It has been announced that from 2019, some Tesco stores will be offering customers free charging for their electric cars. The supermarket giant intends to install as up to 2,500 charging bays at 600 of its stores by 2020 in a major collaboration with Volkswagen. There will be no charge for using their standard 7kW charger, but there will be fees for drivers who want to make use of their faster service.
Volkswagen says customers will have the option to leave their vehicles charging while they go in to store and do their shopping, which should allow plenty of time for a free charge of a “substantial” nature. The type of car being charged will have an effect on the length of time that it takes to have a full battery replenishment. These charging facilities for Tesco and Volkswagen will be built by Podpoint, a leading UK provider of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, based in London.
Volkswagen currently have two electric cars available on the market in the UK – the e-Up and the e-Golf. Approximately 1,350 of the vehicles have been sold since their initial release back in 2014, but Volkswagen has big plans for a expansion of its electric vehicle portfolio, offering all of its models in electric versions by 2020.
Volkswagen and Tesco are among a variety of the large companies starting to get into the electric car charging industry, with the other three largest supermarket chains – Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s – having a number of charging points for electric vehicles at some of their stores, although these are much smaller scale installations than the ambitious plans that have been unveiled by Tesco and Volkswagen. 12,526 battery-powered motor vehicles have been sold so far this year in the UK, an increase of 0.6% on 2017.