Sainsbury’s launches a new ultra-rapid service – Smart Charge

Sainsbury’s launches a new ultra-rapid service - Smart Charge

Sainsbury’s has launched Smart Charge, a brand-new, dedicated EV charging business that will give drivers access to ultra-rapid EV charging points across its stores. 


In new research commissioned by Sainsbury’s, 80% of EV users admit to avoiding long journeys because of not wanting to charge at public EV charging stations, describing the main frustrations as chargers being broken (40%), not enough charging bays (36%) and speed of service (33%). Designed to mitigate these frustrations, Smart Charge will initially feature over 750 cutting-edge ultra-rapid charging bays rolled out across more than 100 stores by the end of 2024, putting Sainsbury’s in the top five providers of ultra-rapid charging in the UK.


Ultra-rapid is the fastest type of EV charging currently available on the market but 32% of EV drivers surveyed said they have yet to benefit from using it. Designed to be speedy, reliable and easy to use, Sainsbury’s 150kW Smart Charge bays allow users to fully charge their vehicle in as little as 30 minutes, providing enough power to travel up to 200 miles. Many of the chargers can also charge even faster if a driver’s vehicle battery accepts higher charger speeds, up to 300kW.


Smart Charge also offers a solution for the 32% of EV drivers who expressed frustrations at waiting with nothing to do with public chargers. With Smart Charge, customers can make the most of the speedy service and the option to pop into a Sainsbury’s store to pick up some groceries or grab a coffee while they wait.


While 74% of EV users currently use multiple EV charging brands, 94% said they prefer to use just one trusted and reliable brand. When asked why, the top reasons included reliability (63%), convenience when planning long trips (54%) and awareness of cost upfront (53%).

Recognising the desire for a trusted EV charging brand in the UK and the benefits for customers of being able to charge their vehicles while doing their shopping, Sainsbury’s believes the convenience, speed and reliability of Smart Charge will represent a game changer for EV users.


Already available at more than 20 Sainsbury’s stores, Smart Charge offers spacious, accessible bays open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and compatible with fully electric vehicles. New charging hubs will be added to the Smart Charge network throughout the UK regularly. 


Smart Charge is available at around 200 ultra-rapid charging bays at just over 20 Sainsbury’s locations. The charging technology and equipment are provided by Kempower. The service is intended to help advance the uptake of electric vehicles in the country, supporting the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy. The launch represents another step in Sainsbury’s ambitious commitment to achieving net zero across its value chain by 2050.


To read more on Smart Charge, click here.

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