Charge your electric car for free

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to charge your electric car for free while you do your shopping?? This is very easy to do at various supermarket chains and other retailers in germany and austria. In our article, we explain all the details of how you can charge your e-car for free at aldi, hofer, kaufland and lidl!

The most important facts at a glance

  • There are numerous free charging options for e-car drivers. You can significantly reduce your running costs.
  • In germany and austria, you can charge for free, especially at supermarket chains. For example, lidl, aldi, hofer and kaufland offer free charging stations.
  • As a rule, you need a special app or. Charging card to be able to use the free charging offers.

In 2022, charging will still be a sticking point for most people when switching to electric cars, as the issue is perceived (mostly unjustifiably) as very complicated. But the possibilities for charging have increased rapidly in recent years: whether in the city centers or at the fast charging station on the highway, with the right app you can now easily find suitable charging stations in the area. Unfortunately, there is still a confusion of different tariffs. Often, a different rate even applies at the same charging station, depending on which app provider is used for charging.

What few electric car drivers know: charging is also completely free! For example, various well-known supermarket chains in germany and austria offer free charging options. But why is this even possible free of charge?? For supermarkets and customers, this can be a win-win situation: on the one hand, it attracts electric car drivers to the supermarkets. While the electric car is charging for free outside, one or the other will extend the shopping and put more than planned in the shopping cart. The free charging stations at the supermarket are "paid for" so you with your purchase at the respective chain. on the other hand, supermarkets give themselves a green image that can be marketed well. Often there are solar roofs on supermarkets away from the city center, whose electricity can be used directly for charging. By the way, in a similar win-win situation, you can also park for free in many cities.

If you would like to find out more about charging, we recommend our guide article on the basics of charging an e-car.

You are interested in charging card rates? In our big charging card comparison, we show you how to find the right provider for you.

Germanylidl has already installed charging stations at more than 300 locations across germany. Customers can charge for one hour free of charge while shopping. Since february 2021, this has required the company’s own app "echarge", which you can download free of charge for android or. Ios can download. You can find this in the well-known app stores under the name "lidl echarge" (ios, android). After registering in the app, you must select the tariff "lidl DE kostenlos aufladen" select and activate the charging station via a QR code or the app. The app also offers other useful features such as showing the amount of CO2 saved. Lidl states that the electricity for its charging stations comes 100% from renewable energies. In some cases, the charging stations are even powered directly by solar systems installed on the roofs of the supermarkets.

Austria: in austria, customers can also charge for free while shopping at more than 50 lidl stores – and there are even plans to expand to around 60 locations by the end of 2021. The network of stores with free charging stations stretches from salzburg to vienna. Using the store finder, you can easily find all stores that have a charging station installed. lidl austria also states that it uses 100% green electricity for its charging stations.

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Kaufland, like lidl, belongs to the schwarz group, so the rules and the charging process are very similar. There are already charging stations at more than 100 Kaufland locations, with a charging capacity of up to 43 kW AC or. 50 kw DC can be charged. As with lidl, an app is absolutely necessary for the charging process. The app is called "kaufland echarge" and can be downloaded free of charge in the respective app-store (ios, android). The app offers additional practical functions, so you can e.g.B. Live see which charging stations are currently available throughout Germany, you can see the available plug types and the respective charging capacity. Important to know: the charging process is limited to one hour. Kaufland states that 100% green electricity is purchased for the charging columns.

You want to drive an e-car yourself?

No problem! With emiwa.De you can easily find rental cars with electric drive and compare offers. Experience the transformation to electromobility with us!


In austria, hofer offers free charging while shopping. The charging card is issued at the checkout in the supermarket until half an hour before closing time. hofer also claims to use only green electricity for charging. Via the store finder on hofer.At you can easily find stores with charging facilities, there is a corresponding filter function there. Stores with free charging stations can be found all over austria, from salzburg to vienna. Hofer cooperates with charging station provider ella. Outside opening hours, the charging stations can also be used – but then for a fee and via the ella app.

Aldi south

E-charging stations have now been set up at numerous aldi locations, some even with a charging capacity of up to 150 kw (fast charging function). The store finder makes it easy to find the locations. You don’t even need to register for the charging process. The maximum charging and parking time is 60 minutes. According to various media reports, the free charging option at aldi sud is not expected to last much longer. Aldi is investing heavily in the expansion of charging stations; according to media reports, payment terminals have already been spotted at the newer stations. Currently (as of 01/2022), however, free charging is still possible (tested by the editors themselves)!). Aldi also states that it supplies 100% green electricity to its charging stations.

Bio company

Organic food stores are also increasingly installing charging stations in their parking lots. The food retailer bio company, which has 64 stores in Germany, has already installed a few charging stations, which will be significantly expanded by 2022. On the homepage of bio company all addresses can be found. Typical for a biomarket, the electricity here also comes 100% from renewable sources.


The electronics market EURONICS now offers free charging options at 50 locations throughout Germany. The special thing: the charging period is not limited. All stores with charging stations are clearly displayed with their addresses and opening times on a specially created information page. This makes it easy to find the next market. Unfortunately, EURONICS does not specify the charging capacity of the individual charging stations. Emphasis is placed on the fact that the charging stations have all the usual connections.

Further free charging options

In addition to the large (supermarket) chains, there are also numerous free charging stations. Hotels, for example, often offer free charging for their customers, or smaller stores court customers in this way. The munich trade show, for example, also offers opportunities for free charging while visiting the trade show. To find such free charging stations, which do not belong to any large (supermarket) chain, we recommend either the websites chargeprice or Goingelectric or the app next plug.

Next plug and many other exciting apps are presented in detail in our article apps for e-car drivers!

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Christina Cherry
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