Waitrose teams with Shell to install EV charge points across UK stores

Shell wants to install 800 charging points across the Waitrose estate by 2025

The two companies will work in partnership to install Shell Recharge charging points across Waitrose stores, with the first shop expected to be fitted early next year.

Up to 100 Waitrose sites could feature EV charging points under the agreement, with each site expected to have six 22kW and two 50kW rapid charging points so customers can charge their vehicles while they shop.

Shell wants to install 800 charging points across the Waitrose estate by 2025. More broadly, the energy giant wants to create a network of 5,000 charge points across forecourts and other locations by 2025.

Waitrose’s executive director, James Bailey, said: “This is an important partnership for Waitrose and means we can offer even greater convenience to more of our customers. We’re also delighted to bring our customers 800 new charging points for electric vehicles, including new rapid charging capabilities, as the UK moves more and more towards a sustainable transport network.”

As part of the agreement, more Shell Select stores will offer Waitrose food and John Lewis’ Click & Collect service will be made available in as many as 80 new Shell forecourt shops this summer.

The likes of Marston’sLidlMorrisonsTesco and Mitchells & Butlers have all increased investments in EV charging points for customers in recent months, along with several of the UK’s biggest retail real estate operators.

UK businesses and policymakers have faced repeated warnings that the scale of EV adoption has far outpaced the introduction of charging infrastructure in recent times. PwC, for example, has claimed that UK’s EV stock reached 134,000 vehicles in 2017 – a 54% increase on 2016 figures – but that there were only 13,500 charging points to support these vehicles at that time.

In response, the UK’s energy networks have jointly pledged a further £300m in funding for low-carbon technologies across 200 projects, including almost 1,800 new ultra-rapid EV chargers.

The Waitrose partnership represents a major foray into the EV market for Shell. Earlier this year, the company published an updated business strategy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and its pledge to reach net-zero emissions, which confirmed that 2019 will be its peak in terms of oil production.

To reach the net-zero ambition, Shell is planning to scale up investments in biofuels, carbon capture and storage (CCS), EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen. 

Shell UK Retail’s general manager Bernadette Williamson said: “This is great news for EV drivers across the UK, knowing they can easily, quickly and reliably charge up at Shell charge points while shopping at Waitrose. We want to make EV charging as hassle-free as possible and support our customers wherever they want to charge.”

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Matt Mace

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