Pod Point and Tesco introduce charges for using EV chargers

1 Nov 2022

Electric vehicle drivers will now have to pay to use the Pod Point-run Tesco EV charging network – which used to be the biggest free source of electricity for motorists.

Volkswagen teamed up with the supermarket giant and the charging network to offer free charging for drivers using 7kW renewable energy-powered chargers located on Tesco sites in 2018, with the service now available at more than 200 locations. Since it began drivers have claimed more than 86 million miles of free electricity – which Pod Point says has saved 12,000 tonnes of CO2.

But with electricity prices having risen sharply in recent months, from November 1 Pod Point and Tesco has introduced charges for all drivers who top up their battery at Tesco sites. Drivers using the previously free 7kW chargers must now pay 28p/kWh – a rate that, depending on your tariff, could still be cheaper than some people would pay to charge at home.

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Pod Point also offers 22kW and 50kW chargers at certain Tesco sites, which drivers have always had to pay for. From November 1 prices for those chargers has risen to 40p/kWh and 50p/kWh respectively. Users will not receive a discount for charging if they stop in Tesco.

Customers can access most of the Pod Point chargers using the firm’s smartphone app, although the 50kWh units accept contactless payments.

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When the price increase was confirmed, a Tesco spokesperson said: “We've provided more than 86 million miles worth of free charging for customers to date, and our new great value tariffs will build on this with some of the most competitive rates in the market. These changes will improve access to chargers for all our customers, and enable continued investment in our charging network across the UK.”

In a statement, Pod Point said: "We continue to work with Tesco and Volkswagen to deliver on our commitment to install EV charging at 600 Tesco stores across the UK."

In a Q&A post on its website, Pod Point noted that the new tariffs “are some of the most competitive in the market”, and said that it hopes the changes will be “customers will only top up when they need to, ensuring that they make way for others once their cars are charged”.

Pod Point added that it will continue to expanding its charging network at Tesco sites, and says it is on course to reach 600 stores by Spring next year.


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