Thousands of electric vehicle chargers are to be rolled out across Tesco stores over the next three years under a new partnership between the supermarket, Volkswagen and Pod Point.
More than 2,400 EV charging bays will be installed across 600 Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks, with customers able to utilise a standard 7kW charger for free, or a rapid 50kW charger for a small cost in line with the market rate.
The programme will form the largest UK retail EV charging network and builds on Tesco’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity made in May 2017.
Jason Tarry, Tesco chief executive for UK and Ireland, said: “As the UK’s biggest fuel retailer, we have a role to play in supporting the transition to a low carbon future and improving air quality. We know our customers are increasingly moving towards electric vehicles, offering charging while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier.”
The installation programme is part of VW’s continued push towards e-mobility following the emissions scandal of 2015, which saw the German car giant reprimanded in numerous markets and fined US$2.8 billion (£2.2 billion) in the US alone. The company plans to sell one million electric cars a year worldwide by 2025, with a number of all-electric models due to come into the UK market next year.
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.”
Following a number of trail installations with Tesco, for Pod Point the deal represents significant growth in the UK market of EV chargers as chief executive Erik Fairburn explained.
“This agreement represents a 14% increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK and 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,” he said.