Tesco has started charging drivers who use its EV charging points in its supermarket car parks.

Charging had been free at 500 Tesco stores, as part of a charging network launched in partnership with Volkswagen and Pod Point. The only points that came with a cost were 50kW chargers. From November 1st Tesco announced that EV drivers would have to pay to use its chargers at all of its UK stores.

It will cost 28p/kWh for the slowest 7 kW chargers, 40p/kWh to use the 22kW AC chargers and 50p/kWh for the 50kW rapid chargers.

Tesco said that since its chargers have been free to use drivers have claimed more than 86 million miles of free electricity, and saved 12,000 tonnes of CO2. A spokesperson added: “Our new great value tariffs will build on this with some of the most competitive rates in the market. These changes will improve access to chargers for all our customers, and enable continued investment in our charging network across the UK.”

PodPoint said in a statement: “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.”

Revenues will help fund and expand the network, with Pod Point expected to meet its target of installing charging at 600 Tesco stores by spring 2023.