Greening your drive: Understanding EV tariffs.

Understanding EV tariffs

As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly popular, it's important to understand how energy tariffs can make a difference to your charging costs and overall experience of owning an EV. Choosing the right EV tariff could help you save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and make the most of your electric car. 

And don’t forget, we can help you get the best out of both your EV and your tariff, with our range of high quality, reliable EV chargers, including the Wallbox Pulsar Max.

What is an Electric Vehicle (EV) tariff?

EV tariffs are specifically designed for electric vehicle owners who charge their cars at home. These tariffs generally offer lower electricity rates during off-peak hours (typically at night) when demand for electricity is lower. 

For example, our Next Drive tariff offers cheaper electricity between 12am and 7am.†† And by taking advantage of these lower rates, you could significantly reduce your charging costs compared to standard electricity tariffs. 

And to make the most of this reduced rate, you could always get a smart charger like our Wallbox Pulsar Max, which allows you to schedule charging during off-peak hours for maximum savings.

How does an EV tariff work?

EV tariffs typically come in two main types:

  1. Time-of-Use (TOU) Tariffs: These are the most common tariffs you’ll find in the market these days. They’re also known as “dynamic two-rate tariff”. These tariffs have different rates for electricity depending on the time of day. The most common TOU tariffs for electric vehicle owners offer cheaper rates during off-peak hours, usually at night. This encourages EV owners to charge their cars when demand for electricity is lower, and helps us to manage demand for electricity. These tariffs require a functioning smart meter.

  2. Single-Rate Tariffs: Some EV tariffs offer a single, fixed rate for electricity throughout the day. While these tariffs may not have the same potential for savings as TOU tariffs, they can still be a good option for EV owners who want a simple and predictable billing structure.

Is EV charging cheaper at night?

If you take up a Time of Use tariff like Next Drive it will be cheaper to charge your EV at night. These tariffs offer lower electricity rates during off-peak hours because that’s when the general demand for electricity is lower.

By charging your electric vehicle during these off-peak hours, you can take advantage of the lower rates and reduce your charging costs compared to charging during peak hours.

And installing an E.ON Next home charger is a convenient way to power up your EV while you sleep, so you're ready to hit the road each morning.

Do I need a smart meter to have an EV Tariff?

While not all EV tariffs require a smart meter, they can certainly be a good thing to have. Smart meters can track your electricity usage in real-time and provide accurate data to your energy supplier. This allows you to keep an eye on your charging costs and ensure you're getting the most out of your EV tariff. 

If you do sign up to Next Drive we will want you to get a smart meter. But if you don’t have one right now, don’t worry - just contact us. We will work out if you can have one and will install it free of charge.

Which EV tariff is best?

Whichever tariff you choose, it should fit in with your EV charging habits and the way you use electricity around your home.

Because most EV tariffs supply electricity for all your home (not just your car) it is worth spending a little time thinking about how much electricity you use during the day - and that includes heating, air con (if you have it) and appliances like washing machines or tumble dryers. Then ask yourself, “which ones can I switch to using off-peak?”

Maybe your washing machine comes with a timer so it can run during the night for instance. 

And if you don’t feel you can really change the times when you use electricity, are you happy economising a little during the day? For example, are you happy to turn the heating down a little?

Of course, you also want to think of when you are most likely to need to charge your EV. Are you OK with charging your car all at once overnight, or do you feel you need to charge during the day too?

Hopefully, once you have answered questions like these for yourself, you will be able to take advantage of the discounts EV tariffs offer.  

And don’t forget, there are other advantages to many EV tariffs, other than cost.

For instance, our Next Drive tariff comes with fixed prices for a year, 100% renewable energy at no extra cost, and no exit fees.

Get the lowdown on finding the best EV charging prices.

If you’re thinking of buying an electric vehicle (EV), or you’ve already made the switch, you’ll want to know the cost of charging it. Check out this explainer video.

Is it worth changing to an EV tariff?

So far we have talked about the savings you could make if you were to switch to the right EV tariff.

However, there are a raft of other advantages that switching can bring. 

You no doubt know about the many advantages of driving an electric vehicle. Things like zero tailpipe emissions, and reduced noise pollution.

But we’re talking about the positive impacts using the right EV tariff can have on the environment. Especially one that uses renewable energy.

  • Reduced carbon emissions. The most significant impact is a reduction in carbon emissions. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower produce electricity without burning fossil fuels, which are the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. If you power your EV with renewable energy, you're directly reducing your carbon footprint.

  • Decreased air pollution. Carbon emissions aren’t the only pollutant fossil fuel power plants release. There’s also sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter that can harm our health and the environment. Using renewable energy to charge your electric vehicle helps to decrease these harmful emissions, leading to improved air quality.

  • Supporting the growth of renewable energy. Choose a renewable energy tariff, and you're sending a signal to energy suppliers that there's a demand for clean energy. This can encourage them to invest in more renewable energy projects, further reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and accelerating the transition to a more sustainable energy system.

  • Promoting energy independence. Relying on renewable energy sources can reduce the UK's dependence on imported fossil fuels, increasing energy security and reducing vulnerability to price fluctuations in the global energy market.

  • Creating green jobs. It’s not exactly an “environmental issue” but the renewable energy sector is a growing industry that creates jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and research. Supporting this sector through your energy choices can contribute to economic growth and employment opportunities.

Overall, switching to a dedicated renewable energy tariff for your electric vehicle is a positive step towards a more sustainable future. It could reduce your environmental impact, support the growth of renewable energy, as well as potentially saving you money on your energy bills.

But remember, before you switch to an EV tariff, compare different options from various energy providers to find the best deal for your needs. Consider factors such as the tariff rates, exit fees, contract length, and any additional benefits that might be offered. By doing your research and choosing the right EV tariff, you could enjoy the benefits of electric driving while saving money and reducing your environmental impact.

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††Lower-priced electricity 6.9p/kWh when you charge between 12am and 7am.

Published 19/05/2024