Advisor: The best charging cards: Keep an eye on the costs

Energy is becoming more and more expensive and the former bargain prices at the charging station are a thing of the past.

Advisor: The best charging cards: Keep an eye on the costs

Energy is becoming more and more expensive and the former bargain prices at the charging station are a thing of the past. More and more companies are increasing the cost of one kilowatt hour of green electricity, which is sometimes painfully noticeable at the charging station in the city or on the motorway. If liquid fuel weren't even more expensive at the moment, electricity tariffs would long have been at or above the level of vehicles with petrol or even diesel engines. Many drivers of an electric car use the car manufacturer's charging cards, because there are often slightly discounted rates. But you should always have a second charging card or a corresponding app with you if the first choice doesn't work. And the automaker's first choice isn't always the cheapest.

One of the charging cards, which is most widespread in Germany, comes from the largest automobile club, the ADAC. He cooperates with network operator EnBW and thus has access to a particularly large charging infrastructure, which can pay off not only in Germany but also abroad. For fast charging it costs 0.48 euros / kWh; for the standard charge, the price of 0.38 euros/kWh is always cheap. The prices are therefore significantly lower than those of the actual network operator EnBW (Energie Baden-Württemberg), who want 0.55 or 0.45 euros / kWh for the same charging quantities. That is roughly the price for a kilowatt hour on the Tesla Supercharger at 0.58 euros.

Several large car manufacturers have joined the Ionity network. This includes not only the brands of the Volkswagen and Hyundai groups, but also Ford, Mercedes and BMW / Mini. If you only charge occasionally, you pay 0.79 euros / kWh in the Ionity Direct tariff. It is only significantly cheaper with the Ionity Passport tariff, which costs 0.35 euros / kWh, but is linked to a monthly basic fee of 17.99 euros (minimum contract term twelve months). Without the monthly basic fee, Ionity is one of the most expensive providers on the German / European market.

Operator Chargemap bundles a wide variety of providers across Europe with around 230,000 charging stations and corresponding tariffs. The prices themselves depend on the relevant operator. Chargemap should therefore be seen more as a correspondingly clear charging map with app use and a universal payment function. The card itself costs EUR 19.90 once – there is no monthly fee. Advantage: there is a monthly total bill and a maximum overview.

Fastned is one of the fastest growing providers of charging infrastructure. The prices of the Dutch provider have also increased noticeably in recent months. There are significant differences in the individual European countries. For example, the standard tariff in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium costs 0.74 / 0.75 euros for one kilowatt hour. In France or the Netherlands, Fastned users can charge significantly cheaper at 0.59 and 0.68 euros / kWh of electricity. Here, too, it only becomes noticeably cheaper with a framework contract, which Fastned charges for. For a basic fee of EUR 11.99 per month, the electricity tariffs are reduced to between EUR 0.45 and EUR 0.50/kWh.

There are also charging stations for electric cars and plug-in hybrids at more and more petrol stations. For example, with its Recharge model, Shell offers its own charging card that can be used to pay throughout Europe. Similar to Chargemap, however, the prices are not uniform, but depend on the respective provider. A kilowatt hour costs 0.59 euros at the company's own fast charging stations, while the prices for standard charging vary locally. Within the international roaming network, the kWh costs EUR 0.46 plus EUR 0.02 per minute. However, it gets really expensive if you use the Shell card to recharge an Ionity charger, for example. Then the kilowatt hour costs 0.81 euros. The Shell Recharge card is therefore more of a billing model than a savings model, because a transaction fee of EUR 0.35 – a maximum of EUR 7 per month – is also charged for all loading processes. The offer from the competitor Aral and its Aral Pulse model is very similar. Here 0.69 euros / kWh are incurred. Payment can be made via smartphone app or credit card. It is currently only cheaper at a few Rewe test charging stations, where 0.45 / 0.55 euros / kWh are charged.

It looks significantly cheaper with the regional provider Maingau Energie. There is no basic fee or minimum term here, because the only difference is whether you are a normal user or a Maingau-Energie customer at home. That reduces the 0.49 or 0.59 euros per kilowatt hour AC / DC charging by 0.10 euros each. It is expensive at 0.75 euros/kWh in the Ionity network and a time surcharge has to be paid for all charging processes - for AC charging from 240 minutes and for DC fast charging from 60 minutes plus 0.10 euros per minute. Longer charging parking can really cost money.

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