Electric vehicle (EV) solutions provider EO Charging has secured a deal to power Tesco’s fleet of electric vans, EO told City A.M.
EO Charging, founded in 2014 in Suffolk, will provide the supermarket giant with more than 200 AC fast chargers as well as 5 DC rapid ones across five depots – including Oxford, Glasgow, Lakeside and Enfield.
“Tesco is one of the largest and most important businesses in the UK so it’s a privilege to play a part in its transition to electric vehicles as part of its decarbonisation strategy,” said EO Charging’s chief executive and founder Charlie Jardine.
“Our focus is now to help the business optimise its fleet performance and provide round the clock support and ongoing maintenance of their charging infrastructure.”
After setting 2028 as the deadline for the fleet’s total electrification, the supermarket chain has started to roll out its new electric vans, going from 30 this year to a further 150 in 2022.
Playing a part in Tesco’s transition
The company will be charge of day-to-day requirements as well as emergency cover, providing Tesco with a 24/7 assistance all year long. Initial consultations and supplying proposals as well as grid upgrades are among the services provided by the company.
“We monitor the equipment 24/7, 365 days a year and if there’s an issue we try and diagnose the fault remotely and if we can’t fix the fault, we’ll dispatch an engineer to site within 90 minutes,” Jardine told City A.M.
Tesco’s charging infrastructure will be managed by EO’s Cloud system, a dedicated software to check the vehicles’ status, scheduling travelling and charging times.
EO’s focus on the EV transition was born from a mix of factors including changing customer needs and pressing commitments at the government level.
“A shift to zero-carbon transportation is absolutely mandatory and things such as Covid-19 have certainly put it [even] higher on the agenda,” said Jardine. “Consumers are asking for cleaner deliveries as well as governments are now forcing operators to clean up their transportation.”
Jardine added that, from an economic perspective, switching to EV has economic benefits, especially in cities where there are restrictions such as congestion charges.
Another big name signs on
Already providing EV charging solutions for customers such as DHL and Amazon, EO Charging expects to become an industry global leader.
“We are obviously based in the UK but we export to 30 countries around the world,” he added. “We have created a market leading position here in Europe and we are now looking to extend our lead into many other countries, including the US and Australasia.”
The company announced in August that it will become public on the NASDAQ exchange as a result of a business combination with EV charging company First Reserve Sustainable Growth Corp.
“There’s not a specific date. We hope to complete it by the new year,” Jardine concluded.
EO Charging is one of several players in the EV market helping big chains transition to electric fleets. In October 2020, Asda became the first supermarket to trial electric assisted vehicles in the form of assisted cargo bikes.
Developed by Oxfordshire company EAV, the cargo e-bikes are expected to become part of Asda’s pathway to net zero. “As we look to the future of retail we have to consider new and innovative ways to continue to offer great service to our customers whilst navigating things like low emission zones and pedestrianised areas,” said Asda’s online grocery vice president Simon Gregg.
The global electric vehicle market has registered a steep increase over the last few years, with sales going from 9 per cent in 2017 to 24 per cent in 2020.