Walgreens to install charging stations for electric cars

By Julie Wernau
Posted yesterday at 11:55 a.m.

Walgreen Co. announced today it will install charging stations for electric vehicles as part of a Chicago-area public charging infrastructure rollout led by California-based 350Green LLC.

Already, more than 150 private charging stations have been installed throughout the city, and an additional 280 public charging stations have been announced for the Chicago area. Walgreens is the first company is the first retail partner to formally announce their participation in the $8.9 million project.

On Tuesday, the retail chain showed off their first Level 2 charging station with Gov. Pat Quinn at a drug store in Oak Park. The Level 2 station can add 25 miles of range per hour of charge.

Walgreens said they plan to install about 30 additional charging stations in Chicago-area stores beginning this summer.

“For our customers with electric vehicles, we will offer some of the area’s best corners to help give people the confidence to drive longer distances while having access to charging stations,” Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson said in a statement.

The company said the charging stations are part of a larger initiative to green their stores. The Oak Park Walgreens uses a geothermal heating and cooling system and stores in Logan Square in Chicago and in Normal are LEED-certified.

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  1. POS Yesterday at 12:42 pm

    I wonder if Walgreens is aware of what Oak Park and Interfaith Housing Development Corporation is planning for the space across the street from Walgreen’s flagship green store. The proposal includes commercial space on the first floor for tenants like laudrymats and three floors (51) of cookie cutter one-bedroom apartments for low-income residents with less than 50% of the parking spaces typically required for developments of this design.

  2. TG Yesterday at 12:54 pm

    Great idea. But for all of you people who think you are “Greener” by driving electric or hybrid cars. WRONG!
    Its better for our economy and for our country. The less oil we consume, the less money we give to our Middle East buddies. Yeah, some buddies.
    But, our electricity mainly still comes from our coal mines. So virtually the same amount of pollutants, green gases etc. come out of the electric, hybrid cars. Be aware of that, and please stop acting like you are saving our environment. You are not!

  3. DHW Yesterday at 12:59 pm

    How much will Walgreens charge for this?

  4. regus Yesterday at 1:11 pm

    Walgreens is meant for a quick in/out convenience drug store. The amount of power to your battery while you’re inside Walgreens for 5-10 minutes won’t be worth the hasssle of hooking up the cables. And for you Chicagoans who are considering hooking up for an hour and going to other stores to shop, watch for those tow trucks waiting for you to step out of Walgreens.

  5. Downtowner Yesterday at 1:16 pm

    @TG, please provide data to support your claims. Almost half of the electricity consummed in Illinois comes from nuclear power http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/nuclear/state_profiles/illinois/IL.html. Driving electric or hybrid cars is “greener” in Illinois. I think you need to consider getting a bit more educated before spewing your ignorant negativity. What Walgreens is doing is a good thing. It might not be the silver bullet you and others are looking for but it is an example of a company taking a step in the right direction. We are better off for it and Walgreens should be encouraged to continue taking these types of steps.

  6. Bob Yesterday at 1:21 pm

    How many charging cable will be swiped for scrap? How may people will park just to charge up taking spots from real customers. Will there be handicap only charging slots close to the door? Who is responsible if a child, drunk, or idiot is injured or killed at a charging station?
    I see lawyers getting rich off this.

  7. Ken Yesterday at 1:30 pm

    No single project is capable of solving our energy, pollution and greenhouse gas problems, but a lot of projects combined will make an impact.

  8. oCHEZo Yesterday at 1:39 pm

    I recently read an article on new technologies allowing charging systems to be integrated into the pavement of parking lots (and ultimately streets) that delivered a capability similar to the wireless charging we currently have available for small electronics – only on the scale needed for cars. Cable free charging goodness – it is implementation of such technology that will enable the practicality needed by the masses for electric car sales to really take off. That day can not come soon enough!

  9. Chuck Yesterday at 1:40 pm

    @Downtowner, even if half of current IL electric use is nuclear, there will be little to no growth in nuclear power generation in the near future. Ergo, electric cars are creating additional electric requirements. In Illinois, that will mostly come from coal. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-dirty-truth-about-plug-in-hybrids analyzed electric, hybrids, and fuel efficient cars according to 13 US regions to determine how much oil imports are reduced, additional coal burned, etc. It is only in Pacific coastal states, Texas, FL, and NE do electric cars make environmental sense.

  10. Thomas Yesterday at 3:11 pm

    I’d like to see Walgreens add reading area similar to Starbucks with free wifi. Now that would be cool. Drugs, car charging, drinks, snacks, and free wifi. I could envision myself hanging out at a Walgreens. Maybe they should also consider adding a soda fountain too.

  11. Downtowner Yesterday at 6:35 pm

    @Chuck, it depends on the number of electric cars added and over what period of time they are added. If every person in Illinois traded in his/her gasoline car for an electric car tomorrow, you are correct. However, if the transition is more gradual, which it undoubtedly will be, additional electricity production capacity could come from additional clean energy resources other than nuclear. Illinois has a fairly solid wind power footprint with plans to increase the proportion of renewable energy supplied to 15% of total output by 2020. My larger point was that we should applaud Walgreens for doing what it can to be a solution to the problem instead of chastising people that are trying to do what they can to make a difference. If we can isolate the major contributors of greenhouse gases to power plants by getting gasoline cars off the road, the problem will be much more manageable. Great point though and thank you for providing a supporting link.

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