Ideally, the charging process of one’s electric car can be conveniently integrated into everyday life – like when shopping at the supermarket. While ALDI Süd, Rewe, Penny, Globus and Netto charge charging fees, Lidl, Kaufland and IKEA still rely on free electricity. What they have in common is that in the battle for the favour of the growing number of customers with electric cars, they are equipping their store car parks with charging stations.
An overview by Sabine Metzger for eMove360 magazine in german language (Download-PDF)
ALDI SÜD: Stop giving away electricity at more than 1000 charging points
ALDI Süd is considered a pioneer: the discounter giant has been installing charging stations in its car parks since 2015. In the meantime, more than 1000 charging points have been set up. For almost seven years, drivers of electric cars were able to charge up for free at Aldi Süd supermarkets. Since 1 June, the electricity gift has come to an end. But there are also advantages: You can now charge even after closing time. And usually cheaper than at the wallbox at home. AC charging at 22 kW costs 29 cents per kWh, while 39 cents is the price for refuelling at the fast charging stations. The limit of one hour for charging has also been abolished. Payment is made by EC or credit card or with the charging card of a third-party provider, at their conditions. By the way, at the Aldi charging stations, 100 percent climate-neutral green electricity is often sold directly from the photovoltaic systems on the store roof – supplemented by certified green electricity from hydropower.
Lidl and Kaufland: Every shop has a charging station. How long will it remain free of charge?
The main competitor Lidl, part of the Schwarz Group, is also thinking big when it comes to expanding the charging infrastructure: Every newly built Kaufland and Lidl branch will have at least one charging station. Currently, more than 450 Lidl charging points are in operation, and more than 70 are under construction or in planning. Kaufland currently offers 270 charging points. In 2023, one third of all 700 German Kaufland shops will offer this service. The company relies on a targeted use of different e-charging stations. Depending on the location requirements, charging between 22 and 150 kW will be possible. DC fast charging stations with 50 kW will be used in particular. Currently, charging is still free of charge. The first signs of a transition to mandatory charging are emerging. Since March, the charging stations can only be used via the app of the Lidl Plus customer card system. Integrated into this app is Lidl’s own payment system Lidl Pay, which could then also be used to settle the charging process in the future. Charging is permitted for the duration of the purchase – after one hour, the charging process is automatically interrupted in an attempt to make misuse more difficult.
IKEA: Shop Pax, Billy & Co. and charge electricity for free
Since 2019, customers of the Swedish furniture discounter IKEA can charge electricity free of charge and independently of furniture purchases – but only during opening hours and limited to 1.5, hours. There are 200 charging points at 154 shops in Germany – the electricity mostly comes from the huge photovoltaic systems on the roofs. We were unable to find out whether more charging points are to be added. However, we have discovered new charging columns and photovoltaic systems in the IKEA range – for charging at the wallbox at home. See also the short article in the eMove360° magazine.
REWE: 6000 charging points by 2024 – EnBW and Shell as strategic partners
REWE Group has entered into a strategic partnership with EnBW and Shell. According to their own information, they want to put more than 6000 charging points into operation by the end of 2024. 2000 of them in front of 400 Rewe and Penny stores as well as at new rental properties. “With the massive expansion of the e-fast charging point infrastructure, we now also want to make e-mobility easier for our customers in a targeted manner. Because only if we as a society make maximum efforts in all areas of life will we stop climate change,” said Telerik Shishmanov, Divisional Director of REWE Group. There is a charge for charging in the parking areas of Penny and Rewe stores.
GLOBUS and EnBW: 800 HPC charging points, charging discounts planned for customers
GLOBUS also recently enlisted the help of EnBW to set up its charging infrastructure. The energy company will gradually start installing fast charging points at the Globus Markthallen customer car parks later this year. All new charging points at GLOBUS draw 100 per cent electricity from renewable sources. In total, more than 800 High Power Charging (HPC) points are to be installed at all GLOBUS market halls throughout Germany. With expansion potential at over 60 locations, an average of 13 fast charging points with a charging capacity of up to 300 kilowatts will be available in the future. Payments can be made via all common payment methods, such as the EnBW mobility+ app. Additional benefits are planned for registered GLOBUS customers, such as charging discounts via the My GLOBUS app.
EnBW is installing roofs with its own photovoltaic systems at around 20 of the GLOBUS market halls. These will supply the respective charging locations directly with solar power generated on site and offer even more convenience in bad weather. Additional electricity required for fast charging is 100 per cent certified green electricity. The first HPC charging points from EnBW will be available by the end of the year.
Netto and Vattenfall: building the fast-charging infrastructure
The grocery discounter Netto is relying on Vattenfall. Initially, around 470 charging points with 940 charging points are to be installed at more than 270 Netto stores. The development of the fast-charging infrastructure with 180 KW and 360 KW charging points at Netto-owned properties is planned primarily in 2023 and 2024. Netto will provide the customer parking spaces in front of its stores, while Vattenfall will take over the planning, construction and operation of the stations. The stations will be freely accessible to all drivers of electric cars during Netto’s normal opening hours. Vattenfall and Netto also intend to expand the cooperation at other Netto rental properties.
“From our point of view, the offer of fast charging stations is an important building block to increase the attractiveness of our stores,” says Ingo Panknin, CEO of Netto Germany. “In addition, we are achieving another important milestone in our sustainable corporate policy. Together with Vattenfall, we are setting an example in the expansion of the infrastructure for electromobility with almost 1000 new charging points.”