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Cutting the cost of EV charging

 Published 29th April 2022
General Guides  Low Emission Vehicles 

The government has recently announced a £1.6 billion investment to increase the nationwide EV charging network to 300,000 chargepoints by 2030. That's a tenfold increase on the current 30,000, which is great news for the future of public charging, but the real benefits of an electric vehicle can be exploited much closer to home.

The government is planning to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and this move is intended to ease concerns that there will be a shortage of charging points as more EVs take to the roads. The Government's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy is intended “to make charging easier and cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel car”. Drivers of EVs will be able to pay by contactless, compare charging prices, and use apps to locate chargepoints.

Two thirds of motorists say they would consider an EV due to the lower running costs, so knowing that they will be able to charge up as easily as they can fuel up could make a huge difference. But in reality the biggest savings can be gained by installing a home charger and using that charger at the right times.

The benefits of a home charger

According to a recent survey by Smart Home Charge, the UK's leading home charging retailer and installer, almost half of electric vehicle drivers could be missing out on cheaper off-peak electricity costs at home. The results show that 46% of all respondents are using a standard electricity rate for their home charging needs rather than a cheaper off-peak rate. On the plus side, around 57% of those surveyed are making use of time scheduling to charge their vehicles at times when electricity is cheaper, typically overnight.

With the rising cost of utility bills, it's more important than ever to be clever with your charging schedule.

We do understand that some people may only have access to a standard tariff through their energy supplier and don't have the option of an off-peak rate. For various reasons there will also be others who simply don't have the possibility of charging their EV at home – if you live in a block of flats, for example. It is clear that many EV owners are missing out on the potential savings from using off-peak electricity rates to charge their vehicles at home though.

Whether you already drive an EV or you're thinking of making the switch to leasing an EV, our advice would be to find an energy tariff designed for electric car charging at home to help keep the charging costs as low as possible.

Utility providers such as Octopus Energy offer smart tariffs specifically designed for charging EVs. Super cheap electricity between 00:30 - 04:30 every night means you can charge your EV overnight for a fraction of the cost of a regular tariff. Filling up your battery using the right tariff could keep your running costs down to around 2p per mile, compared to the 15-20p per mile using traditional fuels. These specially designed tariffs are on average approximately half the price of typical Economy 7 overnight rates so there are big savings to be made.

There's no doubt that choosing an EV, while it may appear more expensive on a monthly rental, is definitely the way to go in terms of cheaper motoring costs. But that's only half the story. Installing a home charger and making sure you're on the right tariff is where more savings are to be found.

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