Tesco’s Kirkwall superstore has become the 600th store in the UK to have EV charging points installed. Since Tesco, Volkswagen and Pod Point launched the network in 2019, the charging points have provided 43,218kWh of energy to date – enough to power more than 4,000 homes for a whole day.

The installation at the store on the remote Scottish island of Orkney, is the culmination of a programme which has seen more than 2,500 EV charging bays installed at 600 Tesco stores across the UK over the last three years – with all electricity used to charge cars generated from renewable sources. The network also includes 129 rapid chargers.

The partnership was announced to improve the charging infrastructure as the UK prepares for an electric future. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, at the end of February 2023 there were 693,307 battery-electric cars in the UK, an increase of 610 per cent on the number of BEVs in 2019.

Tesco has worked with Volkswagen and Pod Point to build the largest retail electric vehicle charging network in the UK, giving EV drivers a place to top up their cars while doing their shopping.
The chargers have been used more than 6,000,000 times already saving more than 24,000 tonnes of CO2.

Jason Tarry, Tesco UK CEO, said:“From Orkney all the way to Southampton, we’re helping customers to make sustainable choices by giving them somewhere easy and convenient to charge while they shop with us. Hitting our target of 600 stores with EV charging is a great milestone – and our work doesn’t stop there, as we’re now installing our first 75kW rapid chargers too.”

Erik Fairbairn, Pod Point Founder and CEO, said:“Meeting the 600-store target is an awesome achievement and makes the Tesco rollout by far the UK’s biggest retail EV charging network. Since 2019, we’ve been giving drivers the confidence to go electric with a secure, reliable and accessible way to top up while they shop. We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Tesco and Volkswagen, and with the contribution we’re making to the UK’s charging infrastructure.”

Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said:“We’re really proud of this partnership with Tesco and Pod Point, which has always been about providing sustainable charging access and infrastructure to all BEV and PHEV vehicle owners in the UK. Hitting the 600-store milestone means that we are continuing to support as many people as possible to make the switch to electric mobility.”

Owners of electric cars made by any EV manufacturer can use the charging points. Drivers just need to download the Pod Point app, plug in the charger and confirm their charge.

The 600th store milestone also coincides with the next phase of the Tesco EV charging network with Pod Point installing the retailers’ first set of 75kW charging units, on a trial basis, to complement the existing 7kW, 22kW and 50kW units across the Tesco estate.

From this month customers shopping at the Tesco Cheshunt, Osterley, Shrewsbury, Ashby De La Zouch and York Extra stores, and at the Newark New Ollerton Superstore will be able to benefit from the new 75kW public rapid chargers. A further six stores will be installed with 75kW units as part of the trial later this year.

The range of charging speeds will cater to the different charging requirements of customers from those looking for a simple top up, to drivers needing a fuller charge. The 75kW will be available at 69p kWh.

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