Energy tariffs: how to keep EV charging costs low
11th Oct 2019 Danny Morgan
Electric cars are cheaper to run and “fuel”, no question. But did you know you can lower the cost of charging your EV even further by switching your energy tariff? We show you how.
The running costs of an EV are much lower than the petrol or diesel equivalent. This is because of a number of factors, including:
- Electricity is cheaper than fuel (a lot cheaper)
- Electric cars are more efficient than a petrol or diesel car
- EVs require less maintenance (fewer parts to go wrong)
From the get-go, you could halve your “fuel” costs depending on the electric car and your electricity rate. This is the bit we want to talk to you about because your electricity rate is the main variable cost when it comes to charging your EV – but it’s a cost you can largely control.
Why change electricity supplier?
It’s much more common to switch things up nowadays, from banks to broadband and travel insurance to tariffs. Your electricity tariff is no different – in fact, there are already a range of tariffs that suit overnight car charging very nicely (such as Economy 7), but there are also an increasing number of EV-specific tariffs.
The main reason to switch is to drive down your car running costs even further. It’s a no-brainer.
Electricity tariffs for electric cars
You can see some examples of energy tariffs for electric cars below, but the general idea is to offer a cheaper electricity rate at the times drivers are likely to charge their electric car.
This is most commonly overnight when you’re asleep and the car isn’t doing anything, plus electricity demand is low. This means energy suppliers can often offer much cheaper rates between the hours of midnight and 4am, for example.
There are a number of options to suit your needs though.
Which energy tariffs are good for electric car owners?
There are plenty of tariffs around, so it’s best to do your own research and choose a package that suits your lifestyle. However, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular and best-value tariffs for electric vehicles (EV).
Octopus Energy is perhaps the most well-known supplier in the UK EV world because it was one of the first to offer a flexible tariff aimed at drivers of electric cars. It also has a reputation for good customer service, while its electricity comes from 100% renewable sources.
Octopus offers two main choices when it comes to electric cars:
- 4 hours super off-peak electricity every night
- 5p/kWh between the hours of 12:30 and 4:30am
- This is probably the simplest smart tariff Octopus offer
- Half hourly electricity prices that update daily based on the wholesale cost
- Save money by moving your energy use outside peak demand hours of 4-7pm
- This tariff means electricity prices change every half hour – sometimes they will be very low and other times higher
- Good for those who want the cheapest rates across the day without waiting until midnight.
- Works perfectly with the Ohme Intelligent Wall Charger, which will work with the agileOctopus tariff and automatically charge your car at the cheapest rates.
EDF Energy are an established supplier, but it has perhaps released one of the most interesting electricity tariffs available for EV owners.
The GoElectric tariffs offers half-price electricity at 8p per kWh. It’s not the cheapest rate on the market overall, but the rate is available for 98 hours of the week meaning more off-peak hours than any other provider. And the best thing? It applies all weekend too, which means you don’t have to wait for a cheap overnight rate.
- EDF GoElectric
- Half-price off-peak electricity for your home and car
- 8p/kWh from 9pm-7am on weekdays and all weekend
- Benefits your home as well as your car
- 100% renewable energy
- Simple rates and schedules
Tonik promise to deliver 100% renewable energy to your home, as well as offering a range of tariffs and products, including solar panels and smart meters.
Tonik also offers an EV tariff designed with electric car drivers in mind.
- Tonik EV Tariff
- 1-year fixed tariff
- Available as a standard or Economy 7 tariff
- 2,500 “free” EV miles
Despite being one of the biggest and oldest suppliers, British Gas offer a competitive deal for EV drivers. The Electric Drivers Energy Plan offers cheaper rates between midnight and 5am.
- Electric Drivers Energy Plan Sep 2021
- Lower price at night for charging
- Lock in price until September 2021
- Off-peak rates between midnight and 5am
- No exit fee
Offering 100% renewable energy without “greenwashing”, Good Energy has been around since 1999. Good Energy sources its energy from 1,400 different UK locations including solar and wind sites, so it’s a good choice for the environmentally conscious.
- Good Energy EV Tariff
- Fixed tariff until May 2021
- 16.45p/kWh (as of 11.10.2019)
- Save up to £80 a year compared to standard variable tariff
OVO is one of the newer energy kids on the block, but has rapidly grown to become one of the “big six”.
- OVO EV Everywhere
- 2-year fixed plan
- 100% green energy
- Works with Economy 7