If you drive an electric car or are planning to buy one, knowing how to save money on your charging costs will not only make sure you get value for money but also minimise the carbon cost of each mile.
Electric cars may still seem 'new' technology, but with a government ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars already brought forward to 2030, our roads are going to change fast.
Driving an electric vehicle comes with the luxury of never having to pay for petrol or diesel again. If you can charge at home, that is the cheapest way to add miles to your EV.
Many energy suppliers now market EV tariffs with off-peak, cheap electricity rates (usually overnight) that make it cheaper to charge an electric car. The savings start to add up, even for a low mileage driver, as you can see below.
If you are driving and charging an EV, it makes sense to switch tariff. We’ve put together a complete list of EV-friendly tariffs. But before you leap for the tariff with the cheapest overnight rate, think about how much all your other home use will cost, and don't forget to check out the little detail of the daily standing charge.
Find an energy tariff that fitsCheck your EV tariff match
Seven ways to keep electric car charging costs down
As an EV driver, here are some other things you can do to reduce the impact of charging your car on your finances.
Drive in recuperation mode - one of the best things about an EV is the 'one pedal driving', or the ability to send energy back to the battery when you slow down or head down a hill rather than just using the car's brakes.
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.
Use a smart charging app or device - manage your charging the smart way, and keep your battery in the best condition possible.
Take advantage of free charging - Some supermarkets, like Tesco, and even some car parks still offer free charging for the duration of your stay.
Keep your battery cool - Most electric vehicles have a lithium battery, which doesn’t like to overheat. Avoid charging in direct sunlight if you can and store your electric car in a car port or garage when it’s really hot, if you have one.
Consider solar on your roof - If your car is at home during the day, installing PV panels or other renewable technology is one of the greenest and cheapest solutions out there. Prices of solar panels have dropped considerably in the last few years, so it's work getting a quote now even if you've ruled solar out in the past.
Read up on solar: Are solar panels worth installing?
- Maintain your vehicle - As for any vehicle, even a small bit of 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.