DEERFIELD, Ill. — As the nation braces for higher gas prices this summer, Walgreens is exploring alternatives that may have longer-term potential and could serve as a differentiator among green consumers. As of April, Walgreens had announced three markets in which it had opened electric charging stations in its store parking lots.
Unlike gas stations where consumers can simply pump and go, charging stations can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour, which creates more time to capture more purchases.
Working with 350Green in the Chicago market, Walgreens plans to install charging stations at about 30 area stores beginning this summer. In the Dallas and Houston markets, Walgreens is working with NRG Energy to install high-powered rapid charging eVgo Freedom Stations at 18 locations across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and 18 locations in Houston. By the end of 2012, NRG plans to install a total of approximately 70 charging stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and another 50 in the Houston area. Additionally, NRG plans to electrify the Interstate 45 corridor that connects the two cities.