Lidl Ireland has pledged to deliver the largest network of electric vehicle chargers in the Irish supermarket sector after committing to install charge points at all new stores and across all major store refurbishment projects.
The rollout will see 40 EV charging facilities installed in 20 stores across Ireland in the next six months.
Over €150,000 (£134,000) is to be invested in the installation programme, with consumers able to use the new 22kWh chargers at no cost while they shop, once they have been delivered by Irish firm Car Charger EV.
Lidl has already installed, and trialled electric vehicle charging points at the Rathfarnham, Drogheda and Swords stores and will retrofit the technology at ten of its other stores in the coming months.
Electric vehicle charging points will also be installed at all locations where Lidl is currently building new store developments: Belgard Road, Tallaght; Fortunestown; Sligo; Nenagh; Childers Road, Limerick; Birr and Antrim.
Alan Barry, director of property and central services at Lidl Ireland, said: “Electric vehicles are indispensable in addressing the major challenges of improving air quality and curbing the use of fossil fuels.
“With more and more customers shopping with us every week, we hope that the expansion of the network of public charge points will make electric vehicles more attractive to customers whilst further enhancing our customer experience. What’s great is they’re also free for our customers!”
He added that the charging point located at the Drogheda store provides on average 100km (62 miles) of range per charge, and is currently charging over 4,000km (2,485 miles) each week.
Welcoming the commitment to introduce electric vehicle chargers, Jim Gannon, chief executive of Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland, said: “The number of electric vehicles on Ireland’s roads are growing rapidly and, with this increase, all additions to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure are very welcome.
“While we recognise that the majority of charging may take place at home, initiatives such as this from Lidl will help to provide confidence in the charging network and ensure that there are sufficient charging locations available for a growing number of electric vehicle users.”