Tesco announces it has now installed EV charge points at 500 stores, as eEnergy and EO Charging team up on public charging infrastructure drive

Tesco is celebrating installing electric vehicle (EV) charge points at more than 500 stores across the UK, as part of a tie-up with charging company Pod Point and auto giant Volkswagen.

In a statement earlier this week, the supermarket chain said the installation of a charge point at a Tesco Extra store in Inverness brought the total number of stores that now offer free charging services for customers with EVs to 500.

More than 1,000 chargers have now been installed in Tesco supermarket carparks, according to the update, of which 100 provide rapid charging to customers.

Tesco said the network amounted to the UK’s largest free EV charging network, estimating that the charge points had already provided motorists with more than 41 million miles of electric driving free of charge since the network launched in 2019.

“We’re thrilled to see the rollout of free EV charging at our retail stores gather pace,” said Jason Tarry, CEO at Tesco UK & ROI. “The network is helping customers visiting Tesco who need to save time and charge while they shop.”

Tarry added that the milestone provided further evidence of Tesco’s commitment to meeting its goal of delivering carbon neutrality by 2035.

Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen, said it was “hugely encouraging” that more than 220 models of electric vehicle from almost 40 different brands had already benefitted from “free, green top ups” while shopping at Tesco.

“At Volkswagen, we want to make carbon neutral mobility accessible to everyone,” she said. “That’s why we’ve made sure these chargers aren’t just for Volkswagens and can be used by any electric car brand.”

Tesco and Volkswagen are hoping to install charge points at 600 stores in total through the partnership with Pod Point, according to the update.

Tesco’s achievement came in the same week as energy management company eEnergy announced it is teaming up with leading EV charging company EO Charging to install 50,000 charge points in schools, hospitals, and councils across the UK by 2030.

eEnergy said the plans formed part of its commitment to create the UK’s largest public sector charging network, in a bid to encourage millions of drivers without access to charging at home to switch to EVs.

The partnership will initially focus on boosting access to charging in the education sector, with the companies targeting 200 installations in April 2022 and 2,000 over the first 12 months of the programme, the firms said.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, said there was significant demand for EV chargers in the UK education sector, which encompasses 32,000 schools, colleges, and universities and employs more than 600,000 teachers.

“Like many employers, schools face a growing demand for EV chargers just as energy costs reach record highs,” he said. “Our ambitious rollout will make life easier for teachers and other drivers by offering an affordable and accessible alternative. By pairing workplace chargers with energy-saving technologies and clean energy procurement, everything from lighting to commuting can be powered using 100 per cent fossil-free energy, cutting energy costs, and creating new revenue opportunities for the public sector.”

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