Times to charge
The Electric Grid is heavily used between 4 and 7 pm, but there is minimal usage between midnight and 4 am. Electric cars can be set to charge during these hours so if you have, or will get, a Smart meter you can use the cheap overnight tariffs which over 20 providers offer.
Half hourly pricing
With their Smart meter and appropriate tariff, the prices can vary per half hour, based on the wholesale price, and can be a third of the daytime price and sometimes even deliver negative pricing. In other words you may even get paid for charging your vehicle!
Be aware that prices vary dramatically between providers so shop carefully.
An EV owner explains why they are switching supplier and the various tariffs they are offered…
If you are considering switching to Octopus we’d appreciate you using our referral code. Octopus will pay us for the introduction, which will help pay for this website. You would also be entitled to a discount.
Costing without half hourly pricing
To work out how much it is likely to cost to charge your car from completely empty to full, you will need to multiply the size of the car’s battery by your supplier’s charge for electricity (pence per kWh).
For example, a Nissan LEAF has a 40 kWh battery. If you multiply this by the average cost of electricity in the UK – 14.4p per kWh according to UK Power – you would be looking at a cost of £5.76 to fully charge your car. Yep, you read that right – just £5.76.
Clearly, a car with a larger battery would cost that bit more to charge. For new, mid-range electric cars from the likes of Kia and Hyundai, expect a battery size of 64 kWh. This would make the cost of a full charge £9.22 on the same electricity tariff.
For even larger models, such as the 100 kWh Tesla Model S, expect to pay £14.40 for a full charge.
Websites like Zap-Map have home charging calculators which illustrate the charging cost for your chosen vehicle.
V2G – Vehicle to Grid (Bidirectional charging)
This starting to be available if you have a vehicle and charger designed for it and an electricity provider who accommodates it. However this concept is currently severely restricted
See also Charging away from home