The great electric car rollout is well under way across the UK, with EV owners at 100 Tesco stores across the United Kingdom now able to top up their battery for free while shopping.
To highlight the scheme, Volkswagen visited the Potters Bar store in Hertfordshire with its exciting all-electric ID.3 – the first time the model has been in the UK since its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The appearance of the new car – which arrives at UK dealerships in the summer – coincided with research by Volkswagen which revealed the average Brit spends 50 minutes per week in a supermarket buying food and drink.
Electric car owners who plug in their vehicles could get around 22.5 miles of free charging from the 7kW points during that 50-minute period – enough time to do the weekly shop. To fully charge your battery might take longer, up to four hours perhaps, which could see you landed with a penalty notice in some Tesco car parks, so check the signage carefully before you decide to go and watch a movie, plus a cheeky Pizza, and return later.
Which Tesco stores have the free charging points? There’s info on the Pod Point site here.
Over a whole year this works out at 1,170 miles says VW, which is very handy indeed.
Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “Volkswagen literally means the people’s car, and with the ID.3 we are making electric car ownership more accessible.
“This fantastic partnership with Tesco and Pod Point makes choosing an electric car even more attractive, allowing people to charge for free, all while going about their daily business.
“And the best bit is that this is not just for Volkswagens – the chargers are designed for any electric car owner to take advantage of. We are really pleased to help break down any remaining barriers to opting for an electric car.”
Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, added: “We’re now well on our way to achieving our ambition of installing more than 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores.
“Providing customers with charging points offers them a sustainable choice and giving them the opportunity to charge their car for free while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier.”
FREE ELECTRICITY FOR NOW, BUT OWNERS WILL PAY TOMORROW
UK sales of pure electric vehicles (EVs) are up by 125% this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. And the growth is set to continue, with Volkswagen’s survey of 2,000 UK motorists revealing 41% are considering leasing or owning an EV as their next vehicle. This figure increases to 61% among the 25-34 age group.
The survey also reveals 80% of Brits think free charging points are a good thing. (What’s the deal with the other 20 percent? – Baffled Ed)
Six in ten adults say they are more likely to buy an electric car if they can charge for free, while 68% reckon companies in the UK should be doing more to encourage motorists to make the switch to electric cars.
But is free charging sustainable, to borrow a buzzword from St Greta and her posse? Insurance Edge thinks not. Those windmills, wave machines and bio-degradable power stations have to be paid for with cold hard cash. That means that once the consumer has been roped into going electric, the cost per kilowatt is bound to rise, just like petrol does right now. If it doesn’t rise fast enough, then an environmental tax will be placed on charging points.