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Supermarkets have added nearly 1,000 EV charge points since 2020

Electric car charging up at Tesco supermarket
Nearly 1,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charge points have been installed at supermarkets in the last 21 months, according to data analysed by Zap-Map and the RAC.   

Nearly 8% of all the UK’s 26,000 publicly accessible charge points are located at supermarkets – up from 6.5% in early 2020. The total number of stores now offering charging facilities for battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles has also more than doubled from 607 in early 2020 to 1,300 in 2021.

Tesco has added more EV chargers than any other supermarket by installing 641 devices, giving it a total of 922 across its 4,008 stores – 676 more than its nearest EV charging rival Asda which has 246 chargers. But because Tesco has so many locations, only 13% of its stores have the capability to charge an EV.

Morrisons has more rapid chargers than any other supermarket

Morrisons is leading the way with rapid devices at 40% (197 locations) of its 497 stores compared to nearest rival Lidl which has 150 rapid charging locations, representing 17% of its 860 stores.While Tesco clearly has more chargers of any speed, it currently lags behind Morrisons and Lidl when it comes to rapid chargers, with just 64 – and most of those have been added since early 2020.

RAC director of EVs Sarah Winward-Kotecha said: “While the majority of drivers going electric will be fortunate enough to be able to charge easily on their driveways at home, for the remainder it won’t be so easy so having access to free, or affordable, charging facilities at supermarkets is very important, and could even help accelerate EV take-up in the first place."

“Rapid charge points, in particular, make it possible to run an EV easily without access to a home charger as drivers can get their cars topped up in the time it takes them to do their weekly shop. We call on all the supermarket chains to let their customers know what to expect when it comes to EV charging provision and recognise the vital role they play in encouraging many more drivers to opt for electric cars next time they change their vehicles.

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder of the UK’s leading charging point platform Zap-Map, said: “Over the past 12 months there has been more than 130,000 new drivers of 100% electric cars on UK roads and usage of public charging has surged since the lockdown has eased. To support the increased demand, more charge points will be needed in the future, so it is encouraging to see the progress made by the supermarkets."

“These facilities will be good both for ‘top-up’ charging and as a replacement for home charging. As we move towards 2030, it will be important for supermarkets not only to accelerate this roll-out but also to ensure that the consumer experience is as good as possible by providing ‘open access’ and simple payment options.”

Plug into EV with CEF

Installing electric vehicle charge points in homes, workspaces and public places all over the UK presents a massive new business opportunity for electrical contractors. CEF is committed to providing the knowledge, resources and products you need to take advantage of this growing demand.

Check out our Plug into EV guide for:

A guide to EV charging speeds

Details of grants available to homeowners and businesses wanting to install EV chargers

Training to become an accredited EV chargepoint installer