As more and more Brits make the switch from diesel to electric vehicles, supermarkets are racing to meet the demand for charging points in car parks.
Last week, Tesco claimed to have the largest electric vehicle charging network in the UK, offering customers free charging at 400 of its stores in partnership with Volkswagen and Pod Point.
Cambridgeshire has four Tesco stores offering the electric boost – on Newmarket Road in Cambridge, a Tesco Extra in St Neots, in Peterborough’s Werrington store, and Wisbech’s Tesco Extra, as well as one just over the border in Bury St Edmunds.
It puts Tesco ahead of Morrisons – which was said to have the largest network in late 2019. Asda was previously leading the way, according to Zap Map.
The giant grocer said: “We believe it’s important to offer an easy, clean and free way for customers to top-up their cars while they shop with us.
“So far, the network has provided more than 10 million miles of carbon neutral energy to customers using the facilities, and with 1,660 charge points installed so far, we hope to reach our target of 2,400 next year.”
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps welcomed the news when it was announced in April.
He said: “As we accelerate towards a cleaner and greener transport future, it’s great to see one of Britain’s most iconic household names leading the way with electric vehicle chargepoints.
“In the time it takes to pick up the groceries, drivers up and down the country can now quickly and easily charge their cars and with £2.5bn of government support to encourage their take-up, there has never been a better time to switch to an EV.”
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 108,205 battery electric vehicles were registered in the UK in 2020, an increase of 185 per cent on 2019, the Independent reported.
Supermarkets are eager to impress their green credentials, and Tesco said its EV investment is just one action its taking to tackle two of the biggest sources of emissions in the UK – electricity production and transport.
Its announcement on June 11 added: “We’ve now signed power purchase agreements with Low Carbon and EDF to create new solar farms throughout the UK, which will help us procure more renewable energy for our business.
“We’ve also installed hundreds of solar panels across our UK stores, with work still ongoing, and will make all of our Dotcom delivery vans fully electric by 2028.”