Nearly 1,000 EV chargers installed at supermarkets since early 2020

Nearly 1,000 new electric vehicle charging points have been added to supermarket car parks in the last 21 months, according to new data.

It means that there are now 2,059 chargers located at supermarket sites, up 85 per cent from 1,112 in January 2020. As a result, nearly eight per cent of the UK’s 26,000 publicly-accessible chargers are now located at supermarkets, an increase on the 6.5 per cent recorded in early 2020.

The total number of stores offering EV charging has also more than doubled from 607 in early 2020 to 1,300 in 2021.

The data, revealed by EV charger site Zap-Map and the RAC, also shows that Tesco has added more EV chargers than any other supermarket, installing 641 devices, resulting in 922 chargers across its 4,008 stores. That’s 676 more than its next EV charging rival Asda, which has 246 chargers.

Sarah Winward-Kotecha, RAC director of EVs, said: “While the majority of drivers going electric will be fortunate enough to be able to charge easily on their driveways at home, for the remainder it won’t be so easy so having access to free, or affordable, charging facilities at supermarkets is very important, and could even help accelerate EV take-up in the first place.

“Rapid charge points, in particular, make it possible to run an EV easily without access to a home charger as drivers can get their cars topped up in the time it takes them to do their weekly shop. We call on all the supermarket chains to let their customers know what to expect when it comes to EV charging provision and recognise the vital role they play in encouraging many more drivers to opt for electric cars next time they change their vehicles.”

Morrisons, meanwhile, installed chargers at 112 of its stores over the last 21 months, giving it a total of 201 sites with charging capabilities. Its next nearest rival – Lidl – has chargers at a quarter of its stores following the installation of EV charging points at 141 locations, giving it 203 sites in total. Morrisons came out on top when it comes to rapid devices, however, with these high-speed devices installed at 40 per cent of locations.

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder of Zap-Map, said: “Over the past 12 months there has been more than 130,000 new drivers of 100 per cent electric cars on UK roads and usage of public charging has surged since the lockdown has eased. To support the increased demand, more charge points will be needed in the future, so it is encouraging to see the progress made by the supermarkets.

“These facilities will be good both for ‘top-up’ charging and as a replacement for home charging. As we move towards 2030, it will be important for supermarkets not only to accelerate this roll-out but also to ensure that the consumer experience is as good as possible by providing ‘open-access’ and simple payment options.”