Drive An Electric Car? You Can Charge For Free At Tesco

It was only last year that Volkswagen partnered up with Tesco and Pod Point to install 2,400 electric charging points across the country. But they’ve now announced that you’ll be able to charge up for free…

Every Little Helps 

There are now EV charging points at over 100 Tesco stores throughout the UK. Whilst the availability will no doubt come as a relief to drivers, the news gets better still; they’re free to use. Last year the supermarket giant announced that it was working with Volkswagen and Pod Point to roll out 2,400 of the chargers. In order to promote the project, Volkswagen visited a store in Hertfordshire in its upcoming, all-electric ID.3 model. This was the first time the car had been seen on the road in the UK. Research conducted by Volkswagen discovered that the average person spends around 50 minutes shopping in supermarkets each week. That means, using the 7kW chargers, they could get 22.5 miles’ worth of free charging every week.

Geraldine Ingham, head of marketing at Volkswagen UK, emphasised how the partnership with Tesco was designed to popularise zero-emission cars. He said, “this fantastic partnership with Tesco and Pod Point makes choosing an electric car even more attractive, allowing people to charge for free, all while going about their daily business”. In addition, he also stressed that the chargers were compatible with non-VW models. He explained, “and the best bit is that this is not just for Volkswagens – the chargers are designed for any electric car owner to take advantage of. We are really pleased to help break down any remaining barriers to opting for an electric car”.

Going Electric

If you’re suspicious of a free lunch, you may have a hard time working out why VW, Tesco and Pod Point would spend so much money on chargers only to offer them for free. But it’s not being done purely out of altruism and all will benefit. Pod Point will naturally benefit for selling, and probably installing the chargers. Tesco will benefit from appealing to a budding community of EV drivers (and their business).

As for Volkswagen, the situation is even more complex. It’s investing billions in EV models at a time when consumer demand remains small. To render them mainstream, they need to contribute to overcoming ‘range anxiety.’ Making chargers readily available, and in familiar environments, is a good way of doing it. In simple terms, we all have a Tesco near us. In which case, we have somewhere to charge a brand new ID.3 once we fork out for one.

Tesco’s 2,400 chargers represents a major push at improving charging infrastructure in the UK. There’s little doubt that other supermarkets will follow in time; perhaps also installing them at their petrol stations. When this happens, range-anxiety will effectively been consigned to the dustbin of history. Exciting times.

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