User opinions on payment methods in the public charging infrastructure 2021


On the 23.09. there is a debate in the German Bundestag about the Amendment of the charging station ordinance . The central topic is contactless ad-hoc payment at public charging stations. But how do the e-car drivers see it? Does paying by debit / credit card or smartphone really solve all the problems? What are the advantages and disadvantages compared to the usual payment methods?

USCALE asked almost 500 e-car drivers in detail about paying at public charging stations and about their view of the following five payment methods: charging app, charging card, plug & charge, ad-hoc smartphone and ad-hoc EC / credit card.

User opinions on payment methods 1

Ad-hoc payment as an important back-up solution

On the one hand give only 11% of those surveyed at that she at the Favorite pay ad hoc would. This means that the payment method is well behind Plug & Charge (55%), charging card and charging app (17% each).

The subdued rating for ad hoc is due to the Disadvantages : e-car drivers fear strongly varying prices and the lack of cost transparency and control. In addition, there is a cumbersome PIN entry when paying with EC / credit cards or directly with the smartphone.

On the other hand, the participants in the study already value the ad-hoc payment method as an important backup solution. The elimination of the necessary registration as well as the familiarity and reliability of payment by debit or credit card are the big ones Plus points of ad hoc payment.

Best practice implementation for ad-hoc payments:
Well visible and clear price indication

Plug & Charge, charging cards and charging apps also have serious disadvantages

User opinions on payment methods 3

Many study participants mainly complain about this Cost transparency when paying by charge card and Plug & Charge. 30% of the respondents are rather dissatisfied, 27% are even very dissatisfied with the transparency of the prices. Only paying with a charging app scores in terms of transparency.

Paying by charging app and smartphone (ad-hoc) suffers in particular from the poor network coverage in Germany.

In addition, the respondents complain when paying by charging card and Plug & Charge technical unreliability as well as the limited availability with the Plug & Charge payment method.

“As of today, no payment method is convincing. Ad-hoc is not perfect either, but it does solve some of the problems associated with other payment methods. Whether ad hoc remains relevant as a payment method in the long term or required as a back-up depends on whether the other methods solve your problems. “

Dr. Axel Sprenger (Managing Director USCALE)

UScale focus studies: User studies on electromobility

Since 2018, UScale has been systematically surveying e-car drivers about their expectations and experiences at all touchpoints of the e-mobile customer journey. For more information on the UScale focus studies, please see HERE.

For more information on the methodology and content of the Public Charging Payment Method study, please click HERE.

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