VW, Pod Point & Tesco collaborate for EV charge point expansion

Volkswagen, Pod Point, and Tesco have agreed a partnership that will see the EV charging firm install 2,400 charging bays across 600 Tesco stores over the next three years.

Up to 100 50 kW DC rapid chargers will be installed as part of the plans, with costs in-line with market rates. The 7 kW units to be installed will be free to use.

Access will be via the Pod Point app, though the rapid chargers will have a contactless payment option too. Charging bays will be rolled-out at Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks throughout the UK.

VW's electric fleet already includes the pure-electric e-Golf and e-up!, while the PHEV Golf GTE and Passat GTE are also available. In the pipeline though is the I.D. hatch - due next year - which will be followed by the I.D. Buzz MPV and I.D. Crozz SUV from 2020.

Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: "This incredibly exciting partnership with Tesco, powered by Pod Point, underlines the scale and ambition of our electric car programme in the UK.

"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."

Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said: "As the UK's biggest fuel retailer, we have a role to play in supporting the transition to a low carbon future and improving air quality. We know our customers are increasingly moving towards electric vehicles, offering charging while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier."

Erik Fairbairn, CEO of Pod Point, 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 is a massive leap forward for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park."

Richard Gordon, CEO of EV Centres UK said: "This is indeed good news as it demonstrates commitment and belief in the future of the ev market. However, it still doesn't address the fundamental issue of how the spaces will be managed and policed. Tesco could end up with a headache as drivers leave their vehicles parked for long periods and non-ev's use the spaces as normal parking bays, as they do with the disabled and parent/child bays currently, which is what our fully managed centres will address."

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