Discount grocer Aldi is investing €2.2m (£1.6m) on charging stations for electric cars outside its German stores this summer.

Aldi plans to introduce 50 chargers - called ‘Sonne tanken’ –  which will be powered by solar panels installed on the rooftops of Aldi stores.

The fast-charging service will be available for free and users will not be required to register or buy anything in-store.

All chargers will be in place by the summer. The first was opened last month in Düsseldorf.

German federal minister for the environment Barbara Hendricks was present at the opening and called the Aldi project “a model for electric mobility”. She said there are still relatively few fast chargers available to the general public.

Aldi is targeting cities including Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, which at present have very few charging facilities.