Since 1976, Home Bargains have been providing people with a price-conscious place to shop, opening its doors to 4 million customers a week around the UK. Their ethos of quality and affordability is something that was passed down to founder Tom Morris from his family, who had been working in the retail space for generations.
Now, with over 500 stores and 22,000 employees, Home Bargains is the largest independent UK grocer. Growth like that doesn’t happen without being adaptive to change and, with the world rapidly shifting towards sustainable infrastructure, the Home Bargains team were looking for a company that could support them in their journey towards a greener future.
Step one, EV charging infrastructure for their UK car park network. Rolec EV have over 15 years’ experience with EV technology and have been pioneers in the industry – championing the switch to fully electric since 2007. In that time, they have developed a comprehensive range of chargepoints to suit every need with a range of charging capacity - from 7.4kW all the way up to 160kW. As well as options for fleet, domestic and commercial customers.
Which made them a perfect fit for Home Bargains who were establishing a charging network that although predominantly would be used by customers looking to charge up their vehicles whilst they shop, also needed the capacity to support the charging of their fleet of delivery vehicles. One of Home Bargains primary concerns was how to manage this dichotomy in their charging network. Mainly, how to segment these payment groups and create cohesive reports for their finance team.
To assess the type of hardware Home Bargains needed, we first needed to interrogate the sites requirements – what does the customer journey look like for this specific company and how can charging fit into this?
As a high-street retailer, traffic to the site is largely going to be shoppers who are travelling from their home and spending on average 30 minutes to an hour at the store. In this scenario, they would most likely need slower top-up charging.
Fleet vehicles, especially fleet delivery vehicles, are slightly different. In that they are performing a higher level of mileage daily and are likely to return to the site with little battery remaining. In this case, access to ultra-rapid charging is essential for maintaining fleet energy levels. Having additional access to fast charging to power up vehicles ready for the next day.
With these considerations in mind, phase one of Home Bargain’s ongoing roll-out consisted of a mix of 25 AC fast and DC rapid chargepoints. All of which were designed with bespoke branding, incorporating the company’s brand guidelines.
All chargepoints are managed by a smart back-office solution to meet Home Bargains’ specific needs for visibility, providing accurate reporting and allowing them to set different tariffs for their fleet and customers.
The hardware Rolec EV has provided for Home Bargains has allowed them permanent access to charging infrastructure at 14 of their UK sites, with plans to roll out their network to the rest of their premises throughout Britain.
The decision to implement rapid charging reduced the amount of time delivery vehicles would remain off the road and increased vehicle uptime, optimising fleet charging for their business requirements.
And, in advancing the UK’s public charging network, they are encouraging people to make the switch to electric vehicles by making access to charging easier.