While it's nice being green, the main reason people find themselves drawn to an EV is the savings one can offer.
The single most important way to save money on your electric vehicle is to have a home charger and an electricity tariff suited for EV owners (like I have discussed in this EV tariff guide).
I have followed the electric vehicle revolution closely over the last ten years, watching eagerly as owners compete to achieve the best miles per kWh, or hypermiling as it's more commonly known in the EV world.
Hypermiling uses driving techniques that reduce the strain on the battery, enabling you to drive more miles than you'd expect on a single charge. Hypermiling could be the best way to reduce your driving costs and prolong the life of your battery.
Electric cars are armed with automatic gearboxes and explosive acceleration. Yes, you can load your foot on the accelerator and fire yourself to 60mph in the blink of an eye. Just be aware that doing this after every red light will drain your battery much faster than it took to charge it.
Gentle, steady acceleration and an ability to read the road ahead of you is important if you want to get the most out of your fuel. Accelerating up to red lights, only to slam on the breaks, is such a waste and my pet hate when I'm on the road.
Each car you drive will have a sweet spot for how fast it can go before it starts guzzling fuel to keep it at that increased speed. One of my favourite non-electric cars was the Kia Pro Ceed Diesel Eco engine and its sweet spot was 68mph. Any higher than 68mph and you would see the miles per gallon come tumbling down.
It’s the same with electric cars. There will be a top speed it can reach without stretching itself, but as soon as you start to push the motors beyond that point it will start reducing your range significantly. Have an experiment to find your car's sweet spot.
If you are new to electric vehicles then you may be surprised to be given the choice of different levels of regeneration when braking, or taking your foot off the pedal. I should state that these different modes do not affect your brakes and in an emergency situation your car should respond the same no matter the mode you are in.
These modes offer different levels of regeneration when you start to apply the brakes or when simply taking your foot off the accelerator. I personally would always recommend the highest level of regeneration, as this is simply recharging your battery from the power that's harvested when you slow down the vehicle.
Your car may also have a sport mode, or 4WD (four-wheel drive). Both these options are not money-saving and require vast amounts of power to sustain. I wouldn't recommend using these unless you really wanted to impress your passengers on a rare occasion.
Look through the options of your car and you may spot ECO which is the most fuel-efficient mode. In addition to restricting motor performance, these power-saving modes regulate other features of your car which normally draw power (e.g. air-con). You will notice a slightly decreased power and responsiveness but you’ll be extending your range noticeably.
Granted, a few of the initial incentives introduced years ago are now gone (remember £0 road tax?), the UK Government is still trying to encourage people to switch to EVs.
You can save up to 75% on the cost of installing an EV smart home charging point. This is available even now, after 1 April 2022. It may be something you should consider, especially if don’t have a free charge point nearby.
There’s a big downside – the scheme isn’t available to house owners at the moment (including mortgage payers). Only people renting or owning flats (and single-use properties) can take advantage of the discount.
Imagine if you could go to a petrol station where they offered you free fuel. Think how long that queue would be, all day and night. Now amazingly, there are still many free electric car chargers throughout the country. But as you can imagine, the demand for these free chargers increases every day, along with the number of EV's on the road.
According to Zap-Map, there are 3,961 free charging points in the UK – around 10% the total number! Most of these are found in supermarkets and in terms of which part of the UK gets the most free EV public chargers – the trophy goes to Scotland, which has more than 1,300 free charging stations.
If you can't find free then finding reasonable rates are your next course of action. Plan your routes and know where your next charge will be, and factor in a contingency charge station in case your first choice is taken or requires maintenance.
There are some truly rip off rates out there at public chargers, I have seen some over ten times higher than what it would cost to charge at home. Check out our guide on charging to learn how long it takes to charge an EV.
Whenever you look to save money in life, you should always think 'am I getting my money's worth?'. This is such an important question, especially when you're looking at making such a big financial decision.
Finding the right deal is key, whether it's with finance, leasing, cash transaction, or car subscription. Knowing you're paying the same as other drivers is a good way to know if you're getting the best price.
You can search for cars to see what offers are on your favourite car and compare that to what your friends and family have been paying on their car finance packages.
Most of our audience picks an EV on subscription through EZOO or elmo because the lack of long-term commitment (although longer subscriptions are available!). So, if you have an eye on a specific model, chances are these subscription companies would have it. All you need to do then is sign up for a month (or more) and give it a good test drive. Check our our in-depth electric car subscription hub!
Just look at this graph from SMMT - the only new car sales segment that's been growing over the past few months are the fully electric and hybrid cars!
When looking at how much it costs to charge publicly, we must factor in any discounts that any apps or subscription services may offer. For example, BP Pulse members benefit from a reduced rate per kWh when charging and can receive special offers to help reduce the overall cost. You can check out our interactive map of electric car charging stations!
As the market grows, new players will emerge and hopefully create a real infrastructure that the public can genuinely rely on. Check out our EV tariff comparison guide where we list all current deals offered by UK’s energy companies.
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