Electromobility: Charging your electric car while shopping is becoming increasingly rare for free

Electromobility: Charging your electric car while shopping is becoming increasingly rare for free

The number of charging options in retail store parking lots has increased significantly. However, free customer service is no longer available in many places.

Free charging of your electric car when shopping? This is practical, but is becoming increasingly rare. 76 percent of retail companies in Germany charge the charging process as normal, only 4 percent offer it free of charge to all consumers and 7 percent to their customers.

This emerges from a study by the Cologne retail research institute EHI. In a survey conducted in 2021, the picture was different: At that time, charging was free at 29 percent of retail chains, while at 12 percent only customers received electricity for free. Only just under one in three companies charged the normal tariff.

“The infrastructure on the retail parking lots has changed significantly since 2019,” said EHI energy expert Cathrin Klitzsch. Today’s common DC charging technology is more expensive for retailers, and there is now significantly higher demand for charging current. “The sharp rise in energy costs has also led to retailers passing on the costs of charging electricity to their customers,” said Klitzsch. In many places, customers can still charge their cars at a reduced price. According to EHI, this was possible for every tenth dealer in 2024.

The proportion of companies that offer their customers the option to charge has increased significantly in recent years. 75 percent of retailers had installed charging stations in February 2024, and 13 percent plan to do so in the future. Dealers are legally obliged to offer charging options in newly built or modernized buildings with a certain number of parking spaces. This obligation applies to existing buildings from 2025 if the parking lot has more than 20 spaces.

Source: Stern

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