If you’re charging an electric car at home, switch to an EV tariff and you’ll save money. But which EV tariff should you go for? A basic EV tariff, like Octopus Go or E.On Next Drive, has a fixed off-peak window. But maybe you can save more with a smarter EV tariff, like Octopus Intelligent or OVO Charge Anytime. These clever tariffs match your charging with the greenest energy, meaning lower-carbon charging at a lower cost to you.
The best EV tariff depends on how much charging you do at home, how much energy you use during the day and what you could shift overnight to benefit from cheaper rates. This last point can make a real difference when you compare two leading EV tariffs: Octopus Intelligent v.s OVO Charge Anytime
The usual price comparison websites don’t ask the right questions to find the best EV tariff for you. We’ve built a free EV tariff and solar assessment tool to calculate the cheapest and greenest charging for your home.
Best EV tariffs 2023 – a complete list
At a glance: Our pick of the best EV tariffs
(All the prices per kWh and standing charges we give are based on a household in South Wales, the rate in your area could be slightly higher or lower)
1. Best EV tariff for overall savings
Octopus Energy’s Intelligent Octopus, is a smart EV tariff with a minimum six-hour off-peak window for charging and home energy use. You use an app to schedule your charging and let Octopus get on with charging when it is greenest. You’ll pay 7.5p/kWh for off-peak electricity, much less than the 9.5p/kWh off-peak on the basic Octopus Go EV tariff. You may get some charging outside of the off-peak hours, in which case you’ll get some extra cheap home energy too. Lots of cars are compatible, but if yours isn’t on the list, you can connect through an Ohme charger.
If you have solar panels, Intelligent gets even better. You’ll now get a fixed rate of 15p for every kWh you export. This is much higher than the 4.1p (under the SEG) that you’d get with the Go tariff.
Share £100 when you join Octopus
2. Best EV tariff for cheap charging
OVO’s Charge Anytime, is just for your EV. You’ll get the 7p/kWh rate no matter when your car charges if you use their scheduling app and leave OVO to manage charging around your timetable.
When you get Charge Anytime you’ll also choose an OVO tariff for your home use, including the default Standard Variable Tariff. The downside of OVO’s new electric car only tariff is that you’ll only get your EV charging at the cheaper rate. All your home electricity use is charged at your standard unit price.
3. Best basic EV tariff for any car or charger
Octopus Go was once the go-to tariff for EV drivers. But, at 9.5p per kWh, it’s more expensive than the smarter Intelligent Octopus tariff and there are only four hours at off-peak rates each night, compared with at least six. If you have solar, you’ll get a lower amount for the energy you export.
Why do we still rate it? It’s simple, and available to drivers of any make of EV and with any home charger.
Could you charge with solar?
4. Best EV tariff for long off-peak charging
5. Best EV tariff for savvy households
Octopus Agile is a one-of-a-kind tariff for any household. If you are willing to keep an eye on prices and can shift your charging and energy use out of the evening peak (4-7pm), this could be the tariff for you.
Other good EV tariffs to choose from
Compare EV tariffs and more
✔ Best tariff for charging
✔ Green energy that fits you
The energy prices we use are for a home in South Wales. These are slightly higher than the UK average. We do our best to update prices and tariff availability with suppliers, but always check the details with the supplier before you switch.
More ways to save on charging at home
Once you’ve found the right EV tariff for your use, there are many more ways you can save with cleaner energy for your car and home. For instance, it’s cheaper than ever to install solar, or go a step further by selling energy back to the grid from a home battery.
Or how about owning a share in a wind farm or solar park, or getting rewarded for sharing your charger? Our free EV energy comparison helps you explore what works for your household.
Typical 3.8kWp system
Cost to install: £4,500
Could save (this year): £1,413
Payback: under 4 years
Could you charge with solar?
Typical 3.8kWp + 2kW system
Solar + battery
Cost to install: £6,500
Could save (this year): £1,716
Payback: under 5 years
Buy share in a wind farm
One-off cost: £3,462
Could save (this year): £254
Net lifetime savings likely: £2,888
Share your charger
One-off cost: £0
Could earn (this year): £421
(Based on renting your charger overnight for 3 hours/week)
What is an EV tariff?
