The largest retail network of car chargers is to be rolled out across Tesco stores nationwide – described as a major step in bringing electric vehicles to the mass market.
Charging bays will be installed at Tesco’s largest Extra and Superstore car parks, with 600 outlets to benefit from the boost. It will create 2,400 EV bays – a 14 per cent increase in the number of public charging slots.
By 2020, both fast and rapid chargers are set to be installed at the sites by Pod Point – the UK’s largest independent operator of rapid chargers.
Fast 7kW charging will be free but drivers will have to pay to use the quicker rapid chargers. Pure-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles from all manufacturers, not just VW, will be able to use the bays.
Volkswagen has spearheaded this charging initiative as it aims to ramp up the infrastructure for EVs ahead of the launch of its new family of all-electric models – to be called ‘ID’. The first of them to go on sale will be a new Golf-sized hatchback, to be followed by an electric saloon, MPV and crossover. VW has ambitions to sell one million electric cars a year by 2025.
Erik Fairbairn, chief executive of Pod Point, said: “This agreement 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.
“We’re diving in with electric chargers, and it’s a great way to show that EVs are now open for the mass market – they’re not just for the early adopters any more. This announcement has moved EVs and charging into the next phase.”
Since the government’s Road to Zero announcement that all new cars registered from 2040 need to be “effectively zero emission” – meaning they can’t just run on petrol or diesel – there has been an increased push from charging providers and vehicle manufacturers to build up the infrastructure and viability of electric vehicles to meet this deadline.