Lidl has announced that it will install fast chargers at over 300 stores in the UK over the next three years. New branches will only be built with charging stations, and existing stores will also be retrofitted.
Lidl plans to open 50 new branches in England, Scotland and Wales this year alone. Currently, only 40 Lidl branches in the UK are equipped with charging stations.
The trading company has not yet revealed which charging stations will be used, only that a charging process from 0 to 80 per cent should take about 50 minutes – and thus be “less time than it takes to do a big shop,” as Ingo Fischer, Chief Development Officer for Lidl GB, says. “It is our hope that, through this significant investment, we will enable easier access to charging points, ultimately helping more households switch to electric vehicles,” Fischer continues. The investment is expected to be £25 million.
Lidl has commissioned the supplier Pod Point to operate the charging stations. The columns will also be integrated into Pod Point’s open charge app, but can also be found via the Lidl app and on Zap-Map. The charging will not be free: the kilowatt-hour should cost 23 pence.
In March, Lidl announced that it would be equipping around 400 of its branches across Germany with charging points within a year. In the long term, as many locations as possible are to be equipped with at least two charging points. In the expansion of its charging infrastructure, the chain supermarket relies on a mix of AC and DC charging points in various power classes up to 50 kW, with powerful DC systems tending to be used near motorways.
Lidl’s goals support the current push for EV infrastructure around the country, where popular support for the electrification of the transport sector looks likely to make it an election issue. The German supermarket chain announced earlier this year that 400 charging stations would be installed at branches throughout Germany.
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