Charging electric cars in public

Which charging tariff is the right one for me?

An electric car’s suitability for daily use rises and falls with its range. Using public charging posts gives you a bit more flexibility if you want to take your electric car on more routes. However, as the driver of an electric car, you can find yourself faced with a jungle of multiple billing systems, different electricity tariffs and access systems, and quickly end up losing track of everything. When it comes to choosing the right charging post suppliers, your own charging habits play a key role.

What kind of charger am I?

We at The Mobility House have analysed different charging habits of owners of electric cars in the public domain and discovered three main types. For this purpose, we have used an electric car with a battery capacity of 20 kWh and a charging power of 3.7 kW as a starting point. This could be, for example, the BMW i3 or the Nissan Leaf.

Emergency chargers

You usually charge your electric car at your own charging station at home. When you’re on the road, you only charge it in an emergency situation. Your average charging amount at a public charging station comes to about 20 kWh per month. For example, this corresponds with a full charge.

Occasional chargers

You often travel into town, and also charge your electric car from time to time. Your average charging amount at a public charging station comes to about 50 kWh per month. You charge your car a total of, say, two-and-a-half times in a month.

Frequent chargers

You take regular business trips and depend on public charging stations for your electric car. You fully charge your electric car five times on average at public charging posts. That corresponds to a charge of about 100 kWh per month.

Which tariff is the right one for my charger type?

Why does the charger type play a part in choosing the right supplier? It is important to know how much time you spend per month at public charging posts and how much charging you do, because each electricity supplier has its own way of calculating tariffs. The price is calculated based on the following three factors:

  • Time. Most suppliers calculate how long you have connected your electric car to the respective charging stations. It is important to bear in mind that not only the charging time is calculated, but the entire time that your car spends at the public charging post.
  • Amount of charging power. Some suppliers include the amount of charging power – in other words, the kWh – that is used to charge your electric car in their calculations.
  • Basic fee. A further monthly basic fee may be incurred in addition to the charging time or amount of charging power, depending on the supplier. This is always incurred regardless of the amount of charging power or time.

Different tariff types also have different benefits for each charger type. We have summarised in the following graph which suppliers are the best for you and how much money you can save as a result:

TMH Anbietervergleich Ladekarte Elektroauto

Moreover, we have put together an overview of different charging cables and plug types for electric cars in our Basic Technical Knowledge section.