The number of electric vehicle charging points installed by supermarkets has doubled in the last two years, according to research conducted by charging point website locator Zap Map.

According to the research, 542 EV charger units were installed by supermarkets from the end of October 2017 to the end of 2019, taking the total on sites to 1,115 – a growth of 95%. This means 6.5% of all the UK’s public charge points are located at supermarkets with growth in-line with the overall growth of public charge points.

Lidl EV chargers

The number of stores offering charging facilities has also doubled with 608 supermarket sites catering for battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles which equates to 5% of all supermarkets – while this figure appears to be low, a “considerable proportion” of smaller supermarket sites do not have car parks, the firm said. Between 2017 and 2019, 313 stores added chargers with, on average, two charging units being installed per site.

Melanie Shufflebotham, co-founder Zap Map, said: “It is very encouraging to see supermarkets increasingly embracing electric vehicle charging at their stores with a dramatic shift in the number of chargers being installed over the course of the last two years. Our research shows that while the majority of charging is done at home, most EV drivers use the public network more than once a month. While a robust rapid infrastructure across the country is essential for longer journeys, having charge points in supermarkets provides EV drivers an excellent way to ‘graze‘ energy while doing an everyday task.”

She added: “With 89% of EV drivers taking the availability of charge points into account when selecting their parking, providing charging can be a real differentiator locally in the competitive supermarket sector. This seems to be recognised by some supermarkets, notably Tesco and Sainsbury’s, providing EV charging for free.”