News: Tesco transforms charging infrastructure

  • 2,400 charging stations across 600 Tesco stores
  • Volkswagen supported UK-wide network from Pod Point
  • 14% increase in UK fast & rapid charging capacity

Bringing a usable infrastructure for electric cars closer to completion, Tesco, Volkswagen and Pod Point are delivering 2,400 fast and rapid chargers to 600 locations in the UK. Free to use, these will allow shoppers to top up their car conveniently and quickly.

Pod Point charging at Tesco

Supported by Volkswagen, who are planning an extensive range of electric vehicles as well as offering models like the e-Golf currently, Pod Point’s charging bays will allow free fast charging at 7kW, or pay market rate for a 50kW rapid charge with supported vehicles.

VW e-Golf charging at Tesco

Volkswagen’s support of the network is not wholly altruistic. Aside from a convenient advertising location, VW intend to sell one million electric cars by 2025, with the ID family of all-electric models, based on the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB electric platform, coming to market in the UK next year. An initial Golf-sized model will be joined by the long-awaited electric VW bus concenpt – the ID Buzz – and an SUV foreshadowed by the ID Crozz concept.

Volkswgen already offer the e-Golf and e-up! – competitive yet attractively conventional EVs that work well in the real world without standing out.

How will consumers benefit from Tesco’s EV charging?

For many drivers, shopping is yet another time where the car is parked for an hour or so, and topping up an EV – typically gaining 20 miles of range at 7kW – at the same time could make all the difference to how easy it is to make use of alternative fuels. It’s also worth noting that the spaces aren’t just for Volkswagens; vehicles like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can also benefit from the free top up, allowing urban shopping trips to be completed without burning fossil fuels.

Short runs of less than 10 miles are when fossil-fuelled vehicles are at their least environmentally friendly – so anything that moves the school and shopping runs into zero emissions cars or at least, driving modes of PHEVs is a good thing.

Northampton shoppers with e-Golf at Tesco charging point

As the pictures show, the need to install the bays in existing car parks creates a wider space, too – so, like parents with children and blue badge holders, the perk of a door-ding free family friendly space adds some appeal to using an EV to stock up on groceries.

In the wider sense, this builds on Tesco’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity made in May 2017 and other clean-air initiatives.

Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: ‘This incredibly exciting partnership with Tesco, powered by Pod Point, underlines the scale and ambition of our electric car programme in the UK.

‘Working with these partners to provide such an extensive network of EV chargers should leave no one in any doubt about the Volkswagen brand’s wholehearted commitment to an electric future.’

Erik Fairbairn, CEO of Pod Point, said: ‘This agreement represents a 14% increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK.. and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park.’

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