Volkswagen and Tesco team up to provide 2,400 free electric car chargers

Move represents a 14% increase in Britain’s charging network

VW tesco
Electric car chargers will be installed in 600 Tesco car parks by 2020
(Image credit: James Linsell-Clark/)

Volkswagen has announced plans to install 2,400 free electric car charging points at 600 Tesco stores by 2020.

Electric vehicle drivers will be able to access both 7kW and 50kW chargers at certain Tesco Extra and Superstores, which are to be built by UK-based charging provider Pod Point, says Autocar.

Drivers can make use of the standard 7kW chargers for free, the magazine says, while faster 50kW systems will come at a cost that the VW-Tesco partnership describes as “in line with the market rate”.

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The Evening Standard reports that the move will amount to a 14% increase in electric car chargers across the UK.

While this proves that Britain’s electric car charging network is “expanding quickly”, the BBC’s Theo Leggett says that “it isn’t big enough yet to cope with a big surge in electric vehicle ownership”.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reveal that electric car sales have increased by 0.6% in 2018 compared with last year’s results. As of October, 12,526 electric cars have been sold in the UK so far this year, up from the 11,799 sold across the whole of 2017.

More charging points in supermarket car parks “is just one more step” towards catering for the uptake in EVs, says Leggett, and will no doubt encourage more people to invest in zero-emission vehicles.

The move will also be a boost for VW as it pushes towards a future in mass-production electric cars, which have been previewed through its ID concept range in recent years.

The carmaker’s first electric car under the ID banner, the Neo hatchback, is set to kick-off a six model strong product offensive in 2020, notes Autocar.

These will join the two electric cars, the e-Golf hatchback and e-Up! city car, that are currently on sale.

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