Citing environmental protection and giving its customers an easy and free access to charging as its motivation, leading German supermarket chain ALDI is investing in charging stations at its branches all across Germany. Cooperating with RWE, one of the biggest utilities in the country, they are spending €2.2 million to deploy around 50 chargers in the car parks of their shops by this summer. The chargers, produced by Efacec and called „Sonne tanken“, are equipped with 20kW CCS, CHAdeMO and Type 2 connectors and will be powered by solar PV panels installed on the rooftops of the ALDI stores.
The first fast charging station for electric cars and electric bicycles was opened last month in Düsseldorf. Barbara Hendricks, German Federal Minister for the Environment was present at the inauguration and applauded ALDI’s initiative calling it ‘a model for electric mobility [movement]’, at the same time as admitting that there are still relatively few fast chargers available to the general public.
Shopping or not, EV drivers charge for free
The fast charging service is offered to everybody for free, without registration, even if they don’t buy anything at the supermarket. The selection of the locations for charging stations was based on the statistics of Federal Motor Transport Authority and should enable ALDI to respond to the demand for charging in the most effective way possible. Targeting big cities such as Frankfurt am Main, Stuttgart or Munich, that until now have not been very well served by fast chargers [see CHAdeMO map here], the supermarket chain will provide valuable charging opportunities where they are most needed, to their customers and those that are yet to become the shoppers in its stores.
Today ALDI has almost 10.000 stores worldwide. Starting with the 50 fast charging stations this summer, they join in the movement to provide charging for all, everywhere. And we hope they will not stop there.