So far, 200 chargers are available at 20 supermarkets
Smart Charge to introduce 750 rapid chargers “across more than 100 stores” by the end of 2024
Sainsbury’s has launched its own electric car charging brand, becoming the first supermarket in the UK to own and manage its own charging network.
Called Smart Charge, the “game-changing” brand will be introduced with the roll-out of 750 rapid chargers “across more than 100 stores” by the end of this year. The British supermarket chain claims that this will put it in the top five providers of ultra-rapid chargers in the UK.
So far, 200 chargers are available at 20 supermarkets, such as those in Harrogate and Richmond, with contactless payment. Sainsbury’s claims its chargers are powered by renewable energy sourced from solar and wind farms and will charge a flat rate of 75p per kWh.
The majority of units will be capable of charging at speeds of up to 150kW, which will charge most electric vehicles from 10-80% in around half an hour.
Smart Charge has been set up in response to research carried out by the supermarket, which surveyed 500 EV drivers in December 2023.
It found that a third of participants have still to benefit from ultra-rapid charging, with 94% claiming they would prefer to use a single trusted and reliable charging brand. The chain claims it is currently the only supermarket to offer ultra-rapid chargers at its facilities.
Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s director of property, procurement and EV ventures, said: “With our new network of easy-to-use and reliable charging points conveniently located in our supermarkets, Smart Charge will make a real difference to EV drivers in the UK.
“As one of the few providers to be focusing exclusively on cutting-edge ultra-rapid 150kW-plus chargers, customers can be in and out in as little as half an hour and avoid waiting longer with less powerful alternatives.
“We’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions and reaching net zero in our operations by 2035 and offering a national EV charging service forms part of this pledge. Our new charging points are powered by the same 100% renewable electricity that powers the rest of our estate.”