Discover the Best Places to Charge Your EV for Free in Germany: Berlin’s case
As we transition into a more sustainable world, the Electric Vehicle (EV) market in Germany is witnessing a rapid surge. To limit CO2 emissions, Germany has seen an unprecedented boost in EV sales, making it one of the leading markets in Europe. More recently, the total count of active charging stations in the country reached an impressive 85,000 in the second quarter of 2023.
Despite the extensive infrastructure, the question arises - Are there still opportunities to charge EVs for free or at a minimal cost? The answer is an emphatic "Yes". Berlin serves as an excellent case study for this, with an intricate network of charging infrastructure that makes owning an EV an accessible and affordable choice. The charging facilities we highlight are not exclusive to Berlin but are mirrored across most German cities, thereby making this analysis applicable on a broader scale.
So, buckle up as we delve into the fascinating world of free and affordable EV charging in Germany, focusing specifically on Berlin's innovative infrastructure.
Berlin's Free Charging Infrastructure
Berlin, a city known for its innovation and sustainability, boasts an impressive array of free public charging stations for EVs. These power hubs are scattered across the city, from hotel networks and shopping malls to auto centres and energy centres, and even some public charging stations.
- Hotel Networks: Numerous hotels across Berlin provide free charging facilities to guests, proving that hospitality extends beyond comfortable rooms.
- Shopping Malls and Supermarkets: Turn your shopping spree into a charging opportunity, as many retailers offer free charging points for customers.
- Autocenters: Vehicle manufacturers and dealerships are not lagging behind in providing charging facilities, acting as key locations for EV charging.
- Energy Centers: These are dedicated spaces for renewable energy solutions and often offer free or subsidized charging for EVs.
- Public Charging Stations: The government and private entities have partnered to set up public charging stations, where you can charge your EV for free.
In the following sections, we'll take an in-depth look at some of these locations and the benefits they offer for EV owners in Berlin.
Shop and Charge: Retail Stores and Shopping Centers of Berlin
Berlin's retail sector has embraced the sustainable movement of EVs, offering free charging facilities as an added perk for customers. One can conveniently shop while their EV juices up at the charging station.
Popular retail chains such as Hornbach, IKEA, and Hagebau, amongst others, are at the forefront of this initiative. Berlin's prominent shopping centre, Gropius Passagen, also offers free charging facilities. Edeka, one of Germany's largest supermarket corporations, has also joined the green revolution, we’ve found at least 2 shops where it is possible to charge your EV for free.
Though Lidl, Kaufland and Aldi ceased their free charging services after mid-2022, they still provide an affordable option for EV owners. With 29 cents per kilowatt-hour at AC charging points and 48 cents per kilowatt-hour at DC charging points, they ensure that EV charging doesn't burn a hole in your pocket.
Hotels and Accommodations in Berlin
As EVs become a mainstream mode of transportation, hotel networks and accommodations have embraced this trend by offering complimentary EV charging facilities for guests. This trend has been witnessed predominantly in hotel parking lots or in the vicinity, ensuring convenience and accessibility for EV users.
An array of prestigious hotels, including Hilton Berlin Parking, Movenpick Hotel Berlin, the Ritz-Carlton Berlin, and Holiday Inn, provide free charging stations for their guests. Similarly, the Tiefgarage NH Hotel, Hotel Melia Berlin, Schoenhouse Studios, Ibis Ostbahnhof, Vienna House Andel’s Berlin, Derag Living Hotel, Hotel Berlin Mitte, Sofital Berlin Kurfurstendamm, and Spreepolis Wohnen Auf Zeit, also offer this amenity.
Significantly, free chargers are often found in the vicinity of hotel airports, such as the Holiday Inn Berlin Airport, making it convenient for travelling EV owners. Interestingly, 80% of the free-of-cost chargers in Berlin that we’ve found are located in the parking lot of hotels.
Workplace Charging and Autocenters
With sustainability at the core of modern business practices, several companies across Berlin now offer free EV charging stations to their employees. Tax-exempt under Section 3 No. 46 of the EStG, this benefit offers a significant incentive for employees to switch to EVs.
Some of the prominent auto centres and energy centres offering charging facilities include Tesla Center, Renault, Digital Energy Solution (BMW), Kuttner Automobile GmbH, Total Energies, and Nissan Autohaus Wegener.
Not only does this feature make the daily commute more sustainable, but it also reinforces Berlin's commitment to creating an EV-friendly ecosystem, encouraging more residents to transition to electric vehicles.
Free Charging with Public Networks in Berlin
Adding another dimension to the city's charging infrastructure is the Fisker-Allego collaboration, offering free charging at Allego stations for one year to Fisker's customers. As per Chargemap, there are approximately five Allego charging stations in Berlin where EV owners can charge their vehicles for free. This initiative by electric car manufacturers and charging point operators serves as a significant boost for the adoption of electric vehicles in Berlin.
Your Digital Guide to Free Charging: Apps and Tips
In the dynamic landscape of EV charging, staying updated about the availability and location of charging stations can be a challenge. Thankfully, a host of user-friendly apps and websites provide real-time information about the charging infrastructure in your vicinity. Websites like elektroautotanken.de and apps like ChargeMap, PlugShare act as handy guides for locating free and affordable charging stations across Berlin and beyond.
However, it's worth noting that the availability of free chargers may fluctuate due to high demand or maintenance work. If you are not ready to risk, take into account the current subscriptions available, such as Shell E-Auto Abo and many others.
So, before you head out on the roads of Berlin, we recommend checking the availability and status of charging stations on these platforms to ensure a seamless and stress-free journey!
Where can I find free charging stations for my electric vehicle in Berlin?
Berlin is home to a multitude of free charging stations at hotels, retail stores, auto centres, energy centres, and even some public places.
Are there any apps or websites that help locate free charging stations?
Yes, apps like Chargemap and websites like elektroautotanken.de can help you locate free charging stations.
What are some major retail chains that offer free EV charging?
Retail chains like IKEA, Hornbach, and Edeka offer free EV charging services to their customers.
Do hotels provide free charging facilities for electric vehicles?
Yes, several hotels including Hilton, the Ritz-Carlton, Movenpick and others offer free charging facilities for guests.
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