Fastned becomes latest charging supplier to partner with retail firm

13 December 2018

13 December 2018

Electric vehicle (EV) charging point supplier Fastned has joined forces with Albert Heijn supermarkets in Amsterdam for a new pilot project.

The supplier, which is building a European network of fast-charging stations, has opened its first location in the car park of one of the chain’s shops, with another two locations set to follow. Should the project prove successful, both parties want to expand to offer coverage at stores across the Netherlands.

The fast-charging station at the Albert Heijn has two 50kW fast chargers, where electric cars can charge up to 20 times faster than at home. Fastned supplies 100% renewable electricity from the sun and the wind.

The pilot aims to test whether there is a need for fast charging while doing daily groceries, which usually takes around 30 minutes. Fastned installs DC fast chargers with which electric drivers can charge up to 150 km of range in half an hour. This is much faster than at AC charging poles. The Fastned fast chargers are only suitable for fully electric cars and not for plug-in hybrids, which do not have the correct (DC) plug.

Michiel Langezaal, CEO of Fastned, comments: ′We are very pleased with this partnership and we hope to be able to offer a valuable service to customers of Albert Heijn. The dynamics of charging at supermarkets will probably be different in comparison with charging along the highway and at other urban locations. We can learn from that and further develop our offer.’

The announcement is the latest in a line of examples of retail stores partnering with charging point providers, as they look to take advantage of the growing EV market in Europe, enticing customers into their stores as a place to visit and shop while their electric vehicle recharges.

In August, both Ikea and Lidl announced plans to integrate EV charging into car parks at certain stores in Europe. The Swedish furniture retailer has plans to equip all its locations in Germany with charging points. After its most recent infrastructure offensive, 37 of the 53 branches in the country are equipped with such charge stations. Lidl announced plans to install 40 chargers for EVs at 20 of its stores in Ireland. The project should be completed within the next six months.

For customers who shop in the store, vehicle charging will be free, according to the company. Around €150,000 has already been invested at three locations, Rathfarnham, Drogheda and Swords, for trial operation.

Fellow food discount chain Aldi also announced that it wants to add charging points to a further 28 locations in Germany, alongside its 50 locations already hosting the technology. The business is especially interested in equipping stores located next to motorways.

Last month, UK supermarket chain Tesco announced a partnership with vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen to develop the country’s largest retail charging network. The scheme, which will be powered by Pod Point, will offer customers of the supermarket the opportunity to charge their EV for free using a normal 7kW charger or make use of a faster 50kW point for a small cost in line with market rate.

The two companies will roll out over 2,400 charging bays across 600 stores within the next three years.