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.
By 2020 it wants to offer an electric version of all its models.
Tesco and Volkswagen join a number of other big firms who have moved into the car charging business.
The other three big supermarket chains, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, have some electric vehicle charging points at some of their stores, but these are still relatively small scale compared with the Tesco and VW plans.
In June, BP announced it was buying the UK’s largest electric charging network, Chargemaster, for £130m.
Chargemaster has 6,500 charging points and also sells electric vehicle charging points for home use.
Last year, BP’s rival Shell bought car charging company NewMotion, which operates more than 40,000 charging points of its own and also offers customers access to 88,000 chargers in its public network across 28 countries.
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