VW and Tesco launch electric charging bays with Pod Point initiative

VW and Tesco launch electric charging bays with Pod Point initiative

The world’s biggest vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen and the nation’s largest fuel retailer Tesco are today committing to a three year plan to install 2,500 charging bays at 600 Tesco stores.  Providing Customers the choice to either charge their electric cars using a standard 7kW fast charger for free, or to use the rapid 50kW charger at market rate.

The charging bays will be based in prominent designated spaces at Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks throughout the United Kingdom, and will be installed by the largest independent public charging network operator, Pod Point. Which will provide customers and local communities across the country an alternative to fossil fuels, whilst also contributing towards the transition of a low-carbon, clean air UK.

The initiative supports a growing demand for more public charging points – with sales of electric and part-electric vehicles increasing by 20% over the last year in the UK.

When all the new units are fully operational, tens of thousands of motorists will be able to charge, or part re-charge, their electric vehicles each day while carrying out their shop at the supermarket.

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 is another little help to make their lives easier.”

Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, added: “This incredibly exciting partnership with Tesco, powered by Pod Point, 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.” Volkswagen currently builds two fully-electric vehicles, the e-Golf and e-up!, and will be extending it with its new ‘ID.’ collection over the next two years. With a new Golf-sized electric model going on sale next year,and by production of newer versions of the ‘ID BUZZ’ and ‘ID. CROZZ SUV’ concept cars in 2020.

Electric cars are experiencing huge growth in the UK. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that ‘alternatively fuelled vehicles’ saw a 22% increase in registration with more than 120,000 already registered this year.

As the number of electric cars on UK roads increases, the charging infrastructure needs to improve quickly to support them. This partnership between Volkswagen and Tesco will see the number of public charging bays increase by 14 per cent, helping to bring forward this change.

Jesse Norman, the Minister for EVs at the Department for Transport, said: “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.”

Gareth Redmond King, Head of Climate Change, Environmental Policy & Advocacy, at WWF, added: “Businesses need to decide if they are preparing for a ‘net zero’ world or for climate breakdown. Tesco has clearly made its decision and is going full throttle in its commitment to transition to a low carbon future.”It’s this ambition and determination that makes us excited to partner with Tesco as we work together to make sustainable choices easier for all. “One of the big challenges to EVs is that people worry about where they’re going to charge their cars – this roll-out goes a long way to tackling that issue.”It will make it easier for everyone to reduce their impact on the planet and we hope that others will follow where they lead.”

Erik Fairbairn, CEO of Pod Point, stated: “This agreement represents a 14 per cent increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK and is a monumental day for electric vehicle drivers. “It is a massive leap forward for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park.”

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