Get smart: EV drivers need to charge off-peak

46% of EV drivers are not using cheaper, off-peak charging, according to a recent survey, potentially negating the cost savings offered by electric vehicle technology.

With all EV chargers sold after 30 June legally required to have smart functionality, Smart Home Charge, the company that performed the survey is suggesting that drivers need further education on how to charge their vehicles at the lowest possible cost.

Danny Morgan, Editor and Marketing Manager at Smart Home Charge said: “Educating new EV drivers is key to helping them save on their car charging costs. Traditionally, drivers have not had much choice when it comes to fuel costs other than searching for which petrol station has the lowest price, and even then the difference is pennies.

“However, EV drivers have much more control over the cost of their home EV charging, firstly by finding an energy supplier which offers an EV-friendly tariff with off-peak rates and secondly by making sure they set up a schedule on their smart home charge point that coincides with their off-peak window.”

The company has worked out that that, using EDF’s GoElectric 35 tariff, a Nissan Leaf can be charged on the peak day rate of 45p per kWh for around £18 for a single charge. However, using the off-peak rate of 4.5p per kWh, the same charge would only cost £1.80. On a 10,000 miles a year basis, peak rate-only charging would cost £1,071 versus £107 when using off-peak-only charging. This would save the driver £964 over the course of a year.

Danny added: “While drivers cannot ultimately control wholesale electricity prices, they can make sure they are charging their cars on the lowest rate possible by using the Smart Home Charge EV energy tariff comparison tool.”

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