Drivers threaten to boycott Tesco over new 28p car charge

UK: Free electric vehicle charging network adds new location

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In October, Tesco announced it would be introducing a new 28p minimum cost for electric car drivers wanting to charge their cars. Previously, the service was free, with many motorists shopping at Tesco to charge, but now some have claimed they will be boycotting the supermarket.

The news comes as electricity and energy prices continue to soar in the UK, with drivers branding the move as “disgusting”.

The big four supermarket teamed up with Volkswagen and EV charging station provider Pod Point, with plans to install around 2,400 charge points. 

The initial charge for 7kW connections was free but motorists will now need to pay 28p per kWh.

If motorists want to charge their car faster, that price rises to 40p for the 22kW, and 50p for the 50kW rapid chargers.

The news hasn’t gone down well with some shoppers who have said they may “shop around” at other supermarkets because of the changes.

On Twitter, Connor Burgess said: “@Tesco absolutely disgusting that you (Tesco) are going to charge for electric car charging. 

“I’m never shopping at Tesco again. I’m done!!!!!”

Another shopper, on the deal-saving site HotUKDeals, said: “I was using the free charging as an incentive to shop at Tesco, the only supermarket around my way to offer free charging. Now I’ll spread my wings a bit and shop at other places too.

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“Home charging is cheaper for me so won’t be using the Tesco chargers from now even when I’m there. Was good whilst it lasted,” Birmingham Live reported.

In a statement, charge point operator PodPoint said the new tariffs were some of the most competitive in the market.

It added that it will enable them to continue investing in their UK-wide network.

Ginny Buckley, founder and CEO of, described the move as a “blow” to electric car owners across the country.

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She said: “Yet with energy prices at an all-time high, it could still be a case of every little helps, as it can be cheaper to charge on a 7kW connector at Tesco than it is to charge at home. 

“For example, the cost to charge a Volkswagen ID.3 for 10k miles per year is £747 with the new domestic price cap of 34p/kWh. 

“Charging at Tesco’s rate of 28p/kWh it’d be £615, meaning a saving of £132. 

“While Tesco are on the front foot with providing charging at convenient locations, we need to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place – and at the right price – so that everyone can make the switch with confidence. 

“I would also like to see energy providers introduce cheaper night tariffs at public charge points to help balance the supply grid and benefit those without access to off-street parking.”

A number of charge point operators have been forced to increase the prices they offer as a result of the energy price hikes.

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.”

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