How do e-drivers best fill up?


Long loading times, high prices and lack of reach are considered the most important barriers to selling electric cars. Even the jumble of electric fueling is a drag. Because the charging takes compared to conventional refueling not only long. It is also much more complicated.

In the difficult access to charging stations, for example, the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv) sees a reason for the "disappointing sales figures": Consumers see themselves at public charging stations an incomprehensible tariff system and a variety of payment methods.

Clutter at the charging stations

But the jungle is clearing up – albeit slowly. Public charging stations, which have been in operation since mid-December 2017, must be usable without registration according to the charging station ordinance.

Only: This does not apply to the many thousands of previously installed charging stations. Also, the pillars have been calling a price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) since April 2019, but even that has not yet been implemented nationwide, the Stiftung Warentest criticizes in its journal "Finanztest".

The number of 123 car prices alone, which the market researchers from EuPD Research examined in the spring of 2019, shows that the whole thing is not clear. Time will be charged according to charging time, times kilowatt hour (kWh). There are flatrates or models with basic charges. Payment is by credit card or direct debit, by Paypal, Sofortuberweisung or Paydirect. In addition, spontaneous loading is impossible on many pillars, charging cards or tokens are required, which can only be obtained after prior registration – by mail.

Load at the gas station at home

Advantage of the electric car: You can build your own gas station at home. Because many manufacturers offer their customers a wallbox to buy the car. So the car loads in the local garage. Cost: between about 500 and several thousand euros.

But it is estimated that every third charge takes place along the way at a public charging station. As the EuPD study shows, the kWh price is usually much higher than the normal household electricity, which currently costs about 30 cents per kilowatt hour.

But which provider is worthwhile for whom? If you stay in a limited radius and almost never drive longer distances, you should look for local tariffs of local electricity providers. Frequent riders traveling around the country might consider flatrate deals. Sometimes there are offers for 25 euros a month.

Roaming is not just on the phone

To use as many charging points as possible, roaming can be worthwhile. As with mobile phone calls, it stands for the cross-provider use of infrastructure. The offers "generally allow charging throughout Germany", says the ADAC.

It is usually sufficient to have a charging card to gain access to charging points in a network – often also abroad. Big providers are NewMotion and Plugsurfing, which offer over 100,000 charging points across Europe. But the price structure is as confusing as the number of individual partners. After all, it is handled centrally via an app. A network of municipal utilities is charging network.

Together with the energy provider EnBW, the ADAC also offers a roaming tariff. It is 29 cents / kWh for the normal shop, 39 cents for fast loading. The customer receives access to the pill via app or charge card – but only if he is an ADAC member. Most of the 28,000 public charging stations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are available.

In the roaming business also mixes with Telekom. The Group promises access to 20,000 charging points across Europe. For partners such as Allego, Aral, Bosch, ChargeCloud, Innogy or Ionity, the customer pays 29 cents per kWh for AC charging and 39 cents for fast charging via direct current (DC). Sometimes, however, 89 cents are due.

After all, the refueling at more and more charging points in less time is possible: While many fast-charging stations were built especially at motorway service areas, the Verbund Ionity is currently driving the expansion of its network of charging points of the latest generation with up to 350 kW charging power. Once charging up to 80 percent takes only 15 minutes depending on the battery on such a high-power charging charging station (HPC). That would really be the often cited coffee break.

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