Charging Rates Comparison: Home VS Public Stations in Germany


In Europe, electric vehicles (EVs) have brought about a new era of mobility. A critical aspect to consider for current and prospective EV owners is the understanding of charging rates. With this in mind, we will focus on the home and public charging stations available across the country. This comparison, nuanced yet comprehensive, will empower you to make well-informed decisions about your EV charging strategy. As we dive into it, we aim to shed light on costs, convenience, and environmental considerations associated with both types of charging. Join us as we explore the German EV charging landscape!

Home Charging Rates in Germany

Making the switch to an electric vehicle brings a paradigm shift in the way you refuel your vehicle. One of the popular ways to power your EV in Germany is home charging.

Home Charging Costs and Electricity Rates

  • Installation: Home charging setup requires an upfront cost, often ranging between €500 - €2,000. This depends on the charging station's model and installation complexity.
  • Maintenance & repair costs: Maintenance is recommended every 12 months and its cost can be at your own charge (then depends on the specialised electrician rate) or included in your yearly plan with your charging point manufacturer if you chose this option. Some manufacturers also include this in the purchasing price for the first years of the installation.
  • Electricity Rates: The ongoing cost of home charging largely depends on household electricity rate fluctuations. In the second half of 2022, this was around €0.40 per kWh. Rates can also vary based on peak (daytime/evening) and off-peak (usually nighttime) hours due to fluctuating demand.

The Convenience Factor

While pricing is crucial, home charging also offers unparalleled convenience. The freedom to plug in your vehicle anytime at home eliminates range anxiety. Furthermore, with the majority of EV charging occurring overnight, you wake up to a fully charged vehicle ready for the day's journey, making it a seamless part of your daily routine. The predictability of costs and the convenience it offers underscores why home charging can be an appealing choice for EV owners.

Public Charging Rates in Germany

While home charging can offer comfort and convenience, public charging stations are indispensable, especially for long-distance travel or for those without a suitable space to install a wallbox. Germany hosts an array of public charging networks, each with its unique pricing structure.

Public Charging Networks

Major networks such as Ionity, EnBW, Allego, and Berliner Stadtwerke provide extensive coverage throughout the country. Typically, public chargers bill either per kWh or per session. Level 3 DC charging is usually more expensive for the same charge than regular Level 2 charging. Other distinction that you can find on charging stations: per kWh is based on consumption, while per session charges a flat fee regardless of usage.

  • Pricing: Berliner Stadtwerke charges €0.55 per kWh for AC and €0.65 per kWh for DC charging, with a blocking fee after 4 hours. EnBW offers S and M tariffs at €0.65/kWh and €0.49/kWh respectively.
  • Subscription: Some public charging providers also require to have a subscription in order to use them or benefit from priority access. These subscriptions add to the costs and are usually in the range of €5.00 to €20.00 monthly, depending on the associated perks.
  • Benefits and Drawbacks: Public chargers are fast and readily available, making them essential for long trips. However, they can be more costly than home charging and may sometimes have wait times. Using ultra-rapid charging (Level 3) too often can also damage your battery.

The Public Charging Experience

The use of public charging stations brings several benefits, most notably the speed of charging and availability: you can charge your EV on the way. Also, quick chargers (Level 3) can provide a significant battery boost in a short span, making them a lifesaver on long trips. Adding to that, the expanding network of public chargers means finding a charging point is easier than ever!

However, this convenience comes at a price, as public charging can often be more expensive than home charging. In addition, public stations may not always be available, leading to potentially long waiting. Despite these drawbacks, the role of public charging stations in fostering the widespread adoption of EVs cannot be overstated.

home charging station in the garage

Comparisons: Home VS Public Charging Stations in Germany

The choice between home and public charging is not always clear-cut, as it depends on various factors, such as daily driving distance, availability of home charging options, and budget.

Cost and Convenience

Home Charging:

  • Lower ongoing costs at €0.40 per kWh average.
  • Requires private parking space.
  • Best for daily charging needs.

Public Charging:

  • Costs range from €0.49 to €0.65 per kWh.
  • Essential for those without suitable space for installing a charging station.
  • Ideal for occasional use or long trips and ultra-fast charging.

Charging Speeds

Home Charging:

  • Slower charging speeds, taking several hours for a full charge.
  • Convenient for overnight charging.

Public Charging:

  • Faster charging options, with DC chargers providing 80% battery in 20-30 minutes.
  • Suitable for rapid top-ups during journeys.

Environmental Impact

Home Charging:

  • Supports grid stability when used during off-peak hours.
  • Possible reduction in carbon footprint with renewable energy sources.

Public Charging:

  • Essential for urban planning.
  • Progressively adopting renewable energy sources.

Making a well-informed choice between home and public charging depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Consider costs, convenience, and environmental impact in your decision-making process.

Conclusion: Weighing Your Options for EV Charging in Germany

When it comes to charging your electric vehicle in Germany, both home and public charging stations present distinct advantages. Home charging offers convenience and cost-effectiveness, making it a preferred option for daily charging, provided you have a private parking space. On the other hand, public charging stations provide invaluable support for long-distance travel, offering quick charging speeds, even if they might be more expensive on a per-charge basis.

We encourage you to consider your driving habits, preferences, and environmental impact as you evaluate these charging options. This will not only enable you to make an informed decision but also contribute to the broader objective of sustainable mobility.


Q1: How do I choose the best charging option for my electric vehicle in Germany?

To choose the best charging option, consider your daily driving distance, availability of private parking, and budget. Home charging is cost-effective and convenient for daily use, particularly if you have private parking. Public charging, albeit more expensive per charge, provides a necessary alternative for long trips and for those who lack home charging infrastructure.

Q2: What are the main differences between home and public charging stations in Germany?

Home charging stations offer cost-effectiveness and convenience, usually used for overnight charging at lower household electricity rates. Public charging stations provide higher-speed charging, suitable for long trips. However, public charging rates are often higher, and availability can vary.

Q3: How can I save money on EV charging costs in Germany?

Home charging during off-peak hours can help save on costs due to lower electricity rates. For public charging, consider providers that offer subscription-based plans for frequent users which may help reduce costs.

Q4: Is home charging always more convenient than public charging stations in Germany?

For everyday use, home charging is generally more convenient as it allows you to charge overnight and wake up to a fully charged vehicle. However, for long-distance travel or for those without access to a private parking space, public charging stations are indispensable.

Q5: How can I find the most efficient and cost-effective charging options for my electric vehicle in Germany?

To find the most efficient and cost-effective charging options, compare the rates of different public charging networks and consider if a home charging station is feasible for you. Also, consider your usage patterns - if you primarily charge overnight, home charging might be more cost-effective.

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