Tesco and VW partner to provide UK’s largest retail EV
Tesco and Volkswagen have announced the development of the largest UK retail Electric Vehicle charging network. Powered by Pod Point, customers will be able to charge their electric cars using a normal 7kW charger for free or a ‘rapid’ 50 kW charger for a small cost in line with market rate.
The UK’s leading fuel retailer and the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer will roll out over 2,400 EV charging bays across 600 Tesco stores within the next three years.
The charging bays will be based in Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks and will be installed by Pod Point. Tesco wants to offer customers and local communities an alternative to fossil fuels, and also play its part in supporting the transition to a low-carbon, clean air UK. This builds on the company’s commitment to 100% renewable electricity made in May 2017.
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Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, said: “This is part of our wider commitment to addressing the environmental challenges that matter most to our customers, colleagues and communities. We want to be the leading Electric Vehicle energy provider and to support our customers with more sustainable solutions. Our EV network provides a sustainable choice for our customers and charging while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier.”
Jesse Norman, the Minister for EVs at the Department for Transport, said: “The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to build and own an electric vehicle. For that we need high quality infrastructure in place to support ultra-low emission vehicles around the country. The Government set out plans in its Road to Zero strategy to deliver a significant increase in this infrastructure and we welcome Tesco’s pledge to roll out over 2,400 new charge bays across their stores.”
Geraldine Ingham, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: “This incredibly exciting partnership underlines the scale and ambition of our electric car programme in the UK. Working with these partners to provide such an extensive network of EV chargers should leave no one in any doubt about the Volkswagen brand’s wholehearted commitment to an electric future.”
Erik Fairbairn, CEO of Pod Point, said: “This agreement represents a 14% increase in the number of public charge bays in the UK and is a monumental day for electric vehicle drivers. It is a massive leap forward for the UK and a significant step in our mission to put a Pod Point everywhere you park.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.