The best EV energy tariffs for 2022

What are they and how to find the cheapest one for your electric car and home?

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Long-range batteries and optional extras as standard has made joining the electric vehicle revolution the most appealing point in time, today. With the cost of fuel rising to all-time highs, detailed in my previous article here, it has never made more financial sense to go green.
 
Today we explore the minefield which is energy tariffs and how to get the best out of charging from home.
 
A major benefit of owning an electric car is the ability to shop around for your fuel from the comfort of your home. There is no driving to the next petrol station in the futile hope of cheaper fuel prices, or that rage building drive past pumps 5p a litre cheaper than what you just topped up at the station down the road. 
 
Fuel price stability is a major factor in life that a whole generation is experiencing the hard way. Record high prices at the fuel pumps are eating into household budgets and eroding business profits. When purchasing, or leasing a new car it is important to budget and factor in the running costs of the vehicle. There will be many people who did this with petrol and diesel engines during the lockdowns of 2020 and factored into their running cost calculations the record low prices of that time. When there is a chance of the price of fuel increasing in your budget you should always factor this in as a contingency.
 
A fixed-rate electricity tariff, tailored to electric vehicles with bargain nighttime charging rates is the remedy to keep soaring fuel costs under control. Being able to say if I drive this many miles and can charge this amount during my off-peak rates at home and at this price per unit of electricity (kWh) for the next 2 years, is a stable budgeting technique preventing any nasty surprises.
 
There are many different types of electricity tariffs out there, all with the sole purpose to bamboozle and trap you into paying the most for your energy as possible. It certainly is a powderkeg, especially with the recent record increases the energy markets have faced. Over the last two months, I have seen an incredible amount of people duped onto what can only be described as a scam energy tariff. 

Your fixed tariff should either save you money over the variable tariff or protect you from future price increases. When it does neither of those and is over 50% of what you are likely to pay on a variable tariff, then you have been hoodwinked by the energy giants into departing with your hard-earned money. 
 
So, are there any EV tariffs you can take advantage of at home? The answer is ‘yes’! Some electricity tariffs allow you to switch, which isn’t something providers are generally up for doing at the moment.

What are electric vehicle energy tariffs?

An electric car tariff is quite simply a far cheaper smart meter version of an Economy 7 tariff. It’s a tariff only available for the purpose of recharging your electric vehicle at home.

You are given an off-peak rate to charge your car and it can be for up to a 7-hour period at night time. These cheap periods are usually between midnight and 6am.

You can still get an EV tariff even during the current energy crisis
Most tariffs are available to existing customers only, however this seems to change (as reported by our audience). We've had people who have managed to switch to an EV tariff as a new customer.

These tariffs don't tend to be advertised openly as they go very quickly, so if you find a provider you like, give them a call and see if they accept new customers.

Types of EV tariffs

Generally speaking, there are three types of EV tariffs available in the UK:

  • Single-rate tariff – you pay the same unit price throughout the day, however you get a discounted rate if you have an electric car.
  • Two-rate tariff – this is the more common tariff which has two different electricity rates, regardless of whether you have an EV (although some providers may have a cheaper EV rate). This means you have a much cheaper rate at night and you can take advantage of it for all of your household appliances (washing machine, dishwasher etc).
  • Two-rate tariff (EV specific) – most suppliers will offer a specific tariff to cater to EV drivers. This will be at a much cheaper nighttime rate than compared to a traditional two-rate tariff.

What are the benefits of an EV tariff?

The main reason why you’d want to get an EV tariff is that they are cheaper. However, there are other benefits which you may wish to consider.

Save money when charging your EV

The main benefit is that you’ll be saving quite a lot of money. The savings are staggering, versus charging at peak daytime rates at home or public charging infrastructure. The recent price cap increase, which saw energy prices going up by 54%, means that the majority of households may be paying the standard variable average of just under 29p per kWh of electricity. In fact, 22 million out of 27.8m households in the UK are on price cap currently says Ofgem.

The key advantage of an EV tariff is that you have access to much cheaper electricity, usually at night (off-peak) so you can charge your vehicle for as low as 4p per kWh (e.On Next Drive’s tariff). The prices vary by provider and area, but in this example, you’ll be paying about 85% less than your normal day rate.

See our other EV money-saving tips

Driving renewable energy forward

All UK energy providers are now trying to find ways to generate energy from renewable sources. By getting an EV, and choosing an EV tariff, you will be supporting these efforts.

All UK EV energy suppliers are complying with the Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin  (REGO) scheme. This scheme ensures energy suppliers are transparent about the source of their energy and exactly how much of it comes from renewables.

Save on smart home EV chargers

To support the rollout and use of electric and hybrid cars in the UK, the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offers a charge point grant.

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.

