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U.S. chain looks to open network of electric vehicle charging stations


U.S. supermarket chain Price Chopper is looking to open the first of many electric vehicle charging stations.

According to an article in the Business Review, the first charging station for the chain at its store in Niskayuna, N.Y., features three pedestals powered by GE WattStation technology.

The stations provide free charges to people who own electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The nearby ShopRite supermarket also has car charging stations.

Price Chopper is planning regional “clusters” of charging stations spread throughout its 130 stores in six Northeast states, said the article.

Joe Berman, the sustainability manager at Golub Corp. that owns the chain is leading the charge, so to speak. “Price Chopper is very sensitive to its own environmental footprint and we recognize the fact that we need to minimize our emissions,” Berman said in the Business Review. “What we’d really like to do is provide our customers with the opportunity to minimize their greenhouse gas profile, too.”

The chain received more than $46,000 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to build the station in Niskayuna, as well as a $321,000 grant to build charging stations at four other stores in the region.

Under the cost-sharing agreement, Price Chopper is paying $278,000, including labor and materials, Berman said in the article.

While the charging stations will be free to customers to use at the moment, Berman noted they are not intended for customers to keep vehicles plugged in for several hours.

Berman said in the report that he believes that by building a network of conveniently-located charging stations, more people will be encouraged to buy electric cars.

According to the latest Department of Motor Vehicle statistics, only 900 of the 9 million registered cars in New York state, are plug-ins.

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