According to new data from Zap-Map and the RAC, the numberof rapid chargers in supermarkets now exceeds more than 450, having doubled inless than two years. The data also shows that in the last 21 months, almost1,000 new electric vehicle charging points have been added to supermarket car parksas well.

The number of electric vehicle supermarket charging pointshas risen by 85% with 2,059 charging stations compared to 1,112 in January 2020.This surge means that 8% of the UK’s 26,000 publicly accessible chargingpoints, are now installed in supermarket car parks, a 1.5% increase from early2020.

Battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are also beingcatered to more widely, with the total number of stores now offering chargingfacilities growing to 1,300 in 2021 compared to 607 in 2020.

Currently, Tesco have added more electric vehicle chargersthan other UK supermarkets, installing another 641 devices. This means thesupermarket now has a total of 922 charging stations across its 4,008 stores.

In the 21 months studied by Zap-Map and the RAC, Morrisonsinstalled chargers at 112 of their stores, meaning that 201 of their sites (40%)now have electric vehicle charging facilities, which is the greatest proportionof any supermarket.

At the moment, Lidl has chargers at 24% of their stores,after adding charging stations for electric vehicles at 141 locations.

Sarah Winward-Kotecha, RAC director of electric vehicles identifiedthe importance in the supermarkets’ uptake in increase charging facilities,saying “While the majority of drivers going electric will be fortunate enoughto be able to charge easily on their driveways at home, for the remainder itwon’t be so easy so having access to free, or affordable, charging facilitiesat supermarkets is very important, and could even help accelerate electricvehicle take-up in the first place.”

It’s clear that having access to charging points away fromhome is crucial for the long-term success of electric vehicle uptake, as moredrivers will be able to recharge their cars while doing their weekly groceryshop.

Winward-Kotecha emphasised the importance of the additionalcharging points, stating “We call on all the supermarket chains to let theircustomers know what to expect when it comes to electric vehicle chargingprovision and recognise the vital role they play in encouraging many moredrivers to opt for electric cars next time they change their vehicles.”

However, the increase is not limited to electric vehiclecharging points. From the beginning of 2020 until September 2021 data showsthat 280 additional rapid charge points have been installed at supermarkets,meaning there are now 454 devices across the UK.

Morrisons have continued to further their dominance when itcomes to vehicle charging facilities, with rapid devices at 40% of their 497stores. This is a huge lead on their nearest rival Lidl, which has 150 rapidcharging locations, across their 860 stores. Tesco is again, lagging wellbehind Morrisons and Lidl, with just 64 rapid charging points, the majority ofwhich were added within the last two years.

Melanie Shufflebotham, the co-founder of Zap-Map, said:“Over the past 12 months there has been more than 130,000 new drivers of 100%electric cars on UK roads and usage of public charging have surged since thelockdown has eased.

“To support the increased demand, more charge points will beneeded in the future, so it is encouraging to see the progress made by thesupermarkets. These facilities will be good both for ‘top-up’ charging and as areplacement for home charging.”

The increase in the number of electric vehicles on the roadsis set to continue, and as we move forward the supermarkets along with many otherbusinesses will have to accelerate their rollout of charging capabilities inorder to keep up with the ever-increasing demand and encourage more drivers toswitch to electric, the next time they change their vehicle.