Tesco EV charge point rollout hits 200th store milestone

Pod Point, one of the largest UK providers of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, has installed the 200th EV charger at a Tesco store in Chester consisting of four free-to-use 7kW charging bays.
Tesco EV charge point rollout hits 200th store milestone
An on-street Pod Point EV charger. Courtesy of Limmersummit.

The company began partnering with Volkswagen and Tesco in November 2018 to install 2400 charging points across 600 stores in the UK. EV drivers at 200 Tesco stores can now top up their battery for free while they shop, with all electricity used to charge cars generated from renewable sources.

The Tesco Chester install marks the 402nd charging point installed to date as part of the rollout. At least two charging points (equivalent to four charging bays) are installed per store location.

Since the rollout began in 2019, over 669 MWh of energy has powered customers’ vehicles which is enough energy to power all homes in Chester for more than 24 hours, drive over 3,000,000 miles (or around planet earth 120 times) in a Volkswagen e-Golf and equivalent to saving 374,391 kg of CO2 tailpipe emissions, the amount produced by around 245 petrol cars driven over one year.

“Our partnership with Tesco and Volkswagen is making it easier for drivers to go electric and will help speed up the transition to EVs” said Erik Fairbairn, Founder and CEO, Pod Point. “Vehicle electrification is one of the most powerful ways to stop travel damaging the earth.”

The rollout is rapidly expanding the UK public charging network and is tackling 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.

The 200th store milestone also represents 12 per cent of the total Tesco store footprint with EV charging facilities (200 of 1678 stores with car parking), a figure that will grow to 36 per cent once the rollout is complete. The partnership is on track to install a further 200 stores by the end of the year.

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Sorry, but this is utterly pointless. Even a 7kW charge-point would only add ~20 miles of range to an EV in an hour. If the government is serious about a transition to sustainable personal transport (ie powered by battery electric), every medium to large supermarket in the county should, by now, be starting to install rapid DC chargers capable of at least 20kW and really more 50kW. This would then allow shoppers doing their weekly shop to gain sufficient charge to last a week or so. The same thing should be happening to every leisure centre, cinema complex, swimming pool and DIY store. Otherwise, most of the 50% of motorists who have no access to off-street parking (and therefore no practical means to charge overnight at home) simply will not be able to run an EV (those who can charge at work or on their way to work, eg at a commuter railway station, are an exception). Anything else is just greenwash tokenism.