In addition to budget-saving home charging, it is usually much cheaper to plug your electric vehicle into a public charging point than to tank up at the petrol station. What’s more, many charging points around the country are free of charge. Where and how can you find them? Here are a few tips to help you cut back on your charging bills.
Use Chargemap to filter free charging stations
Chargemap is your best ally for gaining an overview of all the free charging points available in Europe. All you have to do is go into the filters and activate “Free stations only”. You can fine-tune your search by filtering charge points according to the connector type, power rating and many other parameters.
There is a detailed screen for each charging pool giving key information about access, connectors etc. The Community tab gives you useful feedback from other drivers who have topped up there. Don’t forget to consult it before charging so that you don’t miss out on any helpful hints and avoid unpleasant surprises.
Go to Chargemap app to locate the free charging points closest to your home and everywhere in Europe!
Charging your EV for free in retailing car parks
Whether you’re off for your weekly shop or going on a quick spending spree, many major retailers offer EV charging facilities – sometimes for free. Now that’s a convenient, time-saving solution!
Free charging points in supermarket car parks
Today, many supermarkets provide access to charging facilities in their car parks. It’s easy to spot them as they are clearly signposted and mapped out by markings on the ground.
You can easily check access information and consult feedback from other EV drivers directly on your Chargemap app.
For example, here is a non-exhaustive list of supermarkets offering free charging stations in the UK/Europe:
In the UK, the charging network Pod Point operates most free charge points in supermarket car parks.
Other retailers offering free charging
Supermarkets are not the only stores to cater for the charging needs of EV drivers. In some countries, such as France, Germany and Belgium, you can browse around Ikea while charging your EV for free.
Ikea provides free access to both fast (between 11 and 22 kW AC) and rapid charging stations (up to 50 kW DC).
Please note that some shopping centres, cinemas and other venues may offer this type of service to their customers. So think about finding out before going out 😉
Charging your electric vehicle for free at your car dealer
With the massive surge in the range of EVs and PHEVs on offer, carmakers and car dealers are providing free charging stations for their customers. Carmakers include:
- Volkswagen Group
- 9 makes: Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Cupra, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda and Seat
- Owners of EVs produced by the group’s 9 companies have access to free charging at car dealers selling these makes!
- Mercedes Benz
As with the major retailers, the terms for accessing and using these facilities can vary from one dealer to the next.
Free charging stations in streets and public car parks
You may also come across free charging stations in towns and cities that are keen to promote e-mobility. Most of these charging points are located in public car parks and more rarely in streets. Generally speaking, it doesn’t cost anything to park in a place reserved for charging EVs.
The percentage of free charging points varies considerably from one country to the next. For example, the national Scottish network ChargePlace Scotland offers free charging at a broad selection of its charging points.
Free charging points in hotels and restaurants
More and more hotels and restaurants are now offering their customers a charging service. It’s usually free, but it’s a good idea to check this out beforehand.
If you are going on holiday with your EV, this may be a key criterion when selecting your hotel accommodation and restaurants during your travels. You can set off on a day trip and make full use of the charging facilities while you lunch or dine or when you chill out at your hotel.
For Tesla owners, topping up at Tesla Destination Charging charge points located at hotels, restaurants and in car parks is usually free.
Locate free charging stations in your vicinity and around Europe,