VW and Tesco to develop UK’s largest charging network
3 December 2018
German vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) has announced a partnership with UK supermarket chain Tesco to develop the country’s largest retail electric vehicle (EV) charging network.
The scheme, which will be powered by Pod Point, will offer customers of the supermarket the opportunity to charge their EV for free using a normal 7kW charger or make use of a faster 50kW point for a small cost in line with market rate.
The two companies will roll out over 2,400 charging bays across 600 stores within the next three years. Pod Point will handle the installations, which will be focused on the retailer’s larger Extra and Superstore locations. Currently, the retailer has just 19 stores with EV charging points.
Tesco hopes the move will offer its customers, together with the local communities surrounding its stores, the option to move to electric vehicles, therefore supporting the transition to a low-carbon clean air UK. The move also builds on the company’s strategy to use 100% renewable energy, announced in May of last year.
Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said: ‘This is part of our wider commitment to addressing the environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities. We want to be the leading Electric Vehicle energy provider and to support our customers with more sustainable solutions. Our EV network provides a sustainable choice for our customers and charging while they shop another little help to make their lives easier.’
Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, added: ‘This incredibly exciting partnership 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.’
The ambitious initiative also underlines Volkswagen’s commitment to becoming a leading player in e-mobility and deliver on its pledge to sell one million electric cars a year worldwide by 2025, although following recent meetings of the carmaker’s Supervisory Board, this target could be brought forward by two years.
The I.D. family of all-electric models, based on the Volkswagen Group’s new MEB electric platform, will begin coming to market in the UK next year as order books open for the I.D. Hatch, a fully electric Golf-sized model. This will be followed from 2020 by production versions of the I.D. BUZZ (MPV) and I.D. CROZZ (SUV) concept cars.
The UK Government has also backed the move. Jesse Norman, the Minister for EVs at the Department for Transport, commented: ‘The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle. For that, we need high-quality infrastructure in place to support ultra-low emission vehicles around the country. The Government set out plans in its Road to Zero strategy to deliver a significant increase in this infrastructure, and we welcome Tesco’s pledge to roll out over 2,400 new charge bays across their stores.’