Charging current - Is an electricity tariff for the electric car worthwhile?

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Emission-free travel - that is becoming increasingly attractive for many people. But is that as easy as filling up your e-car at home? Won't the costs explode, especially if you've opted for green electricity at home? One solution is special charging rates for charging your electric car at your own wallbox. In this article, we explain how you can reduce the electricity costs for your electric car, what this means for your electricity meter, and how you can keep an eye on your electricity consumption.


Contribution graphic on how a charging current meter works for mobile view part 1
Contribution graphic charging current function electricity meter

The first key decision starts with the meter: depending on the provider and the electricity tariff, the consumption of the e-car is billed via the same electricity meter as the rest of the house or separately. Especially if you also use your e-vehicle is also used for business, it's worth installing an extra meter once, so you can tell your boss exactly how much energy you charged for the company car. Another option is billing via app, such as the solution from wallbox manufacturer Mennekes.


separate electricity meter but also results in extra costs, e.g. due to a base price charged by the energy provider. As you will see in the next section, however, the additional costs are amortized after a certain annual mileage.

What does an electricity meter for an electric car cost?


An additional electricity meter for the charging current is usually covered by the provider's basic price. However, costs may be incurred if the meter cabinet has to be converted for the installation of a new device. This is the case if there is no longer a free meter field available. Costs of 1,000 - 2,000 euros must be expected for this.


Contribution graphic charging current comparison electricity meter

Today, a distinction is made between three electricity meters:

  1. Electronic meter without control: You will find this in most households and is the usual modern metering device.

  2. Electronic meter with control: A meter with control can be regulated by the grid operator, e.g. by limiting time and power.

  3. Electronic meter with gateway and control box: Often called a smart meter, such an electricity meter enables extensive evaluations and control of smart homes, but is still rarely installed at present.


For special charging tariffs, the charging device must be registered as a controllable consumption device (in accordance with §14a EnWG). This gives the grid operator the option of controlling the charging system in a way that serves the grid. In return, you will receive reduced prices as a user of charging current. However, depending on the grid operator, a time switch or a broadcast control receiver is sufficient for a controllable charging device. The installation is carried out by the network operator.

As we mentioned in the article on Bidirectional Charging the hurdles to full-scale control of electricity producers such as wind or solar power plants right down to the individual household are still a long way off. Grid operators such as "SachsenNetze" therefore set times, for example, based on the usual grid load, when charging power is reduced to relieve the load on the grid.


Depending on the charging current provider and the needs of the e-car owner, it may make sense to install a wallbox with an integrated electricity meter. But be careful: special charging tariffs require separate circuits for household and charging electricity. Be sure to talk to your electricity provider beforehand about whether installing your own electricity meter or a wallbox with MID meter is right for you.

Does a wallbox have an electricity meter?

Not every wallbox has an electricity meter - and not every wallbox needs one. An MID electricity meter can determine the electricity consumption of the wallbox independently of the rest of the household and is calibrated ex works. Models with electricity meters are available from many manufacturers, such as Volkswagen or Keba.

A wallbox with integrated MID electricity meter is particularly popular in apartment buildings. In this way, individual consumptions can be precisely accounted for the respective charging point and documented, for example, for the tax office. If you also use your electric car for business purposes, you should talk to your tax office or tax advisor about what documentation is required. Use cases for a wallbox with integrated electricity meter can be, for example:
  • Targeted recording of consumption for e.g. company cars
  • Wallbox sharing with friends and neighbours


As the two illustrations in the first section show, the electricity comes in principle from the same household connection and the same grid. However, distribution is then separated: one electricity meter measures the consumption of the household, one that of the e-car. This infrastructure can also be worthwhile for personal routes. There are often special Electricity products for electric carsThis is charging electricity that is only intended for charging the e-car and is then also particularly favorable. This means that up to 25 percent less costs are possible compared to normal household electricity. For this to work, however, household and charging electricity need separate circuits and you need individual electricity meters at home - namely an electronic meter with a timer in accordance with §14a EnWG for charging the charging electricity. A calculation example illustrates this. For comparison, each vehicle drives 15,000 kilometers a year.
Variant 1Variant 2Variant 3
E-car with 20 kWh consumption per 100 km,
exemplary green car electricity tariff
E-car with 20 kWh consumption per 100 km,
Green electricity tariff for the whole house
Diesel car with 6 liters of consumption per 100 kilometers
Consumption price: 28.93 ct/kWh gross
Base price: 73,53 €/year gross

