Despite energy price rises driving an electric vehicle (EV) is still cheaper than a petrol or diesel

    Despite the energy price cap rising last week, driving an electric vehicle (EV) is still much cheaper than driving the equivalent petrol or diesel equivalent. The cheapest way of doing this is at home using a smart home charger. Even those who don’t have access to off-street parking will save money by driving an electric car.

    To get the best possible deal drivers of electric vehicles can offset some of the latest rises in electricity prices by ensuring that they are on a smart energy tariff when they charge, says leading smart charging company Ohme.

    With the market regulator Ofgem announcing a rise in the energy price cap last week, many households are under increasing financial pressures. However, drivers of electric vehicles can offset some of the effects of that rise by switching to one of the many off-peak tariffs available for charging their electric vehicles.

    With the Standard Variable Tariff rising from 28p/kWh to 52p/kWh on 1 October and due to rise again in January, it’s now even more important for electric vehicle drivers to ensure that they charge their cars on an off-peak tariff such as Octopus Intelligent.

    With the average UK driver covering 6,800 miles a year, charging on an off-peak tariff in a typical EV would cost just £127.50 with Octopus Intelligent at 7.5p/kWh. 

    At the current Standard Variable Tariff of 28p/kWh, that same annual mileage would cost £476, while the forthcoming new price cap of 52p/kWh will cost £884. This is over six times more than with an off-peak tariff.

    David Watson, Ohme CEO, said: “EV drivers should switch to an off-peak tariff for their home charging to ensure that they’re reducing some of the impact of this latest rise in electricity prices.

    “Speak to your existing electricity supplier and find out if they offer an off-peak tariff, if they don’t then switch to a provider that does to get the full savings of running an electric vehicle.”

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    A smart charger, such as Ohme’s Home Pro smart charger, can connect with the national grid in real-time and automatically adjust its charging for drivers to take advantage of all the times of low price charging with smart off-peak tariffs. 

    When compared to a 1.5-litre petrol VW Golf that offers 50 miles per gallon the cost per year, when based on current fuel prices (170.4 per litre), would be around £1,054 to cover the average of 6,800 miles. 

    For electric vehicle drivers who can’t charge at home, prices are more expensive but still cheaper than an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. Currently, the UK average price of public chargers is 53.3p per kWh. This would mean an annual average mileage of 6,800 miles for a typical EV would cost £906. 

    Some would argue this is only slightly cheaper than the ICE vehicle and the extra expense of purchase might make this a bad decision. That said, like fuel prices at the pump, public electric charging prices vary considerably. 

    Currently, using the Pod Point public chargers found at Tesco and Lidl would see this price drop to 28p per kWh almost cutting the price in half. This makes driving an electric vehicle, even when using a public charger, less than half that of the ICE vehicle. And we can’t ignore the fact the prices at the pump are likely to continue to rise. 

    Quentin Willson, FairCharge campaign founder, told This is Money: “My FairCharge campaign has been leading the push to have VAT on public charging (20 percent) equalised with the rate for home charging (5 percent). 

    “This change wouldn’t solve the issue completely in the face of such staggering rises in energy prices but it would be an important step in ensuring that we are incentivising EV use and not punishing those who don’t have driveways and can’t charge at home.”

    Ian Osborne
    Ian Osborne
    Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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