Electromobility: grotesque conditions at the electricity filling stations

Electromobility: grotesque conditions at the electricity filling stations

  • Various associations appeal in a report to the Federal Government to improve the conditions at the German electric filling stations.
  • The consumer advocates, among other things, reveal price differences of 300 percent, incorrect power values ​​and broken charging stations.
  • They call for a central federal agency that collects information about locations or prices, much like fuel gas stations.

From Markus Balser, Berlin

Just go to the petrol pump to refuel – even without a subscription? Immediately see what the load costs, without first researching the network for minutes? What is the normal case for the owners of gasoline or diesel cars at the gas station, is far from being for owners of electric cars. Anyone who heads for a public charging station, far too often experiences a blue miracle, according to the opinion of consumer advocates. Some of the prices differ by a few 100 percent – without the users immediately noticing.

After information of the South German newspaper An unusual coalition of consumer advocates, car-sharing associations and electromobility associations is now raising the alarm. In a catalog of demands, the associations are warning fair prices, significantly more transparency and uniform payment models. Electromobility is an indispensable component of sustainable mobility. In order for a broad mass of consumers to really feel like switching, "in particular, the public charging infrastructure must be easy and transparent to use," demand the consumer association Bundesverband, the German Car-Sharing Association and several stakeholders for electromobility. The paper is due to be released this Monday. Then comes the national platform "Future of Mobility", a new advisory body of the Federal Government, in Berlin.

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Experts so far complain about a veritable wild growth at the Stromzapfsäulen. In its current annual comparison, the electricity provider Lichtblick determined price differences of 300 percent depending on the region and provider. According to the test, spontaneous charging without a fixed contract at EnBW costs 54.4 cents per kilowatt hour, while the regional provider Mainova only charges 13.3 cents. Since times will be charged per charge, sometimes by time and sometimes by n kilowatt hours, a price comparison is often hardly possible. Only with the monthly statements one recognizes the true costs.

The Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband assumes that the number of electric cars will increase significantly in the coming years in Germany. The total cost of use for cars with different drive types approached, it says in the paper. Electric vehicles could already be cheaper in 2020 than burners. It is all the more important that it is fair at the petrol stations. There, consumers would already see from afar what they cost their tank of fuel per liter. E-motorists would rarely find such information. Often, they would first need to load an app or query the price on a webpage. This is especially at the spontaneous shop "particularly annoying".

The consumer advocates partly cover grotesque conditions at charging stations. Consumers would have to pay for tariffs per refueling even if, for technical reasons, the charging process stops after a short time – "without receiving any consideration". Time-based tariffs discriminated against consumers whose cars charge more slowly. The charging power depends in part even on the number of charging cars at the sockets. Some providers offer 22 kilowatts of charging power to their charging station, but which was equipped with two charging points. Charge there but actually two cars at the same time, halve the charging power for each vehicle, warns the paper. "At the same time, only half as much power is provided to them," criticize the associations.

The associations suggest setting up a central information point

The pressure on politics is growing. "The federal government must put a stop to the tariff clutter," demands Marion Jungbluth, traffic expert of the Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband. "Only in this way can the consumer be convinced of a change and the turnaround in traffic succeed." The aim of the associations is a comparable price. For this, the actual product, ie the amount of electricity, must be the essential basis of the price, they demand in the paper. Additional price components that control the parking or charging behavior would have to be shown transparently. In addition, charging stations would often not be repaired for an extended period of time. As it is often charge infrastructure that has received taxpayers' money, operators would need to be swiftly repaired or repay part of the funding. The associations have a central federal agency that collects information about locations or prices. A role model is the Market Transparency Agency for fuels, which monitors filling stations.

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