Retail giant Tesco has announced plans to roll-out over 2,400 electric vehicle charging points at over 600 stores nationwide within the next three years.
Partnering with car manufacturer Volkswagen and EV charging provider Pod Point on the scheme, Tesco says that customers will be able to charge their electric cars using a normal 7kW charger for free or a ‘rapid’ 50 kW charger for a “small cost in line with market rateâ€?.
The charging bays will be based in Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks and will be installed by Pod Point.
Commenting on the initiative, Jason Tarry, Tesco’s chief executive for UK & ROI, said: “This is part of our wider commitment to addressing the environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities. We want to be the leading Electric Vehicle energy provider and to support our customers with more sustainable solutions.
“Our EV network provides a sustainable choice for our customers and charging while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier.â€?
EV charging bays are currently available in 19 Tesco ‘superstores’ and ‘Extra’ retail locations in towns and cities including: Bromley, Oxford, Lincoln, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Sheffield.
Erik Fairbairn, chief executive of Pod Point, added: “This agreement represents a 14% increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK and is a monumental day for electric vehicle drivers.
“It is a massive leap forward for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park.â€?
The move has been welcomed by the Minister for EVs at the Department for Transport, Jesse Norman, who said that ‘high quality infrastructure’ will be needed to meet the government’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy goals.
He said: “The government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle. For that we need high quality infrastructure in place to support ultra-low emission vehicles around the country.
“The government set out plans in its Road to Zero strategy to deliver a significant increase in this infrastructure and we welcome Tesco’s pledge to roll out over 2,400 new charge bays across their stores.â€?