What is an EV charging card and how to get one

Having an EV charging card makes topping up your electric car easy. With the Plugsurfing charging card, you can just tap your card at the charger and let the energy flow.

This guide will explain how an EV charging card works, why to use one, and where to order this indispensable piece of plastic.

An EV charge card is a convenient and reliable way to charge your electric car

What is an RFID EV charging card?

An electric vehicle charging card is a specialized card that works with RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology. It offers electric vehicle drivers a convenient way to access public charging.

With a top-notch charging provider like Plugsurfing, you can access hundreds of thousands of charge points with a single charging card.

All you need to do is order a charging card in your Plugsurfing app and activate it. After that, you can tap your card at any charging location in the Plugsurfing app to charge your car.

Why use a charging card?

You may wonder why you need a separate charging card if you already have a charging app. Why not just use the app to charge your car?

The main reason to have a charging card is reliability. Due to technological limitations, some locations don’t let you charge with your charging app. Sure, the Plugsurfing app lets you filter out chargers that only work with the card. But when using a charging card, you can access any of the 600,000+ charge points shown on the map.

Plugsurfing app + charging card — an unbeatable combo

Because you can access the vast majority of public chargers in Europe, a charging card works great on its own. You just tap your card on an unoccupied charger, connect the charging cable, and start charging. To stop a charging session, tap your card again.

But when you use your charging card with the Plugsurfing app, finding chargers and monitoring your ongoing charging session becomes even easier:

  • Filter chargers on the map, based on charging speed, plug type, and operator
  • Find chargers on your way and optimize your route for charging
  • Check the prices and popular times at a charging location
  • See how long you’ve charged

How to order a Plugsurfing charging card?

Order a charging card and activate it by entering the ID number on the back

You can order your Plugsurfing charging card in your Plugsurfing app. You can choose between two convenient versions:

  • The card model is the size of a standard credit card, fitting perfectly in your wallet
  • The keychain version is more compact, and can be added to your keyring

The charging card takes approximately 10 to 15 business days to arrive. Once it’s there, you’ll need to activate it in the Plugsurfing app.


Frequently asked questions about charging cards

Do I need a charging card to charge my EV?

Not necessarily. The Plugsurfing charging app alone gives you access to hundreds of thousands of chargers across Europe. However, the charging card is a more reliable way to start a charging session. Some charge points don’t support charging with the app, and at those locations, you do need a charging card.

What does RFID mean?

RFID or Radio-Frequency Identification automatically identifies and tracks tags attached to objects. Charge points have an RFID reader, and your charging card has an RFID tag.

When you scan your charging card at the charger’s RFID reader, it’ll recognize your unique card, giving you access to that charger.

How many charge points can I access with my card?

At the time of writing, Plugsurfing has more than 600,000 charge points in its network. You can access all of them with your charging card.

How do I get an RFID card for EV charging?

You can order one in the Plugsurfing app:

  1. Go to the Account tab and click on Get a charging card under Store
  2. Choose your card type and add it to your cart
  3. Enter your delivery address and payment method, and place your order
  4. The card will arrive in approximately 10 to 15 business days

How much does an EV charging card cost?

The Plugsurfing charging card costs €9.95. The price includes shipping and VAT. If you’re paying using another currency, you’ll see the price in the Plugsurfing app when ordering your card

How do I activate my charging card?

Once your charging card arrives, you’ll need to activate it. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it.

  1. Go to the Account tab of the Plugsurfing app
  2. Click on Charging cards under Account
  3. Click Activate charging card
  4. Enter the ID code printed on the back of your charging card

How do I use the Plugsurfing charge card?

Here’s how you’ll charge in public using the Plugsurfing charging card:

  1. Find. You can find all chargers supporting the Plugsurfing charging card in the Plugsurfing app
  2. Connect. Once you’re parked next to a charger, connect your car to it with a charging cable
  3. Charge. Tap your charging key to the charger’s RFID reader to start charging
  4. Stop. When you want to stop charging, tap your key again, and disconnect the charging cable.

How do I pay for charging with my card?

Your charging card is connected to the payment method you’ve entered into the charging app.

In the Plugsurfing app, you can add multiple debit and credit cards, and choose which one is connected to your charging card. This is especially handy if you have multiple charging cards and many people charging with the same account.

Where do I see the charging tariffs?

Before charging, you can check the up-to-date prices in the Plugsurfing app. Pay attention to which charge point you’re using. A single charging location may have both AC and DC chargers with different rates for different charging speeds.

In Germany, we’re using a flat rate model with 4 different pricing tiers. For charging tariffs in Germany, check out our FAQ page on pricing information.