US shopping malls to offer EV charging stations

6 Apr 2011

US real estate company Simon Property Group, which develops integrating energy conservation strategies into mall operations, is set to become the first retail developer in the US to offer electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its properties.

The initial installation has been completed at Simon’s Florida Mall in Orlando, Florida, and will be complete at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, later this month. One ‘Level 2′ charger, which has the ability to partially charge a customer’s EV in 60 to 120 minutes, is now in operation at Simon’s Florida Mall. One dual unit, with two ‘Level 2′ chargers, will be installed in the parking deck at Stanford Shopping Center.

These EV charging stations will be self-service and easy to operate, allowing shoppers to “pull up and plug in” and leave their vehicles at the charging station while they are shopping. There will be no fee for charging during the introductory time period.

“We believe that a well-developed EV charging infrastructure is going to be key to the success of EVs,” said George Caraghiaur, Simon Property Group’s senior vice-president of energy and procurement. “Meeting the needs of the first-to-market drivers of electric vehicles in the communities we serve is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability.”

The real-estate group is collaborating with two green-tech companies during this initial roll out. Car Charging, Inc. installed the unit at Simon’s Florida Mall and 350Green will install the charging units at Stanford Shopping Center.

EV automakers expect about 1m EVs on US roads by 2015, and potentially 27m by 2020.

Across the globe, governments and organisations are preparing for the massive rollout of EVs, with Japan planning to offer EV charging stations next to vending machines and a new €24.2m EU fund in place to develop electric transport in Europe. Also, last month, the battery-swapping start-up Betterplace opened its first centre in Copenhagen, Denmark.