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Walgreens goes green, adding electric car chargers to over 800 stores

Consumer Reports News: July 25, 2011 03:53 PM

Walgreens has announced that it will install electric car chargers at 800 of its stores across the United States by the end of the year. As many as one-third of them may be direct-current Level 3 "fast chargers," says spokeswoman Tiffani Washington. Fast chargers can recharge an electric car, such as the Nissan Leaf, up to 80 percent of a full charge in a half hour.

Installations are underway at 60 locations in Chicago and Texas. The charging stations will also be installed at Walgreens stores in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

The company is working with several different partners to install the chargers in the various locations. Prices for charging will be based on the local cost of electricity.

With stores along many major highways, the company expects its chargers to provide an infrastructure for electric cars travel between cities outside the range of their batteries. Along the way, Walgreens hopes customers who drive EVs will spend some time shopping in its stores while their cars are charging outside.

According to Walgreens, the Department of Energy says its planned chargers will make up 40 percent of the public chargers installed across the country, once they are installed.

As Walgreens' initiative demonstrates, retailers may play a major role in creating a nationwide EV infrastructure for public use. According to Walgreens, the Department of Energy says its planned chargers will make up 40 percent of the public chargers installed across the country, once they are installed. More major businesses are expected to follow suit.

While we think EVs will be charged mostly at home during off-peak, evening hours, having access to a selection of public charging stations could give car buyers the peace of mind they need to assuage the range anxiety that comes with electric cars.

See our guides to alternative fuels and fuel economy.

Eric Evarts

   

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