BERLIN, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The pricing structure of electricity for electric cars was still chaotic and lacked transparency, according to a research by the German product tester Stiftung Warentest published on Tuesday.
In many cases, customers in Germany do not know in advance how much the kilowatt hour (kWh) would cost, according to Stiftung Warentest. Many charging stations in Germany did not have a display showing the total amount.
Instead of billing by price per kWh, some operators are just charging a fixed monthly fee while others are billing per minute when the car is being recharged.
As an empty battery draws power faster than an almost full one, and because of different capacities of the cars internal chargers, there would be significant differences in how much electricity the car is charging per minute.
According to Stiftung Warentest, a small car that is billed per minute would draw less electricity, and thus pay more for each kWh, than a large off-road vehicle at the same time.
Also, many charging stations in Germany would require registration before re-charging.
In order to have a large number of possible charging stations, the German product tester note that "it makes sense to register with several networks" but criticize that drivers of electric cars in Germany have to travel "with half a dozen cards, tokens, chips and apps."
According to Stiftung Warentest, the vast majority of the "approximately 17,500 charging stations" work with alternating current where charging often takes several hours.
Fast direct current (DC) charging stations which are mainly located at motorway service areas in Germany, on the other hand, are particularly expensive.
The German car manufacturers VW, Daimler, BMW and Ford set up Ionity to build a European-wide network of 400 charging columns with an output of up to 350 kW over the next few years. This would enable car batteries to charge 80 percent in 15 to 20 minutes, according to Stiftung Warentest.
Of the 400 charging stations, 111 are already built while another 50 are in construction.