Number of UK supermarkets offering EV charging keeps growing

In 2023, more than 1,600 supermarket locations offered a place for customers to plug in, according to an analysis from Zapmap and the RAC. That is an increase of 59 per cent compared to the previous year.

Image: Sainsbury's

In 2022, there were 1,015 stores in the UK with EV charging facilities. In 2023, more than 600 locations were added, and there are now 1,616. In terms of the total number of the country’s supermarket locations, including those without a parking facility, about 13 per cent offer EV charging.

And it is not just the number of locations that increased – the number of chargers available is also on the rise. According to the analysis from Zapmap and the RAC, stores added 1,195 new charging devices last year. “This brought the total number up from 1,721 in January 2022 to 2,916 by the end of 2023,” it says in the press release.

But what is even more striking is that 1,107 of these new units were rapid or ultra-rapid chargers. “By the end of last year, 10% of all rapid and ultra-rapid chargers in the UK were based at supermarket locations – 1,107 units out of 10,967 across the country.”

“Concerns about the lack of public charge points are one of the biggest reasons why drivers aren’t choosing to go electric when buying their next car, with six-in-10 telling us this,” says RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams. “It’s very encouraging to see supermarkets doing their best to allay these fears by ramping up EV charging facilities across a greater proportion of their estates.”

He adds: “As the supermarkets currently dominate UK fuel sales, it makes sense for them to try to retain as much of that market as they can by catering to the needs of all EV drivers looking to recharge as quickly as possible.”

Sainsbury’s takes the lead when it comes to new installations. The chain added 104 new chargers at its locations last year – almost double the 53 units in 2022. With four fast-chargers per store at 22 shops, Sainsbury’s also had the highest average number of rapid chargers per location.

In terms of the number of overall chargers, Tesco is still in the lead with “1,305 devices now in place across 4,859 shops, the retailer added 497 chargers to its stores last year.”


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