The Number Of Supermarket EV Charge Points Has Doubled

The march towards electrification continues, with the number of charge points at supermarkets doubling over the course of just two years…

Every Kilowatt Helps 

Good news for EV drivers, prospective EV drivers and, well, all drivers after 2035; the number of charge points at the nation’s supermarkets has doubled in just two years. This means that a healthy 6.5% of all charging locations are now situated at the likes of your local Tesco, Asda and Morrison stores.

Data released by Zap-Map and the RAC has shown that there were 1,115 charge points at supermarket locations in December 2019. That’s compared to just 542 in October 2017. However, these appear to be concentrated in particular areas. Only 608 stores, or 5% of them, possess charging infrastructure. Nevertheless, charging at supermarkets makes sense. We typically spend 45 minutes whilst visiting them, allowing for plenty of time for batteries to recharge.

Despite the general situation improving, some supermarket chains are doing much better than others. Tesco, for instance, has installed 258 charge points since October 2017. Yet Asda has only added 8. This puts the chain on a backwards trajectory; especially when we consider how its other competitors are investing in the technology. Morrisons has added 83 charge points, the Co-op 68, Lidl 48 and Aldi 40. There are also major discrepancies when it comes to rapid charging, too. Morrisons has a healthy 84 of them; making up 59% of all its charging infrastructure. That’s compared to one and two rapid chargers at Asda and Tesco respectively.

‘Very Encouraging’ 

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder of Zap-Map, is encouraged by the investments being made by supermarkets. She said, “it is very encouraging to see supermarkets increasingly embracing electric vehicle charging at their stores with a dramatic shift in the number of chargers being installed over the course of the last two years”. She added, “while a robust rapid infrastructure across the country is essential for longer journeys, having charge points in supermarkets provides EV drivers an excellent way to ‘graze‘ energy while doing an everyday task”.

Shufflebotham also noted how charge points are now playing a competitive role amongst supermarket chains. She drew attention to the fact that some 89% of electric car owners take the availability of charging infrastructure into account when deciding on parking.

Perhaps the most important thing about supermarket charge points is their visibility. Millions of us visit supermarkets multiple times a month to shop for groceries or to fuel up our petrol or diesel cars. Seeing an increasing number of charge points, then, can normalise the technology and electric cars themselves. This can inspire confidence and make it clearer and clearer that charging the vehicles is an accessible and straightforward affair. This will go some way in combating fears of range-anxiety. Crucially, the charge points will also offer a lifeline to drivers who don’t have anywhere to charge whilst at home.

Let’s hope the number of charge points at supermarkets doubles again by 2022.

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