The UK’s best and worst supermarkets for EV charging as device numbers soar

The number of supermarkets offering EV charging has soared by 59% in the last year according to new data.

Figures from Zapmap show that 1,616 stores now offer some form of EV charging – up from 1,015 in 2022 and representing more than one in ten of all stores. Charger installations also increased by two thirds, meaning there are almost 3,000 devices across the country’s supermarket chains.

Stores added 1,195 new charging devices last year, bringing the total number up from 1,721 in January 2022 to 2,916 by the end of 2023. They also installed a larger proportion of faster devices, with a 145% jump in the number of rapid or ultra-rapid options.

Supermarkets have been the UK’s most popular charging locations in previous years but Zapmap’s data shows they were overtaken in 2023 by motorway services and dedicated charging hubs. Nevertheless, they remain the third busiest type of charger, with more than a third of surveyed drivers using them regularly.

Melanie Shufflebotham, COO and co-founder of Zapmap, said: “With around 3,000 charge points now in place at supermarkets across the UK, it’s really positive to see this sustained growth at such popular charging locations for EV drivers.

“Not only did the total number of supermarkets offering EV charge points rise by almost 60% last year, but we also saw significant growth in the number of those all-important rapid and ultra-rapid chargers.”

Supermarkets are now home to 10% of all the UKs rapid or ultra-rapid devices.

Best and worst

The figures also reveal the supermarket chains leading the charge and those falling behind.

Tesco still dominates in raw numbers thanks to its successful partnership with Pod Point. The chain has 1,305 devices across 4,859 shops, after adding 497 new chargers last year. That means Tesco has nearly 900 more devices than its nearest EV charging rival Morrisons, which has 413 chargers at 244 different stores.

Just behind Morrions, Lidl has almost doubled its charger numbers from 186 in 2022 to 346 at 285 stores in 2023.

However, Sainsbury’s showed the biggest improvement, thanks to the launch of its ultra-rapid network Smart Charge. After installing just 53 units in 2022, the retailer nearly tripled its total device numbers in 2023 by adding 104 new chargers to its stores.

Sainsbury’s also had the highest average number of rapid chargers per location, at four units per store across the 22 shops that provided high-powered charging. In comparison, just 10% of Tesco’s devices were rapid or ultra-rapid, although it offers charging at a far greater number of locations.

An impressive 99% of Morrisons devices are 50kW or above and its number of high powered chargers is set to grow rapidly after Motor Fuel Group acquired hundreds of the grocer’s forecourts in January. Lidl, too, offers a higher proportion of rapid or better charging, with 91% of devices providing 50kW or better.

Asda came bottom of the major supermarket chains after removing more than 100 chargers. The group ripped out 119 devices after its deal with bp pulse came to an end – a 72% reduction in devices compared with 2022. Just 22 Asda stores now have EV chargers, with a total of 46 devices – a mere 2% of its total estate.

The RAC has long argued that more rapid and ultra-rapid chargers are needed nationally, as high-powered units enable drivers to make journeys beyond the range of their vehicles in the most time-efficient way.

RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Concerns about the lack of public charge points are one of the biggest reasons why drivers aren’t choosing to go electric. 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.

“As the supermarkets currently dominate UK fuel sales, it makes sense for them to try to retain as much of that market as they can by catering to the needs of all EV drivers looking to recharge as quickly as possible.

“It’s also great to see them bringing rapid charging to more urban areas, as this complements the obvious and much-needed focus on motorway service areas.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.