Electric Vehicle (EV) tariffs basically offer cheap unit rates for overnight charging, usually in a four-hour period in the middle of the night. The drawback of these and other types of ‘time-of-use’ tariff are higher day-time energy costs and sometimes a higher daily standing charge.
Which providers offer EV tariffs?
Octopus Energy offers many EV tariffs – Go (and Go Faster with a choice of time slots) and Intelligent. Octopus also has tariffs aimed at homes with solar and batteries (Flux) and heat pumps (Cosy). It also has a dynamically priced tariff, Agile, which offers prices that track the wholesale electricity price. OVO has an add-on for cheap flat-fee for EV charging. British Gas has relaunched its EV tariff and its rates are fairly competitive with Octopus and OVO. At the moment EDF hasn’t yet reintroduced its four ‘GoElectric’ tariffs. E.On Next and Scottish Power have yet to reenter the EV tariff market.
Is an EV tariff right for me?
This depends on how much energy you use during the day and how much charging and home energy use you could shift into the overnight window. EV tariffs might not offer the best value if you use lots of electricity in your home that you can’t realistically shift off-peak or if your driving patterns mean you aren’t doing much charging at home.
For many EV households though, an EV tariff could still be a good option. The more energy use you can shift overnight, the more you will save with an EV tariff. That doesn’t mean changing your waking hours, just think about timing an immersion heater, dishwasher or other energy hungry appliances to the off-peak window.
An EV tariff gives you a motive to avoid the energy ‘rush hour’, so it means you’ll be using less gas-powered energy and more lovely truly green electrons from renewable sources.
Tips on choosing a tariff
The first move, if you haven’t already got one, is to book a smart meter installation. If you aren’t ready to switch tariff yet, book this with your current supplier.
Some tariffs may offer ‘free miles’, but don’t forget that 2,000 miles is a discount of less than £10 per month. Check the rates they quote for electricity at any other time of the day, and the standing charge. Depending on all your normal home use you might end up paying more for that cheap overnight charging.
If there’s an offer of a free or discounted home charger installed at your home, check that the charger is right for you. For example, does it integrate with everything else in your home – like solar, or home assistants.
Who are the best energy providers for electric vehicle owners?
Octopus Energy has been hard to beat in terms of price and customer service for EV drivers. However, others like OVO and British Gas are starting to improve their game with tariffs that are competitive on price and offer more flexibility for EV charging and different home energy use patterns.
We’re expecting other tariffs to return to the market. Although limited in terms of compatible car and charger types, E.On Next had a super low off-peak rate and a clever app to help you keep on top of your charging costs and track the carbon intensity of your energy.
Big 6 providers have in the past made it very difficult to obtain a quote until you are already an energy customer.
How green are EV tariffs?
All EV energy tariffs in the UK guarantee 100% renewable energy, although the way in which they back this promise does vary. Read more on how green your ‘green’ energy really is for all our top tips on choosing a green energy supplier.
Can I use an Economy 7 meter to charge my EV?
Most electricity suppliers will require you to fit a smart meter to your property before you can switch to one of their EV tariffs. They will generally do this for free. However, if you can’t do this yet (generally because of lack of mobile phone coverage) it’s also worth looking into having an Economy 7 or Economy 10 meter fitted to your property. This will allow you to take advantage of cheaper rates at off-peak times on several tariffs.
Does an electric car mean paying more on electricity bills?
Running costs for electric cars are much lower than a conventional car, but charging your car increases your home electricity consumption considerably. One unit (a kWh) will allow you to drive 3.5-4 miles. Some high-mileage drivers nearly double their energy use with home charging. If these drivers don’t switch, their bill with double too.
An average driver will see their use going up by around 50%. Switching to an EV tariff can mean paying about the same as before, especially if you can shift other use into the off-peak hours. As well as switching tariff, check out our top tips for saving money on EV charging.
Sometimes there’s even more you can do to save the planet and help your wallet. With record prices for energy, would solar pay? Does a home battery start to make sense? As well as finding the best EV tariff, our free EV charging and home energy assessment can show you how to squash your home’s energy carbon footprint and become more energy self-sufficient.