Tesco to end free charging at stores from November 1st

Tom Barnard


Tesco, which is currently Britain’s biggest provider of free electricity for electric car drivers, is to start charging for the service at all stores from November 1st.

The cheapest will be 28p/kWh for the slowest 7kW connections, rising to 40p for the 22kW AC and 50p for the 50kW rapid chargers. Currently, only the 50kW DC chargers have a cost, which is 28p/kWh. Payment will have to be made through the Podpoint app for the AC chargers or by contactless for the 50kW rapid points.

The Tesco EV charging network, developed in partnership with Pod Point and Volkswagen, has provided more than 86 million miles of free electric driving according to the company. 

In a statement, PodPoint said: “The new tariffs are some of the most competitive in the market and will enable us to continue investing in our network. It’s hoped that by making these changes customers will only top up when they need to, ensuring that they make way for others once their cars are charged.” 

There is no discount for shopping in-store. 

It is hoped the revenue will help fund and expand the network. PodPoint said the partnership is on track to meet its target of installing charging at 600 Tesco stores by the end of Spring 2023.

Founder and CEO of Electrifying.com Ginny Buckley said: “This news will come as a blow to electric car drivers across the country, but with energy prices at an all-time high, it might actually still be more cost-effective to charge on a 7kW connector at Tesco than it is to charge at home, particularly if you don’t have access to a cheap night tariff. 

"For example, the cost to charge a Volkswagen ID.3 for 10k miles per year is £747 with the new domestic price cap of 34p/kWh. Charging at Tesco's rate of 28p/kWh it’d be £615, meaning a saving of £132. 

“While Tesco are on the front foot with providing charging at convenient locations, we need to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place - and at the right price - so that everyone can make the switch with confidence. I would also like to see energy providers introduce cheaper night tariffs at public charge points to help balance the supply grid and benefit those without access to off-street parking.”

Payment will have to be made through the PodPoint app for slower AC connections

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