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The Best Energy Tariffs for Electric Vehicle Owners

Over 2.3 million electric cars were sold in the first three months of 2023, and a continued growth in sales is expected throughout the year. With this continued demand, energy suppliers are, once again, beginning to offer special tariffs for electric vehicle and electric car owners.  

 But what are electric vehicle tariffs, which providers offer them and which could save you money?

What is an EV tariff?

Electric vehicle (EV) tariffs offer cheaper electricity rates for owners charging their vehicles at home, which is particularly easy if you have an EV Home Charging Point. 

A typical tariff offers a lower rate per unit of electricity used at night, known as a two-rate tariff. This means that electric car drivers can charge overnight at a cheaper rate, typically during a set four to six hour period. The price would increase during the day – on peak hours – similar to Economy 7 domestic tariffs.

Single-rate tariffs are less common. These offer EV drivers a discounted flat rate for electricity, meaning that users pay the same rate throughout the day and night.

You’ll need to prove that you own an electric car to get one of these tariffs, and most providers require you to have a smart meter. A smart meter measures electricity usage throughout the day, which suppliers use to check they’re charging you the right amount.


Are EV tariffs still available?


Yes – EV tariffs are slowly being re-introduced following a hiatus after the UK Government’s Energy Price Guarantee. Providers such as British Gas, Octopus, EDF and OVO are all offering some form of tariff specifically for electric car owners. 

There are also alternative options for EV owners looking to get cheaper electricity. These range from installing solar panels at home to buying shares in a wind farm.

We explore the available EV tariffs and other solutions below.

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Inteligent Octopus

Intelligent Octopus is the cheapest Octopus tariff for electric car drivers – offering 6 hours of low cost energy overnight, at only 7.5p per kWh. This tariff uses smart technology to charge EVs at the best and greenest times through the night, when there is surplus electricity in the grid. 

Prices during the day are slightly higher than standard single-rate tariffs, and these prices vary from region to region. However, while this tariff is only available for those who charge their electric cars at home, customers are able to use the night tariff for things other than EV charging and so can shift their energy use to the evening which may offset costs. 

Requirements

To be eligible for the Intelligent Octopus tariff, you’ll need either an Ohme Smart charger or a compatible EV such as Jaguar, Tesla, Land Rover. You’ll also need an iOS or Android device to connect to the app and a compatible smart meter. It is available for existing customers, but new customers are welcome to join – they will place you on a standard tariff initially while they get set up with your smart meter. 

  • Provider: Octopus energy
  • Tariff type: Two-rate tariff
  • New or existing customers: Existing customers
  • Day rate: 41.6p* per kWh
  • Off-peak rate: 7.5p per kWh
  • Standing charge: 36.54p* per day
  • Off peak hours: 23:30 pm – 05:30 am
  • Smart meter required: Yes
  • Compatible EV charging system: Currently, Ohme Smart Charger and Jaguar, Tesla and Land Rover

The cost to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day. 

We’ve included approximate costs based on the Intelligent Octopus tariff for three popular EVs below.

Car Model

Cost per mile

(Off peak)

Full Charge

(Off peak)

Cost per mile

(Day)*

Full charge

(Day)*

Nissan Leaf

2p

£2.78

14p

£15.39

Tesla Model 3

2p

£4.31

10p

£23.92

Kia e-Niro

2p

£2.94

10p

£16.31

 

*Day rate and Standing Charge based on quoted energy prices for a home in London, which may differ than the UK average.

Octopus Go

Octopus Go is another Octopus tariff specifically for EV drivers. This tariff gives electric car owners four hours of cheaper energy at 9.5p per kWh, between 12:30am and 04:30am GMT (01:30 – 05:30 BST). This differs from Intelligent Octopus as it doesn’t specifically pinpoint the greenest times to charge – however, generally overnight energy is more likely to be green than at other times. 

The rate for energy during the day is the same as Intelligent Octopus, which is slightly higher than a single rate tariff but is likely to work out cheaper if used smartly. 

Requirements

To be eligible for the Octopus Go tariff, you will need to own an EV or Plug-In Hybrid and have a home charger. You will also need a compatible smart meter, which they can install for free if you don’t already have one. If you’re not already an Octopus customer, you are able to sign up – however they may place you on a single rate tariff while they set things up and connect to your smart meter. 

  • Provider: Octopus energy
  • Tariff type: Two-rate tariff
  • New or existing customers: Existing customers – new customers can join but may have to wait for the smart meter to get set up
  • Day rate: 41.6p* per kilowatt (kWh)
  • Off-peak rate: 9.5p per kiloWatt hour
  • Standing charge: 36.54p per day
  • Off peak hours: 00:30  – 04:30 am
  • Smart meter required: Yes
  • The cost per mile and to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day. 

We’ve included approximate costs based on the Octopus Go tariff for three popular EVs below.

Car Model

Cost per mile

(off peak)

Full Charge

(off peak)

Cost per mile

(day)*

Full Charge

(day)*

Nissan Leaf

3p

£3.52

14p

£15.39

Tesla Model 3

2p

£5.46

10p

£23.92

Kia e-Niro

2p

£3.72

10p

£16.31

 
Agile Octopus

Agile Octopus is a third tariff marketed towards electric car owners, however you don’t need to own an electric car or EV to take advantage of this tariff. 

