Fred Meyer has announced that electric car-charging stations will be available at a handful of its Puget Sound-area stores this summer. The grocery chain is partnering with a San Francisco company called Ecotality to build the stations with a $115 million U.S. Department of Energy grant and another $115 million from investors.
A spokesperson for the Portland-based retailer, said stores in Kent, Bellevue, Everett, Lake City and Alderwood were being considered as charging-station locations, along with a Maple Valley store yet to be built. Another handful of stores in he Portland area and others in strategic locations along the Interstate 5 corridor, are also set to get charging stations. The cost of using the stations hasn’t been determined yet.
Ecotality will bring about 310 charging stations to 18 cities and metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the next year thanks to the grant. In other locations, the charging stations will be installed at Best Buy stores and BP stations.
The charging stations, which usually take four to six hours to recharge a depleted battery, are primarily for shoppers who want or need to “top off” their battery. Electric car owners are expected to do most of their battery charging at home, because the process is more time-consuming than getting gasoline at a gas station.
Ecotality will also be installing EV charging stations on the Port Orchard waterfront in the next 30-90 days.