Furniture and homewares giant IKEA has joined a grown list of retail firms announcing plans to install electric car charging points at their stores across the nation. Just this week we reported about Walgreens announcing plans for 800 charging points, and before that we saw Cracker Barrel and Best Buy do the same.  

Like the rest, IKEA is partnering with an independent charging point installer, in this case ECOtality Inc., which will install the Blink EV charging unit at the stores in 10 different cities across the U.S.

The rollout program should be completed by the end of fall and will include IKEA stores in the Western states ranging from Oregon to Texas. The stores will have at least two charging points, though some of the bigger ones will have more.

ECOtality is currently working with Blink EV on collecting data from a trial program involving electric car charging points called the EV Project.

Blink EV charging point at IKEA store

Blink EV charging point at IKEA store

The aim is to collect and evaluate data about electric car use in varying conditions and states in order to be better prepared for the coming wave of electric cars. Researchers are hoping to install up to 14,000 charging points across the country, like the ones destined for the IKEA stores, and continue their research through December 2012.

Note, this isn’t the first time IKEA was involved in a green car initiative. Back in 2009 it attempted to launch a car-sharing program in France called Leko, though we haven’t heard much of it since.

[ECOtality via gas 2.0]