Shoppers at Eastbourne’s Waitrose get electric boost

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EASTBOURNE’S Waitrose is one of the first stores in the country to get electric car charging facilities.

The company plans to roll out the scheme to 150 stores nationwide by early 2013 – starting off with four bays at Eastbourne, Chichester and Wimborne.

As part of the POLAR scheme, Waitrose can link into a nationwide infrastructure, which provides charging points at home, the office and at other public and commercial amenities. POLAR is the UK’s biggest privately funded electric vehicle charging network in the UK, managing 4,000 EV charging sites currently live or under development.

Diana Hunter, director of store development at Waitrose, said, “We’re delighted to be making such a large-scale commitment. Currently, the vast majority of electric charge points are in London, and by driving a nationwide roll-out we can play an important role in encouraging shoppers to choose an electric powered car over a petrol or diesel vehicle. We know a lot of our customers worry about not being able to top up where they need to, and this move will help reduce that concern.

“The POLAR network will bring a radical change in motoring and Waitrose is proud to be able to play a part in supporting this change.”

Waitrose will be providing bays that will have 7kW fast charge units. These are able to add another 30-mile range to the battery within half an hour. Using industry standard points, every POLAR facility is developed to incorporate emerging charging and plug-in technologies. For more details onWaitrose’s electric vehicle charging bays and the Polar network, see www.polarnetwork.com