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Sainsbury’s has recently launched its own charging network which is to be rolled out over the next twelve months. The supermarket claims that this rollout will place it in the top five providers of ultra-rapid chargers in the UK. The network, called “Smart Charge” already has sites live at 20 Sainsbury’s locations with 200 chargers in total available.

Sainsbury’s has revealed plans to rollout 750 chargers at around 100 supermarket locations in the UK by the end of 2024. All of the chargers will be powered by only renewable energy sourced from solar and wind farms and will cost 75p per kWh. This price does make it one of the cheaper more expensive providers out there, with Gridserve currently charging 79p/kWh, Instavolt 85p/kWh and others. 75p/kWh isn’t exactly cheap, especially when compared to the Tesla Supercharger network but it is at least cheaper.

All of the units will provide up to 150kW charging speeds, with primary CCS2 connectors. Some will have some CHAdeMO 75p availability. 150kW is a good baseline speed and can charge most electric cars up from 10-80% in around 30 mins. Some sites will have the capacity to provide 300kW speeds, which will support more high end EVs such as the Genesis GV60, Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq5 which can charge at up to 350kW.

Sainsbury’s has deployed its own network due to research it has undertaken, which spoke to 500 EV drivers in December 2023. From that data, 1/3 of the people said they have yet to have benefitted from ultra-rapid charging and 94% of them also said they would prefer to use just one trusted charging brand, so long as it was reliable.

Sainsbury’s is using units from Kempower, which have better accessibility that other networks thanks to longer cables and lower down access to card readers and the charger unit.

In other Sainsbury’s news, a new store planning to be built in Southport’s Meol Cop Retail Park has had the planning documents amended to remove the planned petrol station and instead replaced with 14 rapid chargers instead.