Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has launched Smart Charge, a new public ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging service.
With over 750 150kW charging bays set to be installed across 100 Sainsbury’s locations by the close of 2024, the supermarket is aiming to become one of the top five EV ultra-rapid charging providers in the UK.
These chargers will allows drivers to fully charge their vehicles in as little as 30 minutes, or even less if the vehicle battery can accept higher charger speeds (300kW).
The supermarket said that the launch of its EV charging business was a recognition of the desire for a “trusted EV charging brand in the UK and the benefits for customers of being able to charge their vehicles while doing their shopping.”
According to research commissioned by Sainsbury’s and Censuswide, which profiled 500 EV drivers between 20 December 2023 and 29 December 2023, 80% of respondents said they avoided public EV charging stations, identifying three main frustrations: broken chargers (40%); not enough charging bays (36%); and speed of service (33%).
“With our new network of easy-to-use and reliable charging points conveniently located in our supermarkets, Smart Charge will make a real difference to EV drivers in the UK. As one of the few providers to be focusing exclusively on cutting-edge ultra-rapid 150kW+chargers, customers can be in and out in as little as half an hour and avoid waiting longer with less powerful alternatives,” said Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s director of property, procurement & EV ventures.
“We’re committed to helping to reduce carbon emissions and offering a national EV charging service forms part of this pledge. Our new charging points are powered by the same 100% renewable electricity that powers the rest of our estate.”
The minister for technology and decarbonisation Anthony Browne, praised the ventures, stating that businesses play a “crucial role in the delivery of EV infrastructure.”