Smart Transport

Volkswagen and Tesco free EV charging network hits 100 stores

An initiative by Volkswagen, Tesco and Pod Point has seen its free to use EV charging points installed in 100 stores.

Launched last year, the partnership aims to install around 2,400 complimentary charging points for electric vehicles (EVs) installed in Tesco store carparks.

Research by VW revealed the average UK shopper spends 50 minutes per week in a supermarket buying food and drink.

According to the partnership, EV owners who plug in their vehicles could get around 22.5 miles of free charging from the 7kW points during that 50-minute period – enough time to do the weekly shop.

Over a whole year this equates to 1,170 miles – the equivalent of driving from London to Rome for free.

Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “This fantastic partnership with Tesco and Pod Point makes choosing an electric car even more attractive, allowing people to charge for free, all while going about their daily business.

“We are really pleased to help break down any remaining barriers to opting for an electric car.”

Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said: “We’re now well on our way to achieving our ambition of installing more than 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores.

“Providing customers with charging points offers them a sustainable choice and giving them the opportunity to charge their car for free while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier.”

Data from Pod Point has revealed the charging points were used more than 12,000 times in November, powering customers’ vehicles with almost 60,000 kWh of energy.

Erik Fairbairn, founder and CEO, Pod Point, said: "With the rollout now under way, we are witnessing a pivotal moment for the UK’s rapidly expanding public charging network.

“Providing smart, easy-to-use chargepoints at this scale is likely to accelerate the transition to electric cars up and down the country. Being able to top up while you shop at so many locations makes it more convenient to go electric than ever before."

UK sales of pure electric vehicles (EVs) are up by 125% this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

This growth is set to continue, with Volkswagen’s survey of 2,000 UK motorists revealing 41% are considering leasing or owning an EV as their next vehicle. This figure increases to 61% among the 25-34 age group.

The survey also reveals 80% of Brits think free charging points are a good thing.

Six in ten adults say they are more likely to buy an electric car if they can charge for free, while 68% reckon companies in the UK should be doing more to encourage motorists to make the switch to electric cars.

It also highlighted the importance of public charging points – with 43% of respondents saying they would rely on them to top their battery up rather than having somewhere to charge at home.

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  • Dan - 02/01/2020 11:41

    As a PHEV owner the main issue for me is that my car has a very poor interface to manage charge and to do anything more advance than turn charging on or off by plugging the car in. there is a mobile app that has a fix week charge planner but it is no a serious attempt at a proper interface. what was not clear from the article was how many times the UMS, SMC and MC affected the use of the car because the SOC was wrong. What was attempted was optimization against a parameter, but other parameters were not described as to trade offs. for example there is a Swedish survey that has show the impact on battery life if you further limit the SOC "swing" So do we want smoothest energy usage for DNO? lowest cost for user? lowest wear and tear for battery? best dependability as to range?

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