Waitrose is the latest supermarket to introduce electric car charging points at it stores.
The retailer has installed electric vehicle chargers
at two of its car parking spaces at a new Waitrose
store in York
. The supermarket, which opened last week, is the first of several Waitrose shops set to offer electric vehicle charging points. Chargemaster
, the company which is supplying the charging points, will be installing the other units at two further stores – one in London and one in the South over the next three months.
Waitrose’s move into the electric car charging market follows Sainsbury’s and Tesco, which both began installing chargers at some of their stores last year.
Recharging infrastructure market
The supermarkets are moving into the electric infrastructure market because of the expected growth in electric vehicle ownership over the next 10 years. The Government is committed to investing in electric and low carbon vehicles and recharging infrastructure and car manufacturers will be launching a string of electric vehicles in 2011. Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Citroen and Smart are among the car manufacturers launching EVs for urban use in 2011.
The Coalition Government, meanwhile, has confirmed it will launch a subsidy that will see it refund £5000 of the purchase price of an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle from January 2011.
"The rise in electric vehicle ownership is something we cannot ignore," said Don Finn, Concessions manager at Waitrose. "We want to ensure that we not only provide valuable services to our customers by installing the charging points, but that we look at ways to reduce carbon emissions
and pollution that benefit the whole community."
The Chargemaster Dualcharge was launched in June. It can charge two bays at the same time and is ideal for public places, where motorists can re-charge their electric vehicles whilst they are shopping in a store, for example. It is part of the family of Chargemaster charging points, which also include, the Fastcharge, an on-street charging unit claiming to be able to charge an electric car at more than twice the speed of existing on-street charge points, and the Chargemaster Homecharge, the first charging station specifically designed for home use.
Using GPRS communications each post is connected to a central server managed by Chargemaster, which provides online services to both the motorist and site owners. Waitrose will be measuring electricity consumed through the charging points using the technology
. This will be evaluated against cost and overall carbon emissions from power supply. If proven to benefit the customer, the environment and the company’s carbon footprint, electric charging stations will be rolled out across other stores.
"With its unique reporting functionality we can accurately measure the advantages of installing a network of charging stations across the stores," said Finn.
Waitrose travel plan
The move by Waitrose is part of its 'green travel plan
’ initiative, which aims to encourage customers to utilise greener transport alternatives, including electric cars, bicycles and public transport. The York store will also be encouraging shoppers to cycle to the store by offering them the use of its free-of-charge cycle trailers.
Department for Transport
Last month the Department for Transport said it was making provisions for over £400 million for measures to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies, including continued investment in electric vehicle recharging infrastructure through its Plugged-In Places initiative.
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