According to new data from Zap-Map and the RAC, the number of rapid chargers in supermarkets now exceeds more than 450, having doubled in less 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 parks as well.

The number of electric vehicle supermarket charging points has 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 charging points, are now installed in supermarket car parks, a 1.5% increase from early2020.

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

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

In the 21 months studied by Zap-Map and the RAC, Morrisons installed chargers at 112 of their stores, meaning that 201 of their sites (40%)now have electric vehicle charging facilities, which is the greatest proportion of 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 identified the importance in the supermarkets’ uptake in increase charging facilities, saying “While the majority of drivers going electric will be fortunate enough to be able to charge easily on their driveways at home, for the remainder it won’t be so easy so having access to free, or affordable, charging facilitie sat supermarkets is very important, and could even help accelerate electric vehicle take-up in the first place.”

It’s clear that having access to charging points away from home is crucial for the long-term success of electric vehicle uptake, as more drivers will be able to recharge their cars while doing their weekly grocery shop.

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

However, the increase is not limited to electric vehicle charging points. From the beginning of 2020 until September 2021 data showst hat 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 it comes 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 rapid charging locations, across their 860 stores. Tesco is again, lagging well behind Morrisons and Lidl, with just 64 rapid charging points, the majority of which 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 the lockdown has eased.

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

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