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EV rentals in Germany -- What apps / charging networks?

EV rentals in Germany -- What apps / charging networks?

Old Feb 25, 2024, 12:38 pm
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EV rentals in Germany -- What apps / charging networks?

I am looking at booking rental cars for an upcoming trip. I am seeing more and more EVs offered. I am an EV driver in the US, so I am generally familiar and comfortable with charging my vehicle at various DC and L2 chargers, and I have NFC cards and apps for the various charging networks I am likely to come across in the US.

When driving in Germany, I have seen chargers at Autobahn rest areas and city parking areas, but I haven't really paid much attention to the brands. If I rented a Tesla, I know I could likely just rely on the Supercharger network in most areas. But what other networks should I get apps (or NFC cards?) for? Do chargers accept US credit cards? Do the apps accept US credit cards? Any other advice?
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
I am looking at booking rental cars for an upcoming trip. I am seeing more and more EVs offered. I am an EV driver in the US, so I am generally familiar and comfortable with charging my vehicle at various DC and L2 chargers, and I have NFC cards and apps for the various charging networks I am likely to come across in the US.

When driving in Germany, I have seen chargers at Autobahn rest areas and city parking areas, but I haven't really paid much attention to the brands. If I rented a Tesla, I know I could likely just rely on the Supercharger network in most areas. But what other networks should I get apps (or NFC cards?) for? Do chargers accept US credit cards? Do the apps accept US credit cards? Any other advice?
ADAC (German AAA) is issued free of charge and gives a discount on most charging points (not on the ionity superchargers, those are still 0.79/kwh), but you have to join as a member: https://www.adac.de/rund-ums-fahrzeu...ote/ladekarte/

You can charge at ALDI supermarkets aound the country at low rates ( 0.29/kwh AC / 0.39/kwh DC) and pay by credit card, but you have to go to an ALDI car park, and they're not fast chargers (11/22 normally)

https://topladekarten.de/ have a nice comparison tool (select "Keine monatlichen Kosten" i.e. "no monthly fees" as a filter).
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 12:47 am
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Sixt gave me a blank Shell recharge card when I rented a tesla with them last year. I set up an account in the app and associated the card to it. I have it with me in case I need it, their network is pretty decent. Most charging stations also sport a QR code you can scan to pay for the charge on their native website. Sometimes the rate is a bit lower, sometimes significantly higher for some reason.

https://shellrecharge.com/en-us/solutions
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Old Feb 28, 2024, 11:40 am
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As a member of the ADAC, I have the EnBW card, and also use a Shell Card. The most charging station of one network are also accessible by the other card.

Hertz has a Shell Charge Card attached to the car key which you can use. The costs are charged to your credit card after you returned the car. Sixt has a similar system. You can use in both cases also your own card.
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 1:14 pm
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So I have now two Shell Recharge apps on my phone. Same icon, different apps. Very smart. One app is for the US, and I have used it in the past over here. It doesn’t seem to see any European chargers, so I don’t think my account with that app can be used in Germany. The second app doesn’t accept my US account credentials, and I can’t create a separate account since it won’t accept a US phone number, only an assortment of European country codes. Stupid, stupid.

The EnBW Mobility+ app doesn’t seem to be available in US app stores (iOS or Android).

Last edited by notquiteaff; Mar 4, 2024 at 1:20 pm
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Old Apr 1, 2024, 3:25 pm
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I'm in the same boat. I checked my ChargePoint app and it shows charging stations in Cologne so I'm assuming I can use it throughout Germany. If I decide to rent an EV I'll call ChargePoint to confirm. The only negative is I was looking forward to driving a stick shift for a couple of weeks.
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Old Apr 1, 2024, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Uh Clem
The only negative is I was looking forward to driving a stick shift for a couple of weeks.
There are actually hardly any of these left at the rental car companies, and if there are, they are usually only the small engines in small cars.
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Old Apr 2, 2024, 9:51 am
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I had booked an Europcar EV, and they sent me a pre-rental email about registering for a Shell Recharge account. So I reached out to Shell ReCharge and asked how exactly I could do that. Answer: without a German phone number you can’t use the app.

“Leider knnen Sie kein Konto erstellen, da Ihr Handy in US registriert ist und die Shell Recharge App kann nur in europischen Lndern genutzt werden.”

Sorry to be blunt but that is an idiotic restriction.

I ended up cancelling the rental car (the train driver strikes had ended, so I took an electric train instead) and registered for a Shell Recharge account with the mobile number of a German friend. As far as I can tell so far, the number isn’t actually used. I put in one of my US credit cards (accepted) and asked for an NFC card to be mailed to my friend’s address, to be picked up next time.
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