Charging your electric car at ALDI while you shop is hugely convenient, but whether it’s free depends on the store and charger provider in question.
While some ALDI car chargers are free, others have payable rates of 20-60 pence per kWh, so it really does pay to do your research.
You can use the ALDI store locator to find ALDI’s near you with EV charge points. Just enter your postcode, apply the EV charge point filter, and hit go. The tool will then return results of ALDI supermarkets nearby with EV chargers.
For example, a search in the WF9 postcode (that’s Wakefield FYI) returns 13 locations with car chargers within a 15-mile drive. Unfortunately, it doesn’t elaborate on charging fees, so you need to dig a little further to see if they are free.
- Option 1 – Contact the store and speak to the manager to find out the current charging rates and any limitations in place, such as a time limit.
- Option 2 – Head over to Zap Map and do the following search: filter ‘Free to use’ under Payment, and ‘Supermarket’ under Location types. Alternatively, skip the ‘Free to use’ filter to see all supermarket locations.
What chargers do ALDI use?
There are three main chargers at ALDI: Community by Shell Recharge, Pod Point, and Newmotion (blank chargers).
Most ALDI chargers use the Shell App and are branded as Community by Shell Recharge, and a small number of stores have Pod Point chargers.
Some ALDI chargers are made by Newmotion with blank branding – these are often free to use with a plug and play, cardless design.
These are all AC chargers, usually with a maximum 22kW charge rate.
Charging for free at ALDI – beware of the rules
ALDI like every other supermarket has rules for car charger usage. These rules typically stipulate a maximum charging duration (such as one hour) and a time slot for charging, such as between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.
Another stipulation might be being an ALDI shopper, i.e., you need to head inside the ALDI and buy something. You should also make sure you are not required to register with the charge point operator before charging at ALDI (this will probably be Pod Point or Shell Recharge at ALDI).
If you don’t follow the rules, you risk a fine.
What other supermarkets have free car chargers?
Tesco, Sainsbury’s ASDA, and Lidl offer free car chargers, although most locations charge a fee. Like ALDI, the fee is set by the charger operator, and it largely depends on the speed of the charger (the faster it is, the more it costs).
Zap Map analysis shows that most free electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the UK are fast or “destination” chargers, representing 84% (2,999) of all free devices. Slow chargers make up just 11% (395) of free chargers.
Tesco ended free charging at its 7/22kW Pod Point fast chargers in 2022, now requiring customers to pay for use. Previously, these fast chargers were free for Tesco customers while the rapid chargers always required a fee.
As demand for supermarket charging grows, we can expect more free supermarket chargers like those at ALDI and Tesco to become paid chargers. Our advice? Charge for free at ALDI and other supermarkets while you can.