Tesco has been named the supermarket chain with the best electric car charging offering in a new report which highlights “huge” disparities between the provision at the main chains.
Tesco was found to offer EV charging points at almost half of all its supermarkets while rival Sainsbury’s had provisioning at less than 10% of its stores.
Charging points at public sites such as supermarkets, gyms and retail parks are seen as a key part of helping improve the country’s charging infrastructure and supporting drivers to move to EVs, particularly those unable to charge at home.
They are also seen as a means of enticing customers to locations where they can charge their car, often for free, while they shop.
The study by Electrifying.com looked at the UK’s largest supermarket chains and compared the number of sites (excluding “express” or “local”) that had chargers, the number of chargers at each site and the type of charging offered.
Tesco was found to have chargers at 43 per cent of its 888 stores, with an average of 1.87 chargers per site. It offers free 7kW charging or low-cost rapid charging through its partnership with Volkswagen.
Morrisons was close behind, with chargers at 40 per cent of its store.
Sainsbury’s, in contrast, has charging points at just 7% of its 600 stores while just 10% of Aldi stores offered any charging.
According to a poll byElectrifying.com, the Department for Transport and the AA, 72% of drivers would be more likely to consider buying an electric car if there was more opportunity to charge at supermarkets.
Ginny Buckley, founder of Electrifying.com, said: “Congratulations to Tesco and Morrisons which have both invested heavily to provide customers with good charging facilities. We’d love every supermarket site to offer this, but we aren’t there yet.
“We expected more supermarkets to be doing better, but it’s still great to see how some of them have recognised that offering shoppers reliable car charging is not only good for business but will also help give the nation confidence to make the switch.
“With electric cars surging in popularity, providing charging infrastructure at convenient locations is crucial to encourage drivers to go electric sooner, particularly the significant number that don’t have access to off-street parking.”
Both Sainsbury’s and Lidl, where just 15% of stores have chargers, said they had ambitious plans to improve their provision. A Lidl spokesperson said: “By 2022, we aim to have more than 350 stores with rapid charging points, adding: “We are the cheapest supermarket provider of pay as you go rapid charging.”