from these initial charging stations will then be used to determine if and where Best Buy should install chargers elsewhere. 

Of course, charging at large retail parks isn’t anything new. Costco’s ageing complement of inductive EV charge stations were installed ten years ago as part of an investment into the charging network supporting the Toyota RAV4 EV, GM EV1 and other electric cars of the time. 

Even banks are doing it. And that can only mean one thing for customers. The more EV charge points there are, the more likely EVs are to be adopted by the general public. 

And that can only be a good thing. 

[Ecotality][Best Buy] via [Digitaltrends]

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Comments (2)
  1. Fantastic work Best Buy! I expected that you would have to pay, it's funny if you think about it, their like parking meters that fill up your car. And EVs would make allot of sense for the geek squad fleet as they do stay within a certain range from the store.
     
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  2. http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1050395_best-buy-joins-electric-car-infrastructure-installs-charging-points
     
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