Volkswagen, Tesco and Pod Point have teamed up to provide the largest free retail charging network for electric vehicle (EV) owners across the UK. The partnership has now hit the landmark 200th store after four EV points were installed at the Tesco superstore in Chester.
Over the past 18 months, these charging points across the UK have been used 150,000 times by EV owners of all brands – providing their batteries with a combined 669 megawatts of power. That’s enough to power 1.3 million homes for one hour, or 55,750 homes for 24 hours – which should cover the electricity needs for residential properties in a town or city with a population of almost 130,000.
It’s estimated that EV drivers using these chargers have saved 374,391 kg of tailpipe CO2 emissions – the equivalent of more than 1.8 million miles driven by the average new car.
Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing for Volkswagen UK, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve reached another milestone in our partnership with Tesco and Pod Point. There are now 200 stores with chargers that drivers of any electric vehicle can use for free. As the partnership continues, and more stores roll out new chargers, we are really proud to be breaking down barriers to EV ownership and demonstrating to people that living with an EV is easy.”
Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said: “We’re now well on our way to achieving our ambition of installing more than 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores. The 200th store is a landmark moment as we get back up and running with this programme after the Covid-19 pandemic meant we had to delay our plans. Providing customers with charging points offers them a sustainable choice and giving them the opportunity to charge their car for free while they shop is a little help to make this easier.”
Erik Fairbairn, Founder and CEO of Pod Point, said: “Our partnership with Tesco and Volkswagen is making it easier for drivers to go electric and will help speed up the transition to EVs. Vehicle electrification is one of the most powerful ways to stop travel damaging the earth.”
The rollout is also looking to tackle a number of locations with limited charging facilities (less than 10 chargers per 100,000) such as in Barnsley, Wirral and Wellingborough as well as previous ‘notspots’ – areas without a single public place to charge – such as Barrow-in-Furness, which now has two public charging points located at the town’s Tesco Extra store.
Elsewhere, Volkswagen is in full-swing in rolling out its all-electric ID.3 car, where the German manufacturer’s production facility in Zwickau is capable of rolling out 330,000 EV models per year. The ID.3 1st Edition will arrive in the UK in September.