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Public charging in Portugal

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2023 9:58 am
by potxotxo
Hi there!

I've seen there are some fellows here living in Portugal. I myself am planning a short trip to Aveiro and have done some research on how to charge the Born across the country. But what I found is pretty confusing: Apparently you have to pay for the KWh and additionally for the time you are connected to the station... I don't know, I'm not so sure. I downloaded the MIIO app and it seems to set a paying method by requesting my account IBAN/SWIFT instead of my credit card...

I would much appreciate if someone could gime a hand with this or just throw some Portugal public charging tips

Re: Public charging in Portugal

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2023 10:47 am
by mluisbrown
Hi potxotxo!

The charging infrastructure in Portugal is a bit different to the rest of Europe, which has advantages and disadvantages. Basically, all public chargers have to be part of the Mobi.E network, and then there are a bunch of different "service providers" that you actually have an account with. You can have an account with as many different providers as you like, or just use one or two. The cost of charging can vary depending on the providers. Mobi.E also get a small cut of all the charging payments.
Apparently you have to pay for the KWh and additionally for the time you are connected to the station
It depends on the charger. Usually the fast chargers have a time cost in addition to the kWh cost so that people don't charge for longer than necessary.

I was going to suggest using the MIIO app, as it's not only the easiest, but it also allows you to easily find any charger and allows charging by using the app instead of needing a physical card (although some chargers only work with a provider card, but you can tell MIIO to only show you the ones that don't need a card). MIIO also shows you the likely cost for a charge from 20-80% so you can get an idea beforehand.

You should be able to use MIIO in "pre-payment" mode where you can associate a credit card and top up balance on your MIIO account which you then use for charging. It only asks for bank account details if you set up contract where they just debit your charges and you don't have to worry about topping up your balance, but for a foreigner that's probably not even an option.

MIIO is the best app for finding chargers and also showing which are in use or not. That's the advantage of all chargers being part of a single network, that you get a single place where you can get all this information. The downside is that providers hate having to be part of this network (especially Ionity and Tesla) and this slows down the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Portugal. For example, Tesla Superchargers in Portugal are not open to other cars mainly for this reason, that they don't want to be part of the Mobi.E network.

Hope that helps.

Re: Public charging in Portugal

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2023 11:00 am
by potxotxo
WOW! What a comprehensive reply. Thank you SO much Luis, if find your answer very very helpful. Now that I know from a trusted source (you) that MIIO is the best option, I will study it throughly and use it for my next trip (Provided I get the Born first, of course. It is already in land pretty near my town, so I guess that will not be a problem)