THE most significant change in the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is being rolled out: 2400 EV charging bays will become available across 600 Tesco stores within three years.
Volkswagen, the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer, and Tesco – the UK’s largest fuel retailer – will develop the UK retail electric vehicle charging network. It will be installed and powered by Pod Point, the UK’s largest independent public charging network operator.
The EV charging bays will be based in Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks throughout the United Kingdom. Charging via a standard 7kW fast charger will be free; or if a rapid 50 kW charger is required, there will be a small charge.
Volkswagen says such an ambitious initiative underlines the firm’s commitment to becoming a leading player in e-mobility and to deliver on its pledge to sell 1m electric cars a year worldwide by 2025.
Volkswagen said its innovative partnership with Tesco supported the retailer’s Little Helps Plan, which aims to make a positive difference to communities and to promote a sustainable future.
Tesco, which made a commitment to 100% renewable electricity made in May 2017, said it wished to offer customers and local communities an alternative to fossil fuels, and to play its part in supporting the transition to a low-carbon, clean air UK.
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.”
Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, 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.”
Erik Fairbairn, CEO of Pod Point, added:
“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.”
This ambitious electrification programme comes ahead of the ID. family of all-electric models, based on the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB electric platform, which will begin coming to the UK next year starting with the ID. hatch – a fully electric Golf-sized model. This will be followed from 2020 by production versions of the ID. BUZZ (MPV) and ID. CROZZ (SUV) concept cars.
The Volkswagen e-Golf and e-up! are already available on the UK market.