​Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA says it will have free electric car-charging stations at all 12 of its stores in Canada by the end of this summer.

IKEA announced at the Climate Summit of the Americas just outside Toronto on Thursday that it will install 60-amp charging stations at all of its Canadian stores by the end of August.

"Charging will be provided to customers at no cost, on a first come first serve basis," the chain said.

Every location will get two chargers per store to start with.

The infrastructure will be installed by Canadian energy firm Sun Country Highway, which says the type of charger it will be installing is compatible with every electric vehicle currently for sale in Canada and is strong enough to recharge approximately 80 per cent of an electric car battery in under three hours.

IKEA says it is an ideal retailer for the initiative because its stores tend to be located next to major highways, so they can help fight "range anxiety" among electric car drivers worried about running out of juice on a long trip.

The decision is part of the chain's overall move toward sustainability. Last year, IKEA achieved 100 per cent renewable energy use in all of its stores through investments in things like a 46 megawatt wind farm in Alberta, almost 4,000 solar panels on the roofs of three Ontario stores, and a geothermal installation in Manitoba that is the province's largest. 

"Electric vehicle charging stations are an important step on IKEA Canada's continuing journey towards sustainability," the company's sustainability manager Brendan Seale said.

Canadians make 25 million visits a year to the retail chain's 12 stores across the country, Ikea said.