It's 2018, electric cars are a thing, and they're affordable. But some people don't like that the charging points aren't as common as the common petrol station. Especially since it take more than five minutes to re-energise the car. But plenty of work has been done to improve the state of car-charging infrastructure, even if none of it seems to have affected Jeremy Clarkson, and the latest move will see 2,500 of the things hit Tesco car parks up and down the country.
Thanks to a new team up with Volkswagen, 600 Tesco branches will be lucky enough to have the chargers installed - with the goal of having them all up and running by 2020. Installation is being done by PodPoint, the largest independent public charging operator, with the promise that anyone charging up using a 7kW charger won't have to pay. 7kW charging isn't very fast, though, so 50kW charging will also be available but you're going to have to pay for it. Exact pricing hasn't been revealed this early, obviously, but drivers will apparently be charged at standard market rates.
There's no mention of anything with higher capacity, though it may be down to the fact the aren't many EVs that support anything over 50kW. Still, this could have been a good exercise in future-proofing, which makes it a little disappointing.
This is great news for existing and prospective EV owners because Tesco is everywhere. While the announcement suggested Tesco Express is getting left out, the bigger branches are still pretty common. What's more there's plenty to go and look at inside, and since the car parks are so big they won't have to hide the charging bays around the back where they keep the bottle recycling banks. Engadget also points out that an extra 2,500 charging points is a 14 per cent increase on what's currently publicly available.
Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said:
"This is part of our wider commitment to addressing the environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities.
We want to be the leading electric vehicle energy provider and to support our customers with more sustainable solutions.
Our EV network provides a sustainable choice for our customers and charging while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier."
Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, added:
"This incredibly exciting partnership with Tesco, powered by Pod Point, underlines the scale and ambition of our electric car programme in the UK.
Working with these partners to provide such an extensive network of EV chargers should leave no one in any doubt about the Volkswagen brand’s wholehearted commitment to an electric future."
Let's just hope that clubcard rewards will give people the opportunity to get some money off a 50kW charging session, rather than giving all the perks to the people stuck using petrol and diesel. [SWNS via Engadget]