Consumption price: 36.90 ct/kWh gross
Base price: 103,24 €
Diesel price 1,50 Euro/liter
No base price
Annual cost: 941,43 €
Price per 100 km: 6,27 €

Annual cost: 1210,24 €
Price per 100 km: 8,07 €
Annual cost: 1350 €
Price per 100 km: 9,00 €

This calculation was based on a fuel-efficient diesel vehicle and an average current fuel price. A consumption of 7 liters per 100 kilometers would increase the annual costs for diesel refueling alone to around 1,575 euros. Irrespective of this, there are further expenses that an electric car does not currently incur or incurs to a lesser extent: vehicle tax, maintenance costs and even cheaper insurance. Due to the currently valid environmental bonus from the German government the purchase prices and leasing rates for e-cars continue to be subsidized by the state.


The prerequisite for a separate charging tariff is usually the separation of the electrical circuits: one for the household, one for charging. An electrician must therefore install a separate electricity meter and, if necessary, expand the meter cabinet. Then there is a wallbox, which can cost between 700 and 2,000 euros depending on requirements. charging current is the best way to ensure that the expense is amortized as quickly as possible.

Advantages and disadvantages of charging current via a separate electricity meter

- Higher installation costs
- Manageable additional costs due to own electricity meter
- Cost savings of over 20 per cent on the electricity price are worthwhile due to the costs for an additional meter compared to the household electricity tariff from approx. 7,000 km of driving per year (excl. meter cabinet extension, etc.).
- Electricity consumption for electric car can be delimited separately


Das Rechenbeispiel lässt vermuten, dass für alle Fahrerinnen und Fahrer ein eigener Tarif für den Ladestrom sinnvoll ist. Gerade für Wenigfahrer (<7.000 km p.a.) und für diejenigen, die ihr E-Auto nur privat und nicht gewerblich oder beruflich nutzen, ist jedoch häufig kein eigener Stromzähler und Tarif vonnöten. Die regional electricity providers are the ideal contact and can calculate exactly which constellation makes the most sense and is the most cost-effective for your purposes.

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How much does it cost to charge an e-car at home?


Charging at home saves time, money and nerves. The costs range from a small advantage over diesel cars (green electricity) to 20 percent or more savings with special charging rates compared with standard electricity products. For every 100 kilometers driven, the average cost is between 4 and 6 euros.


The regional electricity providers usually work very closely with the owner of the local power grid, so that an inspection of a wallbox or the connected load at the household connection can be carried out easily. To ensure that nothing goes wrong when switching to an e-car and charging current, you should not take any risks thanks to the support of competent advisors from the energy provider. In this way, you can also benefit from a more personal service that does not require long journeys.


More and more electricity providers have their own charging tariff to choose from. But are all offers suitable for you? When making your decision, pay attention to the following Criteria:

Of course, there is not only one provider that meets the preceding criteria. An example could be the tariff Dresdner.Emobil.Basis from DREWAG, which meets most of the previous criteria.


When choosing your electricity tariff for your electric car, you should also take into account that you can only really drive emission-free if the energy is generated from renewable sources. Many energy providers, such as SachsenEnergie AG, recommend green electricity for e-car charging - so you're not only doing something for your wallet, but also for the environment. The tariff mentioned above Dresdner.Emobil.Basis for example, comes 100 percent from renewable energy sources.


For public charging, it's best to combine your charging rate with a charging card or an app, such as the SachsenEnergie StromTanken app. This way, you can keep a close eye on your consumption on the road and get a quicker overview of different providers and prices. With a consumption of 20 kWh, 100 kilometers cost around 8 euros when charging at SachsenEnergie charging stations. That's still more expensive than using a charging rate at home, but it's still cheaper than using conventional fuels.

A contribution by Marcel Duparré

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