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Tesco Free Charging Points

Tesco and Volkswagen plan free charging points.

Free charging for electric cars will be available for customers at some Tesco stores from next year.

Tesco, in partnership with Volkswagen, plans to install almost 2,500 charging bays at up to 600 stores by 2020.

A standard 7kW charger will be available for free, but drivers will have to pay for a faster service.

Customers will be able to leave their cars to charge while doing their shopping, which should give time for a “substantial” free charge, VW said.

How long it will take to fully replenish the battery will depend on the type of car. A company called Podpoint will build the charging facilities for VW and Tesco.

Volkswagen has two electric vehicles on the market in the UK, the e-Golf and the e-Up. It has sold about 1,350 of the cars since they went on sale four years ago, but has plans for a massive expansion.

So far this year 12,526 battery powered cars have been sold in the UK, which is up 0.6% on last year, according to data from the SMMT.

Sales of hybrid cars, which have a traditional engine and a battery which can be charged, have jumped almost 30% to 37,032.

Mike Orford, of Volkswagen UK, hoped the deal with Tesco might broaden the appeal of electric cars: “People may be put off if they live in a flat, but more publicly available points might make an electric car more viable, for those who can’t charge their cars at home.”

The Tesco/VW move has been welcomed by the RAC.

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