The roll-out of EV chargers at Tesco stores has reached 500 locations, and usage has increased 300% over the past year, according to the retailer.
The network, which enables EV drivers to top up their batteries free of charge, was launched by Tesco, Volkswagen and Pod Point in 2019, and the 500th location was the Tesco Extra store in Inverness.
According to Tesco, free charging sessions on the network since its launched increased from 500,000 in April 2021 to more than two million by the end of February.
The network comprises more than 1,000 chargers across 500 Tesco supermarkets in the UK and also now includes 100 rapid chargers.
The 7kW chargers and 22kW chargers are free to use, with its 50kW rapid chargers available at what it claims is a “competitive rate” for customers requiring more than a top-up.
The retailer said installations had targeted areas without rapid charging access, with Tesco stores in Leicester and Maldon gaining rapid charging points, and it was on track to meet its 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 visiting Tesco 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, head of marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “At Volkswagen, 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 at Tesco.”
Erik Fairbairn, Pod Point founder and CEO, said: “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.”