Volkswagen and Tesco Pod Point charging network hits 100 sites

Pod Point charging is now available at 100 of a planned 600 Tesco stores around the UK

The rollout of Pod Point charging stations at Tesco stores around the UK, in partnership with Volkswagen, is now well under way, with 100 locations now up and running. Volkswagen UK marked the occasion by taking an ID.3 hatchback to the Potters Bar location in Hertfordshire, making this the first time the new electric model has been seen in the UK.

Data from Pod Point has revealed the charging points were used more than 12,000 times in November, delivering almost 60,000 kWh of energy. Charging at 7kW from the points is free, and Volkswagen estimates that with the average UK consumer spending 50 minutes a week at the supermarket, they could get the equivalent of 1,170 miles motoring free per year by topping up while they shop.

In total, Pod Point will install 2,400 charging bays at 600 Tesco stores across the country, significantly increasingly the overall capacity for charging electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Customers are able to use 7kW fast chargers for free, or pay a small fee to use 50kW rapid chargers instead.

“This is part of our wider commitment to addressing the environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities,” said Jason Tarry, Tesco's UK & Ireland CEO, when the scheme was initially announced.  “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.”

The venture is part of Volkswagen’s plan to sell a million electric vehicles by 2025. Geraldine Ingham, head of marketing at Volkswagen UK, believes the Tesco deal is an “incredibly exciting” project which “underlines the scale and ambition of our electric-car programme in the UK.” She added: “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.”   

Meanwhile, Pod Point CEO Erik Fairbairn said: “This agreement represents a 14% increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK and is a monumental day for electric vehicle drivers. It's a massive leap forward for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park.”