UK’s largest free electric vehicle charging network opens its 500th location

UK: Free electric vehicle charging network adds new location

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Free charging sessions on the network increased from 500,000 in April 2021, to more than two million by the end of February.

The 500th charging location was opened at the Tesco Extra store in Inverness, Scotland, as the network boosts local infrastructure.

Other areas to have benefitted from improved charging access include Southend-on-Sea, Bolton, Wirral, Walsall and Port Talbot.

As the network only uses renewable energy, this milestone represents a saving of 8,786 tonnes of CO2 compared with travelling the same distance in a typical car with an internal combustion engine.

In real terms, this is almost the equivalent CO2 absorbed by 900,000 trees in a year.

Designed to offer customers a secure, reliable and accessible way to top up their electric cars, the network of more than 1,000 chargers at 500 Tesco Supermarkets in the UK also now includes 100 rapid chargers.

The network’s 7kW chargers and 22kW chargers are free to use, and its 50kW rapid chargers are available at a competitive rate for customers requiring more than a top-up.

The Inverness store also benefits from a new public rapid charger.

The network’s growth has specifically targeted areas without rapid charging access, with stores in Leicester and Maldon also gaining rapid charging points.

This latest milestone means the network is on track to meet its original target of launching charging points at 600 Tesco stores across the UK.

Jason Tarry, CEO at Tesco UK & ROI, said: “We’re thrilled to see the rollout of free EV charging at our retail stores gather pace.

“The network is helping customers who need to save time and charge while they shop.

“This latest milestone highlights the commitment across the business to our goal of carbon neutrality in the UK by 2035.”

Sarah Cox, for Volkswagen UK, said: “We want to make carbon neutral mobility accessible to everyone.

“That’s why we’ve made sure these chargers aren’t just for Volkswagens, and can be used by any electric car brand.

“It’s hugely encouraging that drivers from over 220 models, from almost 40 different brands, have already benefited from free, green top-ups while shopping.”

Erik Fairbairn, Pod Point founder and CEO, added: “The partnership is continuing to make a significant and very visible contribution to the UK’s charging infrastructure, giving drivers the confidence to transition to electric.

“Pod Point’s mission is to put an EV chargepoint everywhere you park, and we’re delighted to see so many more shoppers up and down the country reap the benefits as we continue the rollout.”

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that 190,727 battery electric vehicles were registered in the UK in 2021 – an increase of 76.3 percent on 2020 – as the drive to 2030’s electrification deadline continues.

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