Electric Vehicle drivers could save £360 a year by charging more efficiently
More than a quarter (28 per cent) of EV drivers charge their vehicle whenever they get home rather than waiting for the cheapest time to plug in, according to new research from Love my EV, an EV comparison website (PCW) that matches people with an affordable electric car and finds the best home energy tariff to make charging it even cheaper and greener.
Data from the PCW uncovered that an average EV driver who charges whenever, irrelevant of price, would already lose out on savings of £200 per year on their charging alone and with rising energy prices, is set to spend an extra £160 on energy unnecessarily by not waiting for a cheaper off-peak period to charge their vehicle. *
Mat Thomson, Co-Founder of Love my EV commented: “People need to move away from plugging in their vehicles as soon as they get home from work. This change in behaviour is good for the consumer, as lower energy prices during off-peak hours can be passed on. An average EV driver now stands to save an estimated £360 a year by simply charging during off-peak hours – and there may be further savings if they delay other household energy use.”
The research found that over half of EV drivers are plugging in to coincide with off-peak price windows. However, the supply of renewables can be quite different to the off-peak windows of EV tariffs currently on the market.
Love my EV’s analysis of National Grid data for 2019-2020 found the greenest time to charge was between 2am and 4am, when the grid was on average 30% renewable energy. The actual renewable content within these hours ranged from 15% to 45%, and some on days midday charging could have been even greener.**
Currently only 12 per cent of EV drivers hold off charging their car until a point in the week when they predict energy prices and carbon would be lowest. And a tiny number, less than three per cent, are making use of automated charging when energy is cheapest or lowest carbon intensity. More flexible or automated smart charging strategies will be required in future to ensure the electricity grid can cope and continue to get greener as demand for EVs skyrockets.
Love my EV shares top tips that EV drivers can do today to reduce the carbon-impact and cost of each mile they drive:
Charge your electric vehicles at off-peak times when energy is generally greener
Avoid running our battery lower than 20% and set it to stop charging at 80% unless you need the range for a longer journey, as the first and last parts of the battery take longest to charge. This is also good for battery health.
In winter, finish your charging as close as possible to the time you leave home in the morning. As charging warms the battery, you’ll have more range from the same amount of energy.
A UK summer means you get more miles per charge than the stated range. However, above 25 degrees centigrade range starts to fall again. In a heatwave, it’s better to charge in the shade.
In extreme heat or cold, keep your car plugged in (but not necessarily charging) to allow the battery temperature controls to keep running.
Consider solar: if your car is at home during the day, investing in solar panels on your roof means you’ll charge with the greenest and cheapest energy. Prices have dropped considerably, so it’s worth getting a quote now even if you’ve ruled solar out in the past.