How to save money on electric car charging

  • #EV charging
  • #Public charging
  • Electric cars
  • Sep 30, 2020

By 2022, there will be more than a million electric cars on UK roads. If you drive an electric car or are planning to buy one, knowing how to save money on your charging costs is crucial if you want to get value for money and minimises 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 2035, and possibly coming even earlier, our roads are going to change fast.

Charging costs for an average electric car
How much you pay to charge can make a significant difference to your 'fuel' costs over a year

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 are now marketing EV tariffs with off-peak electricity rates (usually overnight) that make it cheaper to drive an electric car. The discounts start to add up, as you can see above.

If you are driving and charging an EV, it makes sense to switch tariff. We’ve put together a complete list of EV tariffs.

Read about all the tariffs offering off-peak hours, not just the one's directly marketed to EV customers!

But before you opt for the one with the cheapest overnight rate, think about how much they are going to charge you for all your home use, and never forget to check the standing charge!  

Make finding the right one a little easier by completing our EV tariff checker.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Use a smart charging app or device - manage your charging the smart way, and keep your battery in the best condition possible.

  4. Take advantage of free charging - Some supermarkets, like Asda, and even some car parks still offer free charging for the duration of your stay. As more of us drive EVs, these might become a great marketing tool for us to stay a little bit longer in pubs and other places we like to spend our money.

Asda electric car charging
Asda has led the way with EV charging at many of its large stores
  1. 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.

  2. 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 it out in the past.

solar and EV charging
Solar on your roof can work very well with a car that is often at home in the day

Read up on solar: Are solar panels worth installing?

  1. 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 when you open your door.


Map of UK rapid chargers
How long does it take to charge an EV? It depends on the charger you're connected to...

See how much you could save using our free EV and clean energy tool!