Sainsbury’s, one of the leading supermarket chains in the UK, has taken a bold step into the electric vehicle (EV) industry with the launch of Smart Charge, a dedicated EV charging business aimed at addressing the prevalent issue of range anxiety among EV drivers.
In collaboration with Kempower, a cutting-edge charging technology provider, Smart Charge aims to revolutionize the charging experience by offering ultra-rapid charging points across more than 100 Sainsbury’s locations.
Recent research commissioned by Sainsbury’s reveals that 80% of EV users avoid long journeys due to concerns about public charging stations.
The primary reasons cited include broken chargers (40%), insufficient charging bays (36%), and slow service (33%).
Smart Charge, designed to mitigate these concerns, plans to roll out over 750 ultra-rapid charging bays by the end of 2024, positioning Sainsbury’s as one of the top five providers of ultra-rapid EV charging in the UK.
The 150 kilowatts Smart Charge bays, equipped with Kempower chargers, offer an impressive charging time of as little as 30 minutes, providing enough power for up to 200 miles of travel.
This aims to address the frustrations expressed by one-third of EV drivers who lamented the lack of activities while waiting at public chargers.
Sainsbury’s Smart Charge not only emphasizes speed and efficiency but also provides a unique solution for EV users.
Drivers can make use of their time efficiently by grabbing groceries or enjoying a coffee while their vehicles charge.
The service is currently available at more than 20 Sainsbury’s locations, open 24/7, and is compatible with fully electric vehicles.
In response to the research findings that 94% of EV drivers prefer a single trusted brand, Smart Charge positions itself as the go-to choice for reliability (63%), convenient trip planning (54%), and transparent cost information (53%).
Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s Director of Property, Procurement & EV Ventures, highlighted the commitment to reducing carbon emissions, stating, “Our new charging points are powered by the same 100% renewable electricity that powers the rest of our estate.”
The launch of Smart Charge aligns with Sainsbury’s broader commitment to achieving Net Zero across its value chain by 2050.
Anthony Browne, Minister for Technology and Decarbonisation for the UK, said: “Businesses play a crucial role in the delivery of EV infrastructure, so it’s great to see Sainsbury’s embracing ultra-rapid technology which will benefit supermarket customers.”
Tomi Ristimäki, CEO of Kempower stated: “It’s great to see a respected and strong brand like Sainsbury’s taking a responsible approach to promoting e-mobility and making everyday life easier for EV drivers.”
“We see that increasingly, EV drivers want to charge their cars where there are services available. With over 99% charging uptime, we are committed to providing convenience and ease of charging – key words in accelerating e-mobility,” he added.
Smart Charge represents a significant leap towards advancing EV adoption in the UK, contributing to the nation’s transition to a low-carbon economy.