IKEA plans £4.5m UK EV charging infrastructure; invests €2bn in US

IKEA UK has announced a £4.5m investment in a nationwide electric charging infrastructure, which will provide charging points for electric delivery vehicles across the country to enable more emissions-free deliveries.

The new infrastructure will source energy entirely through renewable sources. The EV infrastructure forms part of IKEA’s ongoing transformation to become even more affordable, accessible, and sustainable. The retailer aims to reach 100% zero emissions deliveries to customers by 2025. By summer 2023, IKEA plans to achieve 60% zero emission deliveries in the UK and Ireland, demonstrating the significant steps being taken to accelerate moving towards the 2025 goal.

This will be one of the biggest EV charging infrastructure projects for last mile fleets in the UK and will see IKEA install 196 chargers, of which 53 will be rapid, providing full charge on vehicles in under an hour. The chargers will be located at IKEA stores across the country, as well as the new Dartford customer distribution centre due to open in spring 2023, with the first ones fitted and operational in IKEA Cardiff.

This move is fundamental in allowing IKEA to continue expanding the electric vehicle fleets being used to deliver to customers’ homes, with the ambition to reach over 500 by 2025, with the charging points will be used by both IKEA and partner electric vehicles.

This infrastructure is being implemented in addition to the existing customer charging points in IKEA stores. Our customer charging points are available for customers to use during their visit to IKEA, the points were introduced to provide access to more sustainable travel for customers. With the introduction of a home delivery infrastructure, IKEA is building a complete offer for customers to have IKEA products arrive sustainably to their homes, no matter how they choose to shop.

Jakob Bertilsson, Country Customer Fulfilment Manager at IKEA UK & Ireland, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at IKEA, and we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet while supporting our customers to live more sustainable lives at home.

“Investing in this infrastructure of nationwide charging points is a fundamental step in our ambition to reach 100% zero emissions customer deliveries from all IKEA stores and distribution centres by 2025, as well as supporting our ambition to become a climate positive business by 2030.”

IKEA’s commitment to rolling out an electric vehicle charging infrastructure will advance the UK Government’s ambitions to achieve its legally binding targets of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, building on their response to the Skidmore Review. The investment from IKEA has been welcomed by the Government.

Transport Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “It is great to see IKEA investing heavily in EV chargepoints and decarbonising its vehicle fleet. This investment is the latest example of businesses and government working together to decarbonise all aspects of road transport, improve air quality and create healthier, buzzing communities.”

To build the nationwide infrastructure, IKEA is partnering with Mer, a European charging company owned by Statkraft, which is Europe’s largest renewable energy producer. Mer will be responsible for the end-to-end implementation and ongoing management and maintenance.

Natasha Fry, Head of Sales at Mer UK said: “IKEA is an iconic brand with a recognised commitment to sustainability. When they needed future-proof charge points for their zero-emission, last-mile fleet, they wanted to work with a partner who shares these ambitions. We look forward to supporting the IKEA team and, importantly, its customers in making sure last-mile deliveries are efficient and emission free.”

In other news, Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer, has announced an investment of more than €2bn (€2.2bn) in omnichannel growth in the United States over the next three years.

Marking its largest investment in almost four decades of operating in the US, the company is building on its vision to create a better everyday life for the many people by opening new stores and locations to meet customers, strengthening its fulfillment network to secure better delivery options, and providing a product offer that reflects the needs of life at home in different regions across the country.

Tolga Öncü, Head of IKEA Retail, Ingka Group, said: “The US is one of our most important markets, and we see endless opportunities to grow there and get closer to the many Americans with affordable products and services. More than ever before, we want to increase the density of our presence in the US, ramp up our fulfillment capacities, and make our range even more relevant to local customers’ needs and dreams.”

The investment will bring IKEA closer to US customers both physically and digitally— making it easier and more convenient to shop. In the first phase, the company anticipates opening eight new stores and nine plan and order points, creating over 2,000 jobs. In addition, IKEA US has also announced new locations in San Francisco, California and Arlington, Virginia, set to open this summer.

Javier Quiñones, CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA US, said: “We know US customers have a strong desire for more ways to shop and experience IKEA, and this growth plan will allow us to meet that need. We are committed to continuing to grow in this market with our thousands of co-workers and millions of customers who look to IKEA for home furnishing inspiration and solutions at an affordable price. Our priority is to become more accessible, while staying as affordable as possible for the many people, which is especially important given the increasing costs of living.”

The US investment push ties into Ingka Group’s continued focus on omnichannel growth and expansion across the world. In Spain the company is investing EUR 150 million in opening many new locations around the country by 2025. It is expanding substantially in the UK and London, where it will open a city store on Oxford Street – its second in the capital. In Austria, in just three years, the biggest IKEA retailer has increased the number of stores and planning studios from 8 to 45, making IKEA more accessible than ever before there.

This latest investment in the US will also further modernize existing stores so that they have a dual role – to offer inspiration and home furnishing expertise while also increasing their handling capacity for parcel deliveries directly from the store. The company will continue to build more effective replenishment and fulfilment capabilities while transforming last mile deliveries to ensure faster, more sustainable, and more affordable deliveries.

Ingka Group will also explore new opportunities in clean energy, circularity and affordable housing around the US. As IKEA works toward its goal to be climate positive by 2030, it will increase solar and geothermal technology in locations whenever possible, transition to EV trucks to support fulfillment and delivery, and reduce waste.

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