To the restaurant, to the shops, to the doctor – with an electric car, you are on the road a lot. Public charging infrastructure is now very well developed, especially in cities. So it’s a good idea to take advantage of the time and plug in your eCar to charge while you’re doing your errands. But how does charging at public charging stations actually work? Where can I find these stations? And how do I start the charging process? We explain everything you need to know.
Where can I charge?
To charge a car in a public place, it is first necessary to find where individual charging points are located. Some vehicle manufacturers provide their own apps for this. Those who want to have access to a larger selection of charging points can independently register with a provider who has signed contracts with various charging point operators. This way, drivers can use a large number of public charging points. Using one of these eRoaming platforms is one of the most common solutions for public charging. Due to the German Charging Station Ordinance , Ad Hoc charging must also be possible at every public charging station, i.e. spontaneous charging and payment without having to conclude a contract with the charging station operator. In most cases, payment is made by credit card. However, with Ad Hoc charging, the kWh prices are usually more expensive than with other payment methods.
Finding a compatible plug system
Not every electric car can be charged at any charging station. The right type of plug and cable must be available. Most public charging points have more than one connector. Here you will find an overview of all available plug types and charging cables.
Activating a charging point
To start the charging process at a public charging point, either a chip card (e.g. credit card), an app or an RFID card is required. The charging station is activated immediately and the charging process can begin.
Most providers of charging solutions require input of credit card data. This means that the respective amount for the charging process is automatically debited from the credit card as soon as charging has been completed. By networking different providers, it is then possible to charge the electric car at various charging stations with the same RFID card and to bill for the charging process.
Due to the calibration law, charging processes must be billed according to kilowatt hours. This guarantees drivers a transparent payment process that is based on actual consumption. Although there are still lump sums or billing according to time, these must be changed over quickly following the decision on the conformity of charging processes with calibration law.
Charging quantity: the price to be paid refers to the kWh charged, i.e. the electricity consumption.
Basic fee: this fee can be charged regardless of the charging time or quantity. The provider charges a fixed price per month, which must be paid in addition to individual charging processes.