Drivers can now charge their electric cars for free while doing their shopping

Electric car drivers can now charge their vehicles for free while doing their weekly shop at over 100 supermarkets across the UK.

Volkswagen has partnered with Tesco and Pod Point to provide shoppers with free charging points – with a further 2,000 units in the pipeline.

It is estimated a typical EV driver who spends 50 minutes shopping each week could get more than 1,000 miles of free electricity for their car over a 12 month period.

The free charging points are a response to the growth of electric cars in the UK, with sales up by 125 per cent this year according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

And demand is set to rise, with Volkswagen's survey of 2,000 UK motorists revealing 41 per cent are considering leasing or owning an EV as their next vehicle. This figure increases to 61 per cent among the 25-34 age group.

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Volkswagen highlighted the scheme by charging its new ID.3 model at Tesco in Potters Bar, Herts – the first time the all-electric model has been in the UK since debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Geraldine Ingham, head of marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: "Volkswagen literally means the people's car, and with the ID.3 we are making electric car ownership more accessible.

"This fantastic partnership with Tesco and Pod Point makes choosing an electric car even more attractive, allowing people to charge for free, all while going about their daily business.

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"And the best bit is that this is not just for Volkswagens – the chargers are designed for any electric car owner to take advantage of.

"We are really pleased to help break down any remaining barriers to opting for an electric car."

Jason Tarry, Tesco CEO UK & ROI, added: "Providing customers with charging points offers them a sustainable choice and giving them the opportunity to charge their car for free while they shop is another little help to make their lives easier."

The survey for Volkswagen by OnePoll also revealed 80 per cent of Brits think free charging points are a good thing.

Six in ten adults say they are more likely to buy an electric car if they can charge for free, while 68 per cent reckon companies in the UK should be doing more to encourage motorists to make the switch to electric cars.

Data from Pod Point has revealed the charging points were used more than 12,000 times in November, powering customers' vehicles with enough electricity to drive in excess of 250,000 miles.

Erik Fairbairn, founder and CEO, Pod Point, said: "With the rollout now underway, we are witnessing a pivotal moment for the UK's rapidly expanding public charging network.

"Providing smart, easy-to-use chargepoints at this scale is likely to accelerate the transition to electric cars up and down the country.

"Being able to top up while you shop at so many locations makes it more convenient to go electric than ever before."

Volkswagen has now created a calculator which lets shoppers know how many free miles per year they could get from charging their electric car at Tesco.

30 minutes of shopping per week = 702 free miles per year

40 minutes of shopping per week = 936 free miles per year

50 minutes of shopping per week = 1,170 free miles per year

60 minutes of shopping per week = 1404 free miles per year

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