As the name suggests, Agile Octopus is an incredibly agile (or volatile) tariff where the price you pay for energy is entirely based on nationwide demand for energy. This price can change every half an hour – when there is a surplus of energy in the grid prices can drop below 0p per kWh, in which case customers on this tariff would get paid for using energy. However, similarly the rate can surge up to £1 per kWh, which is three times the average rate. In December 2022, the rate dropped to – 8p per kWh. 

This tariff would suit EV drivers who are also using solar power or a storage battery where they can shift nearly all of their energy use to the off-peak and greener hours. 

Requirements

To be eligible for the Octopus Go tariff, you will need to own an EV or Plug-In Hybrid and have a home charger. You will also need a compatible smart meter, which they can install for free if you don’t already have one. If you’re not already an Octopus customer, you are able to sign up – however they may place you on a single rate tariff while they set things up and connect to your smart meter. 

  • Provider: Octopus energy
  • Tariff type: multi rate tariff
  • New or existing customers: Existing customers – new customers can join but may have to wait for the smart meter to get set up
  • Day rate: variable (capped at £1.00 per kWh)
  • Off-peak rate: variable
  • Standing charge: 45.07p per day
  • Off peak hours: 00:30  – 04:30 am
  • Smart meter required: Yes


The cost per mile and to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day. 


British Gas - Electric Driver


The Electric Driver tariff by British Gas gives electric car owners five hours of cheaper energy at 9.4p per kWh between 12am and 5am GMT. The rate during the day is slightly higher than a standard tariff, however they attempt to keep the rates similar. There is also no exit fee, so customers are able to leave at anytime. 

Similar to the Octopus tariffs above, customers are able use the cheaper energy for things other than charging – such as using the dishwasher etc.  

Requirements

To be eligible for the British Gas Electric Driver tariff, you will need to own and charge your EV or plug-in hybrid at home. You will need a British Gas smart meter – if you don’t already own one, they can provide and install this for free. You will also need to be a British Gas customer for electricity, manage your account online and pay by direct debit. New customers are welcome to take up the tariff, but they will need to switch to British Gas for electricity (you don’t need to use them as your gas provider).

  • Provider: British Gas
  • Tariff type: Two-rate tariff
  • New or existing customers: Existing customers – new customers can join but may have to wait for the smart meter to get set up
  • Day rate: 41.343p per kWh
  • Off-peak rate: 9.4p per kWh
  • Standing charge:  36.28p per day
  • Off peak hours: 00:00  – 05:00 GMT
  • Smart meter required: Yes

The cost per mile and to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day. 

We’ve included approximate costs based on the British Gas Electric Driver tariff for three popular EVs below.

 

INSERT TABLE

EDF - GoElectric (Variable) Overnight


The Go Electric (Variable) Overnight tariff by EDF offers its customers cheaper energy overnight between 12am and 5am GMT. During the summer, this switches to 1am – 6am. The overnight/ off-peak rate varies depending on the area – off-peak rates for an example home in London costs 8p per kWh. 

 

Unlike the tariffs above, EDF’s GoElectric (variable) overnight is open to all customers who would benefit from cheaper rates overnight, and not just EV or electric car owners. It would also suit the environmentally conscious – as this tariff is backed with 100% zero carbon nuclear electricity. 

Similar to British Gas, there are no exit fees or fixed end date for this tariff, so customers can try it out and then switch at anytime.  

Requirements

To be eligible for the EDF GoElectric (Variable) Overnight tariff you will need to have a smart meter so that EDF can track precisely which hours you’re using electricity. If you’re not already a EDF Electricity customer, you will need to switch to EDF. They will place you on their single rate tariff while they setup and connect to your smart meter.

  • Provider: EDF
  • Tariff type: Two-rate tariff
  • New or existing customers: New and Existing
  • Day rate: 46.71p per kWh
  • Off-peak rate: 8p per kWh
  • Standing charge:  38.28p per day
  • Off peak hours: 00:00  – 05:00 GMT (01:00 – 06:00 BST)
  • Smart meter required: Yes


The cost per mile and to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day. 

We’ve included approximate costs based on the EDF GoElectric (variable) tariff for three popular EVs below.

INSERT TABLE

Ovo - Charge Anytime


The Charge Anytime tariff by Ovo lets electric car owners charge their cars for only 10p per kWh  at anytime during the day or night. Similar to Intelligent Octopus, the Ovo Charge Anytime tariff uses smart technology to charge your car at the greenest times – however this isn’y necessarily always at night. 

This tariff is only available to EV drivers and the lower rate can only be used for charging their cars. Customers will be charged at the standard rate initially, however will receive credit on their account the following month to reflect any savings from charging. 

This tariff would suit those who regularly charge their cars during the day, and are unlikely to use high-energy appliances during the night.  

