Electric cars are on the rise: They are quiet, quick, clean – and comfortable because they are in their own garage refuel. But if you want that to happen quickly, you need one Wallbox. Because the “wall connection box” is more than just one External socket: It brings more power to the car. Batteries are – depending on their size – five– until ten times more quickly fully charged, as if you hooked the e-car to a normal mains socket. A wallbox is therefore always worthwhile!
But before your own electrical box hangs on the wall, a lot can go wrong. AUTO BILD reveals the seven biggest pitfalls when buying a wallbox!
1. Too thin cables
Axel Nieber is stunned: The man from Hamburg wanted to have a wallbox installed in his garage – but the cable cross-section is too narrow for the charging capacity! “A normal household power cable is too thin,” says his electrician Christian Schakulat. Risk of overheating! Many get it wrong: Ordered a wallbox, fetched a craftsman – and then you face a big bill! It costs around 120 euros per meter to lay such underground cables, says Schakulat. For Nieber’s own home it would be around 3600 euros! The hamburger would now like to forget the wallbox and drive gasoline again. Problem: His Mini Electric has already been ordered! “At the dealership they said I could charge the car from a normal socket,” said Nieber. But apart from the fact that the charging process dragged on there for twelve hours, there is again the risk of overheating: “Household sockets are not designed for such constant load,” says electrician Schakulat.
► Therefore: Before submitting an application (and preferably also before buying an electric car) you should ask your electrician for a cost estimate for the entire installation.
2. The application must be made BEFORE
There is funding for the purchase and installation of a wallbox: the federal government is giving up to 900 euros. The application for funding must be submitted directly to the state-owned KfW bank. And BEFORE buying the wallbox! Anyone who orders or buys the wallbox and then applies for funding looks into the tube. There is no money for systems that have already been ordered. Actually simple, but you have to know!
3. Not every wallbox receives funding
Attention, not every wallbox is funded. Anyone who orders a no-name model from the Internet can therefore remain seated on the costs. There are also other technical conditions for funding: The wallbox must be controllable. If necessary, it can be switched off by the power supplier so that there is no blackout (breakdown of the power supply). To do this, KfW tests every type of wallbox. TIP: All eligible models are on the official KfW list. So before you apply, see if your preferred box is included!
4. A green electricity contract is mandatory
A basic condition for the wallbox grant: The electric car has to be filled with 100 percent green electricity. This can be electricity from the green electricity tariff from an energy supplier – or from your own photovoltaic system. But if you do not use green electricity, you will not receive any funding! What if you haven’t switched to the green electricity tariff when you apply? The federal government is generous here: it is sufficient to provide evidence of a green electricity tariff as soon as you upload the bill from the wallbox manufacturer and electrician to the KfW portal. The delivery of electricity may also start later. Means: You may have to wait a few months before uploading – then the money will only come later.
5. The network operator must be informed
No matter how big your wallbox is: You must inform the network operator that you will be charging your electric car regularly from day X onwards. This can usually be done very easily online using the contact function on their website. ATTENTION: The network operator is not the same as the electricity supplier – you can change, but not the network operator. How to find out your network operator: A look at the annual bill or the electricity meter is enough. Mostly it is the local municipal utilities. Important: If you are planning a wallbox with 22 kW, the network operator must approve its use. However, a 22 kW box is also not funded.
6. Too affordable a price
Laughing, but still possible: There are wallboxes from around 400 euros, which are also subsidized. Anyone who also already has the preparation on site (e.g. because the house and garage are just being built) and obtained a “special rate” from their electrician friend (or even as a licensed electrician) may end up with a total cost of 899 euros – and will not promoted!
► So make sure that the sum of the expenses that you upload to KfW is at least 900 euros.
7. Customer parking spaces are excluded
Only wallboxes that are in the private sector, i.e. not publicly accessible, are funded. To do this, they must stand on private property that is only used by a limited group of people. Anyone who sets up a charging station in front of the building on the street, which is used, for example, by customers of his business or employees, does not receive KfW funding. It is different with apartment buildings: if you as the owner applies for wall boxes for your underground car park that your tenants use, you will receive the subsidy.