Charge Your Electric Car Conveniently at Public Charging Stations and Remain Flexible Even on Longer Drives.

A variety of suppliers and access systems in the world of public charging stations exist. Access via RFID cards is a widely spread system. Every provider of public charging stations offers access to a varying number of charge points. The use of public charging points is often associated with monthly basic fees and contract costs.

The energy used to charge the car is normally billed on an hourly basis. Here, costs can often arise if a fully-charged electric car is left at the charging station. Few providers bill on the basis of the actually charged kilowatt hours.

Challenges in the World of Public Charging Stations

  • How do I find public charging stations?
  • How do I gain access to the public charging station?
  • How much does it cost to charge?
  • How quickly can I charge at this station?
  • How long may I charge at this station?

Ways of Charging at Public Charging Stations

In addition to the private charging options, there are further plug varieties and ways of charging when it comes to public charging stations. In principle, there are alternating-current (AC) and direct-current (DC) charging. Public AC charging stations have type 2 sockets and some also have specially safeguarded domestic sockets. The charging cable must generally be supplied by the driver at public AC charging stations. With DC charging stations (also called quick-charging stations), the charging cable is always found on the charging station itself and has two types of plugs: CHAdeMO and Combo (CCS).

Zusätzlich zu den Lademöglichkeiten im privaten Bereich gibt es bei öffentlichen Ladestationen noch weitere Steckervarianten und Lademodi. Grundsätzlich kann man zwischen Wechselstrom- (AC) und Gleichstrom- (DC) Laden differenzieren.

What Type of Charger Are You?

In principle, public charging stations offer flexibility even on longer drives. In reality, however, the user can get lost in the jungle of calculation systems, power tariffs and access systems. Your own charging preferences also play an important role when choosing a provider.

The following schematic overview shows the various ways of charging an electric car. It also illustrates the associated energy consumption and costs per month for using public charging stations in Germany.* The number of charge points may differ between providers. The costs are rounded-up values including VAT.

Emergency Chargers

Monthly usage: 20 kWh

ProviderTariffCost per Month
EnBWElektronauten Ladekarte¹21 €
Elektronauten Prepaid-Ladekarte²27 €
RWEePower Basic³11 €
ePower SMS⁴21 €
ladenetzladeticket 30T⁵50 €
Mercedes BenzCharge&Pay⁶25 €

Occasional Chargers

Monthly usage: 50 kWh

ProviderTariffCost per Month
EnBWElektronauten Ladekarte¹37 €
Elektronauten Prepaid-Ladekarte²67 €
RWEePower Basic³20 €
ePower SMS⁴53 €
ladenetzladeticket 30T⁵50 €
Mercedes BenzCharge&Pay⁶62 €

Frequent Chargers

Monthly usage: 100 kWh

ProviderTariffCost per Month
EnBWElektronauten Ladekarte¹64 €
Elektronauten Prepaid-Ladekarte²135 €
RWEePower Basic³35 €
ePower SMS⁴107 €
ladenetzladeticket 30T⁵50 €
Mercedes BenzCharge&Pay⁶124 €

*Assumptions: Battery capacity of around 20 kWh (e.g. BMW i3, Renault ZOE, Nissan Leaf) with charging power of 3.7 kW.

Here you will find further details on the number of charging points for each provider as well as the tariffs used as a basis for public charging.

¹ Source: EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG
² Source: EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG
³ Source: RWE Effizienz GmbH
⁴ Source: RWE Effizienz GmbH
⁵ Source: smartlab Innovationsgesellschaft mbH
⁶ Source: Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, App Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz
Date information obtained: 23. January 2015