Requirements

To be eligible for the Ovo Charge Anytime tariff you will need to own an electric car, EV or plug-in hybrid vehicle and charge at home. You will also need a compatible smart charger that Ovo can connect to – currently these are: Ohme Home Pro, Ohme ePod, Ohme Home, the Indra Smart Pro and Indra Smart Charger V3. If you don’t have a compatible charger, you will need to have a compatible EV these include models from brands Mini, Audi, BMW, Volswagen, Tesla, Cupra and more. 

Again, you will need a compatible smart meter. And will need to switch to Ovo energy for your electricity, if you’re not already a customer. New customers may need to wait 4 – 6 weeks while they get everything set up. 

  • Provider: Ovo
  • Tariff type: Single Rate (for charging)
  • New or existing customers: New and Existing
  • Day rate: 10p per kWh for charging (c.34 per kWh)
  • Off-peak rate: 10p per kWh (c.34 per kWh)
  • Standing charge:  c.38.28p per day
  • Off peak hours: n/a
  • Smart meter required: Yes


The cost per mile and to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day.  

We’ve included approximate costs based on the EDF GoElectric (variable) tariff for three popular EVs below.

INSERT TABLE

Bulb EV tariff - no longer available


Bulb went into administration in November 2021, and has since been acquired by Octopus energy.  As a company geared towards greener energy, they offered EV drivers a special tariff with variable low off-peak rated which depended on your location. 

Drivers interested in the company may wish to take up one of the EV tariffs offered by Octopus. 

  • Provider: Bulb
  • Tariff type: Two-rate tariff
  • New or existing customers: Existing customers
  • Day rate: 42.33p* per kWh
  • Off-peak rate: 7.91p*
  • Standing charge: 33.25p* per day 
  • Off peak hours: 02:00 am – 06:00 am
  • Smart meter required: Yes


The cost to charge a full battery depends on the car model, battery type and time of day. 

Is an EV tariff worth it?

In short, yes - an EV tariff is likely to be worth it however you will need to use it smartly. The additional energy used to charge EVs may appear to add hundreds of pounds to energy bills, but these costs are likely to be offset by the savings on not buying diesel or petrol. As EV tariffs offer cheaper electricity rates, this will only increase any savings made. There are also savings to be made from opportunities such as the OZEV Grant Schemes.  

 To get the most out of an EV tariff, it’s important that you maximise your energy usage during off peak hours. This means scheduling your EV to charge overnight during the cheapest hours.

Using Octopus Go’s tariff rates, here are the approximate annual electricity costs for three popular EVs based on off peak and day rates:

INSERT TABLE

Which energy providers offer EV tariffs?


Octopus energy, British Gas, EDF and Ovo energy have EV tariffs on offer at the moment, but other energy providers have previously had deals for EV owners.

Energy suppliers with past EV tariff deals include:

  • E.ON
  • Good Energy
  • Scottish Power
  • Shell Energy


These energy companies may offer EV tariffs again in the future, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for deals.


Does Shell energy have an EV tariff?


Shell energy used to offer an EV tariff, but their website states this is currently unavailable for customers.

The Shell Charge and Drive tariff covered the cost of charging an EV for 2000 miles over a period of 12 months. This deal was available exclusively for Shell energy customers.


Does E.ON offer an EV tariff?


E.ON energy does not have an EV tariff currently, but the provider previously offered a deal called the Next Drive EV tariff.

With the Next Drive tariff, EV owners benefited from off-peak electricity rates between 12:00 am and 7:00 am every night. Day rates were closer to standard electricity prices. 

The E.ON website states that they are aiming to relaunch the Next Drive tariff in the near future.


Home Solar Panels


As well as EV tariffs there are also other ways of saving on costs when charging you EV. For example, you may also save hundreds of pounds every year by installing home solar panels. 

Solar panels generate their own renewable electricity by capturing the sun’s energy, meaning you could charge your EV using electricity you’ve generated for free.

 

It’s worth signing up for a Smart Export Guarantee tariff, which means that any electricity you don’t use will be sold back to the National Grid. This generates even more savings.

Here are some average installation and savings costs, based on data from the Energy Savings Trust:

  • Installation costs: £5,500*
  • Annual savings: £610**
  • Payback: 11 years**


*Installation costs based on a 3.5 kWp domestic solar PV system.

**Annual savings and payback based on a user in London with a Smart Export Guarantee tariff.


Ripple energy wind farms

Investing in the wind farm market could be another way of getting cheaper electricity to power your EV. Ripple energy offers EV owners the chance to do just that with their wind farm share scheme. 

Users can buy shares that are put toward building a wind farm, with the minimum purchase starting at £25. The more they buy the more money they can save on their electricity bills.

Savings will be applied to their energy bill once the wind farm starts operating, so users will switch energy providers only when those turbines start generating electricity.

Ripple estimates that a four bedroom house with an EV would need to buy shares worth £3,783 to generate 100% of their electricity needs. This would save:

  • Annual savings: £275*
  • Lifetime savings (25 years): £6880*
  • Annual CO2 emissions: 1,359 kg


*Savings based on market energy rates. Higher rates mean more savings, and lower rates reduce savings.


 

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