Status: 05.12.2023, 19:17 PM
By: Simon Mones
The battery of the electric car is almost empty, but you don't have a charging card ready? No problem! There are alternatives to pay.
If the tank of a diesel or petrol car is empty, you simply drive to the petrol station and then pay at the checkout. This can be done with cash or card. With electric cars, however, the whole thing is a little different, because there is no longer a ticket booth at the charging stations. The electric charging stations usually do not take cash either. Payment is usually made with a charging card, which also starts the charging process. But what if you don't have the right charging card or even none at all?
Charging an electric car without a charging card: You can also use an app on your smartphone
In any case, you don't have to drive further and risk an empty battery. As a rule, the charging process can also be conveniently started and billed via a smartphone app of the respective operator. At the electric charging stations, there is usually also a QR code that you scan with your mobile phone. The app will then appear in the App or Playstore without you having to do a lot of searching.
The electric car can also be conveniently recharged without a charging card. © Michael Gstettenbauer/Imago
The loss of time is also limited, because the apps can be downloaded and installed in just a few seconds. After that, all you have to do is register and provide your bank details and verify yourself. This is usually done via a code that is sent via SMS. Once this is done, the electric car can be charged. Often, it is also possible to use apps from other providers, but this is associated with additional costs.
From 2024: Charging an electric car with a credit card
It's even easier to pay by credit or debit card. Simply hold it up to the reader and enter your pin and the electric car will charge. However, there is a catch: not every charging station supports payment by card. The provider EnBW, for example, had original card readers. Since the demand was too low, the function was deactivated again in 2020, as a spokesperson for AutoBILD explained.
Originally, card readers were to be mandatory since July 2023, the federal government had decided. However, the equipment requirement has been postponed until 2024. There is also no obligation to notify. As of July 1, 2023, 3782 charging stations with card readers or NFC readers have been reported to the Federal Network Agency. These include the 1261 charging point of the Aral Pulse charging network. It is also possible to pay with your smartphone or smartwatch.
No charging card required: Plug&Charge is a particularly convenient way to charge your electric car
It's even easier with Plug&Charge: as soon as you have connected the electric car to the charging station, identification takes place. This is done via a standardized communication standard that was developed in 2017. The car and the charging station exchange certificates and the charging process is started. The payment data will also be transmitted. However, some wallboxes only support this function in semi-public spaces – such as underground car parks in apartment buildings.
You can find even more exciting car topics in the free newsletter from our partner 24auto.de.
In order for Plug&Charge to work, the charging current contract must be stored digitally in the car. However, so far only one contract has been deposited, writes AutoBILD. According to the company's own information, several contracts can only be deposited with BMW. If there is no cooperation with the operator of the charging station, Plug&Charge is not possible. In addition, the function is not yet widespread across the board. At EnBW, electric car drivers must register for the Autocharge service in advance. Fastned also calls the service that.
However, if you drive a VW, Skoda or Seat, you will not be able to charge there automatically. The function is also not possible on the Audi O4 e-tron, Cupra Born, Lucid Air, Maxus eDeliver, Mazda MX-30, BMW iX1, i7 as well as the Rolls-Royce Spectre EV and Ora Funky Cat. In the case of the Audi e-tron, the model year 2018 is excluded, and Autocharge cannot be guaranteed for the 2019 model. The reason, according to Fastned: "In order to use Autocharge, each vehicle needs its own ID. Some vehicles have a common ID and therefore cannot use Autocharge." At Tesla, Plug&Charge only works at its own Superchargers. The following brands also offer Plug&Charge: