Selling electricity: EV charging at the workplace

The Mobility House Avatar

The Mobility House Team

October 14, 2022

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Facilities to charge electric cars on company premises are growing in popularity. After all, not every employee has a charging station at home, especially in towns and cities. Besides, their electric car is parked in the workplace parking lot for eight to nine hours at a time. That’s plenty time and an ideal opportunity to charge both private electric cars and fleet vehicles. Offering charging solutions at your office is also an important factor regarding to attract and retain your staff as well as boost your brand image.

electric car being charged

While charging at the workplace makes sense in any case, entrepreneurs should still consider a few points: Are they allowed to sell the electricity just like that? What tax and legal regulations apply here? This is a major area of confusion, especially when the charging infrastructure is open to the public too – as is the case when a company bills for the charging current. We’ve cleared this matter up by joining forces with attorney Katharina Vera Boesche to answer the most important questions.

The content below is for information purposes only. It does not constitute, or replace, legal advice. The content was compiled with the greatest possible care. Despite this, we do not assume any liability for the completeness, timeliness or accuracy of the information.

Which companies and organizations are allowed to set up charging infrastructure?

In General, anyone is allowed to set up and operate charging infrastructure.

"You don’t need a permit from the energy regulator or the main customs office for that. A company’s or an organization’s business purpose is irrelevant to the operation of charging facilities. Electricity supply has no impact on the natural business field. The regulations set out in the German Energy Industry Act should enable precisely those companies that are not licensed as electricity suppliers to operate charging infrastructure."

Katharina Vera Boesche,


How much may the charging current cost at the workplace?

Companies have a choice when it comes to charging current tariffs. They can offer free access, provide discounts or offer it at a discount or at regular tariffs. The following scenarios provide a road map with respect to setting tariffs:

Commercial electricity tariff: This can be passed on to employees either 1:1 or at a discount – making it a very attractive offer for employees.

Private electricity tariff: This is the standard market tariff, as is also available to private individuals – a fair offer that the company also benefits from.

Public tariff: If they choose this tariff, companies are guaranteed to generate a margin. But this is the most expensive option for employees. 

"Basically: When a company bills for charging current, it must use charging infrastructure in accordance with calibration laws. Charge per kWh and, if applicable, other tariff elements too (like a blocking fee) are settled. "

Katharina Vera Boesche,


Offering electricity for free is the most straightforward option, since, then, there is no need for charging points in accordance with calibration laws and no sales tax is incurred. If payment is demanded, accurately recording and billing the amount of electricity delivered per charging process is a must.

How are the charging costs for EV fleets settled?

Companies can deduct the charging current payment from employees’ monthly salary or issue a separate invoice. They can also outsource paid electricity billing to an external billing service provider.

What tax aspects are involved in charging a car at the workplace?

Unlike when employees use the likes of gasoline vouchers, the ability to charge electric or hybrid cars for free or at a discount on their employer’s premises is tax-free for the period running from 2021 to the end of 2030 under Section 3 (46) of the German Income Tax Act (EStG) – assuming the employer provides the benefit in addition to wages.

"In income tax law, there is a rule stating that charging employees for charging current is not considered a non-cash benefit. This applies equally to both private and company cars."

Katharina Vera Boesche,


Do companies have to pay the EEG levy?

The German Electricity Market Act basically stipulates that the charging infrastructure operator (e.g. a company) is considered an end consumer, not an electricity supplier (Section 3 (25) of the German Energy Industry Act). According to the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the end consumer is, in turn, the person who consumes the electricity (Section 3 (33) of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act) – for example, the owner of an external electric vehicle. By this definition, the company is an electricity supplier and would recently still have had to pay the EEG levy. However, on July 1, 2022, the EEG levy was reduced to zero and has since been eradicated entirely. 

"So there is no longer any need to distinguish between third-party amounts for self-supply and third-party supply. One major obstacle for companies and private individuals alike has thus been successfully eliminated."

Katharina Vera Boesche,


Can charging current be sold to third parties too?

Companies are also allowed to make charging stations available to the public at their sites, increasing utilization of the charging stations and generating more income. This move also opens up other promotion possibilities. If drivers of external electric cars are to use the infrastructure, however, charging stations must be set up in accordance with calibration laws. They record the meter reading as soon as users plug in and pull out the charging plug. Additionally, specifications such as the minimum technical requirements for the charging point and the German Price Indication Ordinance must be observed.

"Entrepreneurs can be flexible when it comes to tariffs. There are no regulatory requirements. Prices at charging stations are subject to competition. But, generally speaking, charging points that are accessible to the public must be charged according to kWh and their price must be clearly displayed. However, other tariff elements, such as parking and service fees, or even a blocking fee for “long-term parkers” may be charged."

Katharina Vera Boesche,


Summary: Why charging at the workplace is worthwhile

Workplace charging facilities are ultimately beneficial for both parties. Employees can benefit from this practical opportunity. At the same time, companies increase their attractiveness as an employer with such offers, as they take on a pioneering role in the electromobility movement. Additionally, more and more people will make the shift to electric cars in the future, so the provision of charging facilities will play a key role in the long term.

We recommend that you always plan ahead and never lose sight of the future. A scalable and vendor-neutral charging solution is essential so that it can be easily expanded at a later date. We will be happy to advise you regarding this matter.