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July 7, 2023

Our Guide to Free EV Charging in Germany: how to save your money?

Our Guide to Free EV Charging in Germany: how to save your money?


As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to electrify the automotive landscape, the importance of an efficient and accessible charging infrastructure has come into sharp focus. However, navigating the EV charging infrastructure, especially finding cost-effective or free charging solutions, can be challenging. In this guide, we'll take you on a journey through the landscape of free EV charging in Germany. We aim to help you keep your EV powered without spending a fortune.

The Elusive Quest for Free EV Charging: A Current Affair

Electricity prices are still high across Europe, and while they are slowly going back from the steep heights of 2022, it still makes it quite though to find free charging spots for electric vehicles (EVs) in Germany. The expanding infrastructure is commendable, but it's battling against these increasing electricity costs.

The German government has strongly supported the growth of the EV charging network. The result of this commitment is clear: charging stations are popping up all over the country. However, the continuous rise in electricity prices means free charging stations are becoming less common.

Still, with determination, there's a path to be found. Despite the challenges, new solutions and alternatives are cropping up in the world of EV charging. This promising progress within a tough landscape encourages us to discover the possibilities of free EV charging stations in Germany.

Free EV Charging Networks in Germany

In the electric mobility landscape, finding a free charging station nowadays is like to find an oasis in the desert. Though free stations are few and far between, they are still a valuable resource for EV owners. They help alleviate the costs of owning an EV. Here are where you can find one nowadays:

Hotel Networks:Numerous hotels across Germany, recognizing the growing prevalence of EVs among their guests, now offer complimentary charging facilities. This value-added service not only enhances guest satisfaction but also aids in their sustainability goals.

Shopping Malls and IKEA: Many shopping malls and retail giants like IKEA extend the convenience of free charging to their customers. Shopping or furnishing your home while your EV charges at no cost - a win-win scenario!

Autocenters:Certain autocenters in Germany provide free charging facilities, often to attract potential EV buyers or as a value-added service for their existing customers.

These networks, although not widespread, are a lifeline in the search for free EV charging stations in Germany. So, how do you locate these free charging opportunities? Mobile applications like the Chargemap app or PlugShare app provide comprehensive databases of charging stations in Germany and beyond and help you find the charging options best suited to your needs. Whether you're looking for fast chargers, available spots, or even free charging stations, those apps have got you covered.

Affordable Charging: The Alternatives to Free

As free EV charging becomes less common, affordable charging solutions are stepping in as practical alternatives. These include subscription-based charging plans and perks from automakers.

Charging Subscriptions: Several energy providers and charging network operators offer attractive subscription plans that can significantly reduce your charging costs. Among them, Elli's 'Drive Free' and 'Drive City' plans, EnBW, E.ON, and Maingau stand out with their competitive rates, with the latter offering charging from as low as 0,39 €/kWh. Shell's and ADAC's charging plans also provide cost-effective options for EV owners.

Perks from Automakers: Some car manufacturers provide their own charging cards or offer free charging as part of promotional incentives. Major players in this area include Tesla, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Hyundai.

By using these alternatives, you can keep your EV running smoothly without worrying about high charging costs.


Understanding the world of EV charging in Germany might seem hard at first, especially with the increasing electricity costs and fewer free charging options. However, the electric car world is always changing and new solutions are appearing to help EV owners with their charging needs.

From free charging stations at hotels, shopping centres, and auto centers to useful tools like the Chargemap app, we've found that free charging options, though limited, are still available. At the same time, affordable alternatives like subscription plans from energy providers and benefits from car manufacturers provide practical solutions for EV drivers who are mindful of their budget.

The move towards a fully electric future is still ongoing, and finding affordable charging solutions is crucial. As technology gets better and the EV market grows, we expect to see more innovations and services to make EV charging easier and cheaper for everyone.


Q1. Are there still free EV charging stations available in Germany?

Yes, there are still some free EV charging stations available in Germany. They can be found in various locations including hotels, shopping centers, autocenters, and IKEA. However, the availability of free charging options is becoming rarer due to the rising cost of electricity.

Q2. How can I find free EV charging stations?

The Chargemap app is a useful tool for finding free EV charging stations in Germany. It offers a variety of filters to help you tailor your search according to your needs. Visit Chargemap or PlugShare to start exploring.

Q3. Are there affordable alternatives to free EV charging?

Yes, several affordable alternatives to free EV charging exist. These include charging subscription plans from energy providers like Elli, EnBW, E.ON, and Maingau, and charging cards offered by car manufacturers like Tesla, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Hyundai.

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