Electric car owners should consider doing their weekly shopping at Tesco, as the supermarket not only has more charging points than competitors, but they are also cheaper to run than plugging in at home.
A new study compared UK supermarkets based on how many of their locations have EV charging facilities, finding that two-thirds (66 per cent) of Tesco stores assessed had at least one device.
Tesco has only recently discontinued its offer of free recharges to customers. But even with prices for different device speeds, it’s still cheaper to plug in the chargers than to charge batteries at home using a domestic utility rate.
Best supermarkets for electric car owners: Tesco has a charging point at two-thirds of its UK stores
Pod Point, which manages devices in Tesco car parks in partnership with Volkswagen, confirmed last month that EV drivers would no longer benefit from free supermarket charging.
From November 1, EV owners will have to pay 28 pence per kWh to use the slowest 7 kW devices, 40 pence for 22 kW chargers and 50 pence per kWh to plug into the network of fast 50 kW charging points.
The operator said it is stopping free charging in the hope that “customers only top up when needed, so they can make room for others once their cars are charged.”
Despite ending free charging in their car parks, Tesco devices are still cheaper than the average cost to plug in at home.
With energy prices at all-time highs, the cost to charge a Volkswagen ID.3 to cover 10,000 miles a year at home would be £747 when charged at the domestic daytime energy price cap of 34p/kWh, according to the website for electric cars. .
Charging at Tesco’s cheapest rate of 28p/kWh to use 7kW appliances would be £615, saving £132, says Electrifying.
That’s why Electrifying.com – a website dedicated to electric car ownership – has just named Tesco the best supermarket for EV drivers.
Despite ending free charging in their car parks, Tesco devices are still cheaper than the average cost to plug in at home
|Percentage of stores with at least one CP (%)||Total UK shops||Number of stores with at least one charger||Total number of chargers in all supermarkets||Free to use?||**Cheapest charging price|
|tesco||66%||798||528||2,250||no||28 cents per kWh|
|Waitrose||17.6%||336||na||224||no||55p per kWh***|
|Lidl||28%||>935||261||na||no||40 pence per kWh|
|Source: Electrifying.com*Sainsbury’s locations based on 2021 figures, **Recharge prices sourced from ThisisMoney, ***Cheapest recharge through Waitrose’s provider, Shell Recharge|
Lidl ranks second in supermarket prices.
Around 28 per cent of UK locations currently have at least one electric car charging point.
Waitrose came in third with only 17 per cent of its stores currently offering customers the option to charge electric cars. However, the company has announced plans to install 800 Shell Recharge charging points at 100 of its locations by 2025.
Nearly one in three (28%) of Lidl supermarkets in the UK currently have at least one electric car charging point
Waitrose has a charging device in only 17% of its stores. However, the company has announced plans to install 800 Shell Recharge charging points at 100 of its locations by 2025
For electric car drivers who prefer to shop at Aldi, Electrifying says it could be a lottery in terms of charging facilities, as only 12 percent of stores currently provide electrical appliances for customers.
But like the store itself, these devices offer great value for money, with on-site charging points that remain free to use, unlike rivals.
Sainsbury’s, which has more than 600 stores according to its website, said it has “more than 100 charging points available in their stores”, but declined to disclose the actual number of stores where the chargers are located.
Data from 2021 shows there were appliances in just 43 of its stores – that’s a paltry 7 percent of its supermarkets nationwide.
But like Aldi, all of these points are currently free to use.
Only 12% of Aldis in the UK have an electric vehicle charging point. However, they are currently free to use
Sainsbury’s was at the bottom of the survey, but the brand says it is trying to ramp up its electric car charging facilities
Electrification founder Ginny Buckley said as more electric cars hit our roads, it was “critical” that charging infrastructure in and around convenient locations – such as supermarkets – grows at a similar rate.
“People are rightly looking for ease and convenience when it comes to charging their car. 37 percent of motorists indicate that they would like to be able to charge at a supermarket other than at home to do their shopping.
‘Congratulations to Tesco who have invested heavily in providing good loading facilities to their customers; we know shoppers are struggling, so it is reassuring to see that while most supermarkets charge customers for ‘filling up’ with electricity, the price for this is often cheaper than charging on the street or even at House.’
The report on the best supermarkets for EV drivers is published by Electrifying.com. Founder, Ginny Buckley (pictured), says charging infrastructure in convenient locations needs to grow faster than it is today
Clare Gregorio, Head of Retail Partnerships at Tesco, said the supermarket has already charged more than 140 million kilometers across 563 stores.
“The charging network, installed in partnership with Pod Point and Volkswagen, underscores our commitment to becoming carbon neutral for all of our UK operations by 2035 and net zero for our entire footprint by 2050,” she added.
Lidl GB said it has invested more than £15 million in rolling out electric vehicle charging points in its supermarkets since 2017 and has pledged to have fast devices in 300 stores by the end of this year.
“We add a charge point to every new store we open where possible (i.e. if it’s on a retail park we don’t have full control over that), and the vast majority of our stores with charge points have fast chargers,” it said.
Despite refusing to outline the exact number of stores nationwide with charging facilities, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said there are “more than 100 available” in stores.
“We have learned a lot from it and have been working hard for some time on our ambitious plan for our next generation of charging points,” the spokesperson adds.
“We want to offer these in as many stores as possible and create a better customer experience by offering both slow and fast charging points. We are well on track to finalize and execute our plans and we are confident that they will meet our customers’ EV charging needs.
We’re not in a position to share more details at this time, but we’ll be making more announcements in the coming months. Electric vehicle charging is a priority for Sainsbury’s – this has been the case for many months and we are about to update our colleagues and customers on our plans.’
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