Sainsbury Smart Charge

Sainsbury’s launches EV charging business

Sainsbury’s has launched a new electric vehicle (EV) charging business in a bid to “provide an exciting new service” for shoppers, in tandem with the electrification of its own fleet.

Branded Smart Charge, will initially operate 750 ultra-rapid charging bays in supermarket car parks. These bays should be in operation by the end of the year.

These charging bays will feature 150kW charging infrastructure capable of providing a full charge for many popular electric car and van models within as little as 30 minutes.

Up to 300kW speeds will be made available at most of the locations for vehicles with batteries capable of accepting this higher speed.

Polls of 500 EV drivers in the UK conducted by Sainsbury’s revealed the slow speed of service to be a top-three concern.

The surveys also revealed that one-third of drivers were frustrated with having to wait and do nothing while charging, and would prefer to charge at a shopping location or café like those operated by Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s’ director of property, procurement and EV ventures Patric Dunne hopes that Smart Charge “will make a real difference to EV drivers in the UK” due to ease-of-use, speed and reliability.

The retailer hopes to make Smart Charge the UK’s leading charging brand; its research found that three-quarters of EV drivers currently use multiple charging brands, but that more than nine in ten would prefer to use just one.

Commenting on the news, the UK Government’s Minister for Technology and Decarbonisation, Anthony Browne, said:

“Together with industry we’ve supported the installation of over 52,600 chargepoints across the UK, an increase of 44% from last year.

“Businesses play a crucial role in the delivery of EV infrastructure, so it’s great to see Sainsbury’s embracing ultra-rapid technology which will benefit EV drivers.”

The UK Government is aiming for Britain to host at least 300,000 public EV charging points by the end of the decade.