Sainsbury’s Unveils Smart Charge Network

Sainsbury’s, a renowned UK supermarket chain, has launched its innovative EV charging business, Smart Charge, in a strategic move to enhance public confidence in electric vehicle (EV) charging. This venture, backed by Kempower‘s cutting-edge charging technology, aims to address the prevalent range anxiety among EV drivers.

Key findings from recent research indicate that 80% of EV drivers avoid long journeys due to concerns over public charging stations, with broken chargers cited as a major issue by 40%. Notably, 94% of respondents expressed a preference for a single, reliable charging brand, driven by a need for better reliability.

By the end of 2024, Smart Charge intends to establish over 750 ultra-rapid charging bays across more than 100 Sainsbury’s locations, positioning the retailer among the UK’s top five ultra-rapid EV charging providers. The service will offer 150kW Smart Charge bays, enabling vehicles to charge in as little as 30 minutes, sufficient for up to 200 miles of travel. For vehicles capable of higher charging speeds, up to 300kW can be accommodated.

Sainsbury's Unveils Smart Charge Network

This service also addresses the issue faced by one-third of EV drivers who find waiting at public chargers inconvenient. With Smart Charge, customers can utilize the time efficiently by shopping or grabbing a coffee at Sainsbury’s.

While 74% of EV users currently utilize multiple charging brands, a staggering 94% would prefer a single, trustworthy brand. Factors influencing this preference include reliability (63%), ease of planning long trips (54%), and upfront cost awareness (53%).

Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s Director of Property, Procurement & EV Ventures, emphasized the significance of this launch in reducing range anxiety and providing quick, reliable charging solutions. He highlighted the network’s focus on ultra-rapid 150kW+ chargers, offering convenience and efficiency.

Anthony Browne, UK Minister for Technology and Decarbonisation, praised Sainsbury’s initiative, noting its alignment with the government’s efforts in expanding the EV infrastructure.

Tomi Ristimäki, CEO of Kempower, commended Sainsbury’s role in promoting e-mobility and enhancing the EV charging experience. With over 99% charging uptime, Kempower aims to deliver convenience and ease to EV drivers.

This development marks a significant step in Sainsbury’s commitment to achieving Net Zero across its value chain by 2050 and supports the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

About Sainsbury’s and Kempower: Sainsbury’s, established in 1869, is a leading UK retailer with a focus on quality food and convenient shopping solutions. Kempower designs and manufactures advanced DC fast-charging solutions for EVs, emphasizing reliability and user-friendliness.


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