New electric car chargers
Volkswagen, Tesco, and Pod Point plan to create the largest retail network of electric car chargers in the UK by 2020. Expect, therefore, 600 Tesco Extra and Tesco Superstores to share 2,400 units. Drivers will also have the choice of free, slower, 7kW chargers or faster, 50kW, chargers which can be accessed for a fee.
The network is likely to benefit every company involved – plus drivers themselves. Consider Volkswagen, for starters. Its e-Golf and e-up! are fully electric, zero emission, cars that are available now. Many more such vehicles are planned for the near future. However, many drivers are reluctant to swap traditional, familiar, internal combustion cars for their electric counterparts.
A primary concern is the lack of fast, reliable, conveniently placed public chargers. This ensures that too many motorists struggle to charge half way through long journeys, for example. In comparison, there is no shortage of convenient outlets for petrol and diesel. Volkswagen, therefore, might find sales of its electric cars rise if they are supported by further infrastructure.
Geraldine Ingham, Volkswagen UK Head of Marketing, said the new network ‘underlines the scale and ambition of our electric car programme’. She added: ‘Such an extensive network of EV (electric vehicle) chargers should leave no one in any doubt about the Volkswagen brand’s wholehearted commitment to its electric future.’
Tesco is set to benefit from the network, too. It is, after all, likely to attract drivers that currently struggle to find convenient, available, chargers for electric cars. Many will simultaneously shop for bread, milk, and other everyday essentials.
Jason Tarry, Tesco UK & Ireland Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘We want to be the leading electric vehicle energy provider and to support customers with more sustainable solutions.’ Tesco claimed it wants to help its customers and the environment, in other words.
Finally, Pod Point that manufacturers the chargers has the opportunity to increase its brand recognition and market share. That is important for the future. Why? Because electric vehicles look set to become increasingly popular and companies that establish a strong market presence early on might reap the rewards.
Erik Fairbairn, Pod Point Chief Executive Officer, explained: ‘This agreement represents a 14% increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK. It is a monumental day for electric car drivers. It is also a massive leap for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park’, Mr Fairbairn said.