Energy firm launches EV tariff that could cut charging costs to £100 a year

Smart charging system offers 5p/kWh rate for electric car owners

Energy supplier OVO has announced a new tariff exclusively for electric car owners which could slash their home charging bills.

Following a trial earlier this year, the firm is rolling out its Drive + Anytime tariff, claiming it could bring the cost of charging down to as little as £100 a year for the average driver.

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Many energy companies offer specific EV tariffs with lower rates for overnight charging but OVO says its new deal is the only one to offer “type of use” billing rather than “time of use”.

The system uses smart metering and a connected smartphone app to optimise charging via certain units and allows the supplier to split regular domestic energy use from EV charging.

Drivers pay a flat rate of 5p/kWh for their EV charging at any time of the day, compared with the average energy rate of 17.2p/kWh. OVO has calculated that for a driver covering the UK average of 7,400 miles and achieving four miles per kWh, that could mean a bill of just £100 a year.

Chris Russell, managing director of OVO Drive, commented: “Our trial in January was a real success and we’re thrilled to be rolling out this pioneering new plan nationwide.

“We want to encourage the use of electric vehicles as a carbon-conscious lifestyle choice, and it should be easy and accessible - with the help of Kaluza’s cutting edge technology, our new Drive + Anytime plan embodies that vision perfectly.”

To offer drivers cheaper charging, OVO uses software which tracks energy demand throughout the day and an app for drivers to control charging. Customers use the app to set a time at which they want their car charged and the software optimises the charging to take advantage of cheaper low-demand times while ensuring the target time is met. Customers’ accounts are then credited for the amount of electricity saved via EV smart charging every month.

However, the tariff and smart charging software is currently only compatible with two home wallboxes from supplier Indra, meaning customers who already have home chargers from other brands cannot take advantage of the tariff.

Autumn Pray, chief product officer at Kaluza which is responsible for the software, commented: “For the world to step up its response to the climate emergency and drastically cut emissions from energy, we need to take advantage of the latest smart technologies at our fingertips.

“The OVO Drive Anytime tariff is a prime example of how we can make it easy for individual customers to become the driving force of the energy transition - by rewarding people for trusting in the technology that is enabling a more resilient, greener energy system.”