Which are the cheapest and greenest EV tariffs?
If you get an electric vehicle and have a driveway, it’s more than likely you’ll want to install a home charger. This means you can juice your car up as you sleep.
While some people may decide to leave their home charger linked to their current domestic supply, it’s unlikely to be cost effective. Charging your EV at home obviously increases your energy usage, so not shopping around can cost dearly.
While using electricity is typically far cheaper than using fossil fuels, according to the Citizens Advice, some people could be paying from £811 to £1,442 annually on charging their EV. What this shows is, there’s savings to be had.
As EV’s have grown in popularity over the last few years, a multitude of different energy tariffs, specifically for charging EVs, have been launched.
Often these special ‘EV tariffs’ work in tandem with a smart meter, home charger and mobile app. This means you can benefit from tariff optimisation (e.g. get cheaper rates during off-peak times), scheduling, and even use your own energy supply, such as from solar panels.
So, which is the best EV tariff?
It can be difficult to pick a tariff, not least as many energy companies make countless boasts, offers and discounts available to entice customers.
To help you, we’ve been through every single tariff available!
Here is my list of the cheapest and greenest EV energy tariffs available today (May 2021):
Octopus is probably the most popular EV tariff providers in the UK. And for good reason. The company offers two tariffs that can make life cheap.
The standard EV tariff is Octopus Go. It offers motorists 5p/kWh between 12:30am and 4:30am every night. Outside that, the rate is 13.33p/kWh.
Their other tariff is Octopus Agile, which offers customers cheaper rates when no one else is using the grid – this can be as low as 2p/kWh in some cases. Octopus provides people half hourly updates about when there is going to be a lower price and caps all rates at 35p/kWh. This process can save hundreds of pounds a year, but managing your charging to achieve the lowest price can be a lot of effort.
All Octopus Energy tariffs use 100% renewable electricity, which includes energy they’ve generated.
Not only are they investors in ZapMap, Good Energy also offers a competitive tariff. The cost to charge your car is 16.27p/kWh if Good Energy also supplies your home. However, if you have a smart meter, you can also benefit from an off-peak rate from 12.2p/kWh.
Though higher than some, Good Energy believes over the long-term this rate works out very affordable. Plus, later this year, the company is launching a tariff called ‘Zap Flash’, which will allow customers to charge for free during certain 4-hour windows. You can register your interest now.
Good Energy is 100% renewable and gets electricity from more than 1,600 independent generators.
Depending on where you live, EDF’s GoElectric tariff costs from just 13.75p per kWh all day. However, if you have a smart meter, you can pick one of two tariffs that offer off-peak rates.
The first is called GoElectric 35. It comes with five hours’ off-peak charging daily between 12am to 5am at a cost of just 4.5p/kWh. That’s among the cheapest rates around. During peak hours, the rate is 15.96p/kWh.
EDF also offers GoElectric 98. It comes with off-peak charging every weekday 9pm to 7am GMT and all weekend. It costs just 9p/kWh off-peak hours and from 18.06p/kWh during peak hours.
We can’t work out why they are called ‘35’ and ‘98’. EDF supplies 100% renewable energy.
While OVO’s off-peak rate might seem high at 10.33p/kWh, it’s worth keeping in mind that, compared to others, such as Octopus, this off-peak period lasts between 00:00-07:00 each day. And you can use it for a max 49 hours a week – compared to Octopus, which only offers 28 hours. So, if you only ever charge at night, this might be cost-effective.
The peak rate is 17.78p/kWh. All supplied by 100% renewable sources.
OVO’s tariff also comes with other goodies. If you have a Mini Electric, you can get 5,000 miles included. Plus, it comes with a free BP Pulse subscription, which normally costs £7.85 per month.
Later this year the company is launching OVO Drive Anytime. It means you’ll be able to charge your car for just 6p/kWh, at any time of the day.
E.ON offers motorists an off-peak rate of 11.55p/kWh. But it lasts between 12:30am and 7:30am each day. Plus, like OVO, you can use it for 49 hours per week. The peak rate is 21.91p/kWh.
E.ON doesn’t offer loads of free stuff but you will receive 850 bonus miles from them after six months. All energy supplied by E.ON is 100% renewable.
Ecotricity is a real green company that proudly boasts of being backed by groups like Friends of the Earth. Naturally, all their energy comes from 100% renewable sources – 20% of it comes from energy Ecotricity produces.
In terms of their rates, you can get an off-peak rate of 11.52p/kWh between 12:00am and 7:00am each day and a peak rate of 18.69p/kWh. Though, these vary depending on where you are. Customers also get half price at Ecotricity’s chargers based at motorway service stations, which could come in very handy.
Important note 1: All tariffs include a standard daily charge to ‘connect’ your EV to power. These vary from 15p up to 40p across different suppliers.
Important note 2: Tariff rates may change depending on where you live. All the tariffs used here are from suppliers and trusted sources.