The Lidl retail chain has been offering free electric car charging at selected stores for five years. Due to rising electricity prices and the growing number of electric cars, however, the free energy top-up offer is ending, informs the website fDrive.
While until now it was enough to drive to the charger and connect the cable to the appropriate connector, now it will not be so simple. On the pagededicated to electric mobility, Lidl describes the procedure, which also includes payment by credit card. During August, all charging stations will be modified to offer only paid charging.
Twilight of free charging
Registration will not be required to start charging. “You authorize the start of charging with the payment card in your mobile phone on the website of the payment solution provider, by agreeing to the price for 1 kWh and the minimum payment, and by specifying the e-mail address for sending the invoice.” reported by Lidl. The option to pay for electric car charging will eventually be integrated directly into the mobile customer application.
The chain took this decidedly unpopular step after some EV owners charged their vehicle batteries for several hours. They blocked the place for customers who came to the store to buy.
“Over the course of five years, there has been an increase in the number of electric cars and thus an increase in charging prices at public charging stations. Of course, this move led to EV drivers using our charging stations, which had been free until now, more and more, even when they weren’t shopping with us. There were often situations where our customers lost the benefit of combining shopping in a store and recharging an electric car, as the charging stations were permanently occupied.” said Lidl press spokesman Tomáš Myler.
The official site does not indicate the price at which it will be possible to charge. You will only read on them: “You will see and agree to the current charging price per 1 kWh and the minimum payment for the selected charging connector before authorizing the payment and starting the charging process.”
Current prices are according to iDnes lower than most operators of public charging stations. In the case of slower AC charging, the customer will pay 5.90 crowns per kilowatt hourwhen using direct current, the price is 6.90 crowns per kilowatt hour. It can be assumed that prices will change with respect to the development of electricity prices.
Lidl started operation of the first charging station on August 1, 2017 at the store in Barrandov, Prague. Since then, he has installed forty charging stands in the parking lots of his stores. Depending on the location requirements and the possibilities of the technical infrastructure, it offers charging from 10 to 50 kW.