An electric car offers a lower cost per mile than petrol or diesel, especially if you can charge at home. But, since the price shocks of the energy crisis, even charging at home can add significantly to your home energy bill. While the costs for the fastest public charging are creeping ever higher.
No matter where you are plugging in, our top tips will help you to keep the costs of electric motoring down.
Seven ways to keep electric car charging costs down
As an EV driver, here are the top things you can do to lower the cost per mile of charging your car:
- Drive in recuperation mode – one of the best things about an EV is the ‘one pedal driving’ modes. Recuperation or regenerative braking mean you’re sending energy back to the battery when you slow down or head downhill.
- Avoid the last 20%, in and out – The first and last parts of a battery take the most energy to charge. Avoid running your battery down and set it to stop charging at 80% unless you need the range for a longer journey. This is great for battery health too.
- Take advantage of free charging – Some places still offer free charging for a short time. You can charge for free while you shop with Tesco.
- Keep your battery cool – EVs have lithium batteries, which don’t like to overheat. Avoid charging in direct sunlight if you can. Park in the shade or store your electric car in a car port or garage when it’s really hot.
- Consider solar on your roof – If your car is at home during the day, installing rooftop solar PV gets you the greenest and cheapest energy out there. Prices of solar panels have dropped considerably, so it’s worth getting a quote now even if you’ve ruled solar out in the past. Check the impact of solar in our free energy assessment to calculate your payback from installing solar.
- Maintain your vehicle – As with any vehicle, even basic maintenance – like checking your tyre pressures – can make a difference to your range. You’ll usually find the recommended pressures on the inside of the car door.
- Slow down – You won’t believe the difference that dropping a bit of speed makes to your miles per kWh
How can I save with overnight charging?
Don’t forget that many energy suppliers offer special overnight rates for charging an electric car. We’ve got a complete list of all the EV tariffs currently on offer. These tariffs make it cheaper to top up your battery when demand is lower, and it’s greener because off-peak electricity is more likely to come from wind or other renewable sources.
How to pick the best energy tariff for your EV
Don’t be fooled by a cheap off-peak rate. The EV tariff with the lowest rate is not always the cheapest option. The standing charge and daytime rates can be higher than you’d normally expect to pay. Depending on your overall energy use you might even find that a single price tariff could work out to be cheaper. This is especially true if you have electric heating, work shifts or have more than one electric car.
Be realistic about your home use. The average home uses more electricity that an electric car doing an average mileage. Energy companies calculate that you’ll shift as much as 66% into the off-peak, but that still leaves you paying for 34% of your use in the pricier day rates.
Split your fuels. Think about splitting your gas and electricity supply (Check first that your chosen utility will allow this, some will only put you on an EV tariff if you sign up for gas as well).
Use delaying tactics. Find the time delay button on your washing machine and dishwasher so they use your overnight tariff window. Almost all modern machines have a delay function. Once you have found the button, press it repeatedly to increase the time your machine will wait before it starts. Don’t forget to press start when you’ve reached the correct time delay!
Could you generate? With an EV to charge, maybe now is the time to start thinking about solar on your roof or maybe even a home battery. You can find out your likely payback for solar or a battery using our free, online green energy assessment.
Find an energy tariff that fits
Ask how green your energy is. All EV tariffs claim 100% renewables, ‘green’ energy isn’t necessarily all that green. Buy energy that supports renewables in the UK. Green energy pioneers Good Energy have a helpful blog on what it really means to be green. Read more on: How green your energy really is