Charging in compliance with calibration laws

Questions and answers

Since 1 April 2019, calibration law is a particularly relevant topic for electric mobility. Since that date, charging stations must invoice in accordance with the strict requirements of calibration law in accordance with Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, AFID).

With the introduction of the calibration law into electric mobility, new questions about legally compliant charging have arisen that we would like to answer for you on this page.

1. Why is calibration law so important for electric mobility?

Every electric car driver must be able to transparently verify how much electricity they have drawn from a charging station and be able to trust that this value was measured correctly. To do that, the energy must be invoiced in kilowatt hours (kWh).

The topic of calibration law does not play a big role for a wallbox at home, because the electricity drawn there is normally paid by the consumers themselves. However, as soon invoicing goes through a third party, such as when a company car is charged at home or at a public charging station, that charging station must correctly record all the data.

2. Which charging stations can be used for legally compliant charging?

Different variants of legally compliant charging stations are offered by manufacturers such as KEBA, ABL and EBG Compleo, among others. Several charging stations compliant with calibration law can be found in the online shop of The Mobility House.

3. Are the requirements different for DC and AC charging stations?

Technologically, it is easy to install compliant smart meters in AC charging stations.

For DC charging stations, it is somewhat more difficult, because the appropriate smart meters are currently not readily available. But the industry is working on it, and solutions are coming soon. Currently, the smart meters in DC stations record the electricity on the DC side of the power connection. A generously rounded up 20% is taken from this amount of energy as leakage current. After the transition period however, that is no longer permissible.

4. What are the advantages of charging in compliance with calibration law?

Calibration laws clearly serve to protect consumers. The customer can trust that the precise amount of energy that is displayed has been transferred to their electric car.

5. Are there any disadvantages?

It is possible that charging at public charging stations will become somewhat more expensive, because the providers and manufacturers of legally compliant hardware and software not only have to integrate this into new charging stations but also into existing ones. The costs of doing that will be passed on to the end customers where possible.

6. Will there also be flat rates?

The rate used for invoicing varies depending on the provider and the contract. For compliance with calibration law, invoicing based on kilowatt hours (kWh) will probably be the most common form of charging, because it represents the fairest and most transparent form of energy consumption. Strictly kWh-based rates are possible, as are rates that take into account the energy consumed, along with the amount of time the electric car is parked in front of the charging station. The latter should prevent highly frequented charging stations from being blocked for too long.

Flat rates have been successful for services like telephone, data rates and streaming for films and TV series. There are sure to be flat rates for charging as well. They will be particularly worthwhile for frequent drivers and for electric car owners who do not have charging options at home or at work.

Session fees, i.e. one-time set prices per charge, and purely time-based fees are no longer permissible. It will still be possible, however, to provide the electricity for free, as some supermarkets and stores already offer.

7. Can I also charge in a legally compliant way when I am abroad?

Other countries have regulations that are not as strict as in Germany, because the relevant EU directive is not as strict as the German calibration laws. In most other European countries, only an MID-compliant energy meter is currently needed.

8. What data is processed by a charging station

A legally compliant charging station records the smart meter reading as soon the user plugs the charging plug in and then again when it is unplugged. The amount of energy provided is calculated by taking the difference between those two numbers. In addition, it records the plug-in and unplugging time, as well as the user ID that is provided to the station by the RFID chip, the charging card or via authorisation from a smartphone app.

9. Who has access to the charging process data? Is my data secure?

The operator of the charging station, who is compensated for providing the infrastructure and energy, has access to the charging process data. The data is also transmitted to the electric mobility provider and to any roaming platform involved in a way that protects against manipulation. Of course, the users themselves also have access.

The data is encrypted within the charging stations and is then transmitted in private key and public key procedures. This ensures the highest possible level of data security.

The Mobility House has many years of experience with charging options for electric cars. In a three-part series on the topic of calibration law, we explain how a legally compliant charging solution can be set up and how invoicing must be carried out. And also where its absolutely necessary, as there are a few exceptions. That's why, with the help of experts, we have played out several specific application examples that are relevant for businesses and companies, fleet operators, hotels and real estate and apartment owners, among others.


Calibration law and company cars

In Part 1 of our series we deal with the topic of charging company cars at work and at home, as well as charging stations on company premises.


Calibration law and real estate

When apartment owners, homeowner associations and real estate companies have to provide legally compliant invoicing for charging station.


Calibration law and hotels/holiday accommodations

What hotel operators and providers of holiday apartments and condominiums need to know and how they can bill their guests for charging their electric cars in a legally compliant way.

What companies need to consider

Where will charging take place? Who is charging? On which basis? Billed by... Solution required
on company premises employee with private vehicle paid kWh legally compliant charging station 
on company premises employee with private vehicle free of charge  - no requirements
on company premises visitors paid kWh legally compliant charging station 
on company premises visitors free of charge  - no requirements
at home  employee with company vehicle paid kWh MID-certified meter
at home employees and other household members with company / private car paid kWh legally compliant charging station
at home employee with company vehicle paid flat rate as per section 3 No. 50 of the German Income Tax Act no requirements

What you should consider when charging in shared garages

Where will charging take place? Who is charging? On which basis? Billed by... Solution required
individual parking spot - charging station with power supplied through the individual apartment's electricity meter renter or apartment owner paid kWh no requirements

individual parking spot - charging station with power connection via shared power supply

renter or apartment owner paid kWh MID-certified meter

What hotel owners should consider

Where will charging take place? Who is charging? On which basis? Billed by... Solution required
hotel car park guest paid kWh legally compliant charging station
hotel car park guest free of charge - no requirements