Continente's electric vehicle charging service Plug&Charge registered a 70% increase in customer numbers, exceeding 11,000 users, and a 105% increase in usage this year.
Carlos Sampaio, head of Sonae's energy area, explained, "This increase results from the opening of new points in several stores, from the increase in the number of electric vehicles in the national park, but, above all, from our value proposition: a 100% digital solution that is simple to use, with premium seats - close to the store entrance and protected from the sun and rain, with very competitive prices and a mechanic with in-store purchases that allows the customer to come and go to the store at no cost."
The retailer hopes to expand operations to 50 locations this year, with more than 150 charging points, to create a network with a maximum distance of 100 kilometres between hubs.
In 2023, the retailer aims to double its network, adding 50 more locations and 150 more charging points to cover all districts of the country.
Plug&Charge service can be used by downloading an eponymous app or via Continente's loyalty card app.
Starting at €0.01/minute, it offers the possibility to charge for 200 km in an hour.
Sampaio added, "The integration of charging stations in the electrical infrastructure of buildings has several advantages, such as avoiding the need to create an extra dedicated infrastructure, or the fact that it allows the use of energy produced by photovoltaic plants installed in stores, some of them in the parking lot itself, which is an increasingly frequent solution.
"This integration, due to the efficiency provided, contributes to the reduction of the stores' carbon footprint, as well as allowing us to have a very competitive proposal to our customers, making Plug&Charge a vehicle to promote electric mobility."