As the popularity of the electric vehicle (EV) continues to grow, research has revealed that there have been nearly 1,000 new charge points installed at supermarkets since January 2020.

Data released by Zap-Map and the RAC found the number of EV charge points at supermarkets had risen from 1,112 in January 2020, to now stand at 2,059 – an 85% increase.

There has also been an increase in the number of stores that can provide battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles with charging facilities. This has more than doubled, growing from 607 in early 2020 to now stand at 1,300.

The research also found Tesco had installed more EV chargers than any other supermarkets, with 641 added, bringing the total on offer at the supermarket chain to 922.

As the RAC highlights, it is important for drivers to be able to have access to rapid charge points, particularly if they are making longer journeys, such as going on tour – it would also make an EV easier to run if they are unable to install a home charger.

Morrisons has been found to be the store with the most rapid chargers – between the start of 2020 and September 2021, around 280 rapid charge points have been installed at the supermarket, bringing the total on offer at their stores to 454. The rapid chargers can now be found at 40% of the supermarket’s stores.

The news follows on from the recent Government pledge to spend an extra £620m to support the transition to EVs – this will include introducing more charging facilities.

RAC director of EVs Sarah Winward-Kotecha 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.”

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder of the UK’s leading charging point platform Zap-Map, said: “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.”

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