Recent data analysis by Zapmap and the RAC reveals a significant surge in electric vehicle charging infrastructure across supermarkets in the United Kingdom. In 2023, over 600 new supermarkets were equipped with EV chargers, marking a milestone as drivers now have access to charging points at more than one in ten of these stores.

According to the analysis, the total number of supermarkets offering EV charging points increased by a staggering 59 per cent last year, soaring from 1,015 stores in 2022 to 1,616 in 2023. This enhancement represents 13 per cent of all 12,839 supermarkets in the UK, encompassing even those without parking facilities.

Moreover, the installation of chargers experienced a surge of 69 per cent, with supermarkets adding 1,195 new charging devices in 2023. Consequently, the total number of chargers escalated from 1,721 in January 2022 to 2,916 by the end of 2023.

Of particular note is the rise in so-called rapid or ultra-rapid chargers, which saw a staggering increase of 145 per cent from the previous year. This means that over half (55 per cent) of all supermarket EV locations now offer higher-powered charging capabilities. By the close of 2023, 10 per cent of all rapid and ultra-rapid chargers in the UK were situated at supermarket locations, amounting to 1,107 units out of 10,967 across the country.

Among the leading players in the supermarket charging league, Sainsbury’s experienced the most significant year-on-year growth with the launch of its ultra-rapid network Smart Charge. The retailer nearly tripled its total device numbers in 2023, installing 104 new chargers after having only 53 units in 2022. Meanwhile, Tesco maintains its position as the largest overall supermarket charging network, with 1,305 devices installed across 4,859 stores. The retail giant added 497 chargers to its stores in 2023, nearly 900 more than its closest EV charging competitor, Morrisons, which has 413 chargers.

Retailers with the highest number of EV charging stations in the UK:

Retailer Number of EV chargers (as of end of 2023)
Tesco 1,305
Morrisons 413
Lidl 346
Aldi 199
Waitrose 199
Sainsbury’s 157
Other 146
Co-op 91
Asda 46
M&S 14

“Concerns about the lack of public charge points are one of the biggest reasons why drivers aren’t choosing to go electric when buying their next car, with six-in-ten telling us this. It’s very encouraging to see supermarkets doing their best to allay these fears by ramping up EV charging facilities across a greater proportion of their estates. The data also shows a surge of investment in the very fastest chargers. These rapid and ultra-rapid units are the closest drivers can get to filling up with fuel because they offer the fastest charging speeds, helping to reduce queues so motorists can resume their journeys as quickly as possible,” RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams commented on the survey.