Five Electric Vehicle money-saving tips every owner should know before April

According to research by Statista, the statistics portal for market data, due to falling lithium-ion battery pack costs, Electric Vehicle (EV) sales have increased significantly over the course of the past decade.

Worldwide electric car sales are estimated to have soared to just under seven million units in 2022 and as more people invest in owning an EV for environmental, ethical or ecological reasons, Green Energy UK (GEUK) looked into the cost of owning and running an EV , plus how to save money on charging.

The energy experts worked out a simple formula that can give you a rough estimate of what your battery costs:

  • Tariff x Battery size / 100 = Cost to fully charge you EV

However, it’s important to remember that charges can vary from region to region across the UK and depend largely on your supplier.

The upcoming energy price hike on April 1 will see the pierce cap rise by 54 per cent.

Earlier this week, Money Saving Expert founder, Martin Lewis, shared a video explaining what Ofgem’s energy price cap means for customers.

He said: “I talked about the price cap, but it isn’t really a cap on the total amount that you can pay for energy, as there’s no maximum number. The price cap is a cap on the unit rates and standing charges we pay for gas and electricity.

“For gas, first of all, we’re seeing a big rise, an almost doubling of the unit rate – which is the rate you pay for the amount of energy you use – which is going from 4.1p to 7.4pa unit. The standing charge, which is the amount you pay per day just for having a gas supply, is increasing slightly from 26.1pa day to 27.2pa day.

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“For electricity, there’s a big (but not as big as gas) jump in the unit rate, which is going from 21p to 28p a unit. However, the standing charge is nearly doubling from 25p a day to 45p a day.”

GEUK’s top tips to help Electric Vehicle owners save money ahead of rising energy costs

Charge between 20-80% of the battery

Keeping your car above 20% charge where possible will be beneficial to your pocket and to the longevity of the battery. The first and last 20% of power in the battery takes longer to charge which in turn increases your expenditure. By keeping the car between 20-80% you save on the extra time that the charging would take, and many cars will let you set at what point you want them to stop charging

Use a smart charging app or device

Smart charging apps, and other devices, can help you track your EV’s battery charge, when the best and most cost-effective time to charge at home is, and also help you to get insights into your car’s usage.

This can help you in choosing the right electricity tariff for you and being smart about when you charge can save you money. Many car manufacturers now include an app of their own with their EVs and some let you set the time of day you wish your car to charge, and even for how long.

Take advantage of free charging stations

Charging stations are no longer an uncommon sight around the UK so you’re not often left asking yourself, ‘Where can you charge an electric car?’ However, you’ll most likely have to pay for the privilege of using these. The canny EV driver will be aware that there are some places that offer free charging stations though, and you can take advantage of these with a bit of forward-thinking.

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For example, many bigger supermarkets now offer free charging points in their car parks while you are on their premises, so timing your next charge with your weekly shop could be a good idea.

Likewise, some EV manufacturers have their own networks of charging stations on which they offer a cheaper rate of charging.

Certain attractions and hotels also offer a free charging service, as do a handful of workplaces whilst in parts of the UK, predominantly Scotland, there are a handful of free charging stations available for public use.

Use government schemes to install a charger at home

With the UK Government still trying to encourage people to switch to EVs, there are plenty of incentives to help ease the cost of getting one.

For example, there is a scheme in place to help subsidize the cost of installing a home wall-box, which provides rapid charging for your car.

There are also grants to help with the cost of the car as well as road tax savings and lease schemes that let you pay from your salary before tax, so it’s well worth looking into what is available to you. Workplaces can also get grants for installing charging points as well as tax breaks on their electricity.

Find out more on the dedicated Scotland Energy Savings Trust page here and on GOV.UK here.

Use Time of Use Tariffs

Time of Use Tariffs is a really great way of making sure the electricity you use for charging your EV is significantly cheaper, as well as having the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly.

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Time of Use Tariffs, such as GEUK’s TIDE Tariff, provide a lower cost of electricity when used at off-peak times, so if you are on TIDE and set your car to charge during off-peak times, the savings can be significant.

To keep up to date with the energy crisis join our Money Saving Scotland Facebook group here, follow Record Money on Twitter hereor subscribe to our twice weekly newsletter here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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