Lidl is installing fast-charging stations for electric cars at its stores. The first charging station has already been set up and can be found at its new Prague location on Barrandov Street. The installation of charging stations is a part of the company’s existing efforts towards corporate social responsibility (CSR).
“ABB’s fast-charging station for electric vehicles, which we install at our stores, is perceived as a further step towards a healthier environment. By the end of the year, we have five more stations, and we plan to continue installing next generation shops in the future,” said Pavel Stratil, the Czech director of Lidl.
The stations can charge a car’s batteries from empty, up to 80% in just half an hour. The stations are also able to charge multiple types of cars. Electric cars are a growing market in the Czech Republic. Lidl hopes to add charging station around the country, including in Brno, Hradec Králové, and Ostrava.
Electro mobility and electric cars are a growing trend in the Czech Republic. Currently, there are more than 1,200 electric cars registered in the Czech Republic, according to an article published by Retailek. However, that number is increasing. Last year, 271 new electric vehicles were sold in the Czech Republic, according to the same article. When considering purchasing an electric vehicle, access to charging stations is a common concern among potential customers.
While the Czech Republic still has a relatively small number of registered electric cars on the streets, this will likely change in the near future. There will likely be more benefits towards electric transportation in the future. Aside from fuel costs, new benefits could include reduced road tariffs and access to areas where petrol and diesel cars will be banned, such as city centers. Electric cars are also becoming more available to consumers. Earlier this year Alza.cz began selling electric cars, including Tesla models and the BMW i3. You can read the article about Alza.cz and Tesla here.
Lidl has looked towards environmental responsibility when engaging in CSR tactics in the past. In February, the company stopped selling plastic bags in order to reduce harmful waste.
“All our CSR activities are based on the business model of our company. . . The goal is not to shift the profit we create to environmental and social projects, but we want to generate profit in a way that is compatible with environmental and social principles,” according to Lidl’s website.
As Lidl acknowledges, CSR activities are a part of the corporations’ goal to improve their public perception and increase profits. However, despite their self-serving goals, they are ultimately promoting the public good. In this case, they are enhancing access to fast-charging stations and reducing waste. Lack of access to charging stations is one of the biggest obstacles facing electro mobility.
Lidl is not the first retail store adding electric charging capabilities to their parking lots. The grocery stores Billa and Tesco have already installed similar stations at limited locations.