There’s a big downside – the scheme isn’t available to house owners (including mortgage payers). Only people renting or owning flats (and single-use properties) can take advantage of the discount.

OVO Energy also gives their customers £70 off if they get a smart home EV charger.

So, are EV tariffs cheaper? The answer is very much a ‘yes’!

Car subscription providers with free EV charging

If you’re looking to subscribe to an EV and the cost of charging is on your mind, you can try getting one from providers like Onto or elmo. Both have their own offers that make driving and owning an electric car a bit cheaper.

For example, Onto offers free public charging at Shell Recharge, InstaVolt, BP Pulse and even the Tesla Supercharge network. Elmo also have charging partners – Ohme and BP Pulse.

EV tariffs look like a no-brainer overall. Imagine if you could achieve an 85% saving on your petrol or diesel bill, you'd drive a long way to get that service station's prices. It's no wonder that going green is making traditional fuel users green, with envy.

I'm on an Economy 7 tariff, should I switch?

Yes! Since the variable tariff increased in price, Economy 7 tariffs are now over twice as expensive as you'd expect to pay on an EV tailored rate.

How to find your cheapest EV tariff

The easiest way is to scroll down to the bottom of this page where we’ve listed the current electric vehicle tariff available. You’ll need to think about your energy usage and find out the exact rates for your area.

Every provider has either a rate card or a quote process which you need to go through so you can get the most accurate cost. Something to keep in mind is that sometimes you can get a very cheap night, off-peak, rate but the daytime unit rate is higher.

The best way to identify a cheap tariff is to look at the duration of the cheap off-peak rate and how much of your usage you can fit into it. The daily standing charge is not much of a factor when looking at bills of an EV household, as these are only charged once per day.

It is far more important to focus on the unit rates which are charged for each kWh of electricity that you consume. A higher standing charge coupled with low unit rates is far more preferable to an EV driver than low standing charges and high unit rates.

Who are the best energy providers for electric vehicle owners?

To say if someone is the best you have to look at the whole package of what you are being offered. The cheapest price may not be the best for you if it is coupled with an awful customer experience and a minimal amount of green energy.

For each supplier we can break it down into three categories – unit price, customer service and green credentials.

How "green" are EV tariffs?

When browsing through the available tariffs you’ll notice one thing – every supplier claims to be ‘100% green’ or generating 100% of their energy from renewable sources. So, the question really is, how green are these suppliers and the tariffs they offer? The answer isn’t that straightforward.

It basically means that the supplier has a range of energy sources – nuclear, wind, solar, or others – and makes use of all to make that claim.

Can I still switch to an EV tariff?

The energy crisis has made what used to be a straightforward switching process, far more complicated. Gone are the days when you could type in comparison sites your details and it would return the best offers available.

With the fixed prices at a premium, many comparison sites have simply stopped updating their databases. With the fear of a backlash from consumers who get switched onto a more costly deal, they've simply replaced their deals with a message warning "now is the time not to switch".

Although this is good advice for the majority of households, it isn't applicable to the EV motorist.

On 4 April, I helped an old friend ditch their terrible single rate of 33p per kWh for an Intelligent Octopus Tariff with a nighttime charge rate of only 7.5p per kWh. Their cost per charge has reduced from £25.50 on their variable rate tariff to only £5.62 with Octopus.

I would advise any electric vehicle owner to give a call to their supplier, if they are currently on a single rate, to see what EV tariffs are available to them. If there is no offer on the table with your current supplier, then the savings justify a move to pastures new.

Do I have to get a smart meter?

All providers require you to have a smart meter, except for one – EDF on their basic ‘GoElectric’ tariff. The catch is that their night rate is 37.92p while if you opt for a smart meter and their ‘GoElectric 35’ tariff, you’ll be paying 4.5p per kWh.

Does an electric car mean paying more on electricity bills?

Yes and no… let me explain. It’s normal to pay more on your electricity bill simply because you now have to use electricity to charge your car, which is something you hadn’t done before. Energy providers don’t increase their price per kWh just because you now plug in and charge an electric car at home.

That’s why, to avoid paying more for your electricity with an electric car, you should consider switching to an EV-specific tariff. This way you can take advantage of the much cheaper electricity rates at night.

Compare and find the cheapest EV tariffs

To say if someone is the best you have to look at the whole package of what you are being offered. The cheapest price may not be the best for you if it is coupled with an awful customer experience and a minimal amount of green energy. For each supplier we can break it down into three categories - price, customer service and green credentials.

The tariff listed below are based on information found on each supplier’s website. These tend to change so the information is accurate as of 18/05/2022.

4.4
76k reviews
Bulb Energy
EV tariff
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 2am to 6am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

35p
6.71p
48.1p/day
1.45p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.7
93k reviews
Octopus Energy
Octopus GO
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 12:30am to 4:30am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

14p
7.5p
31.88p/day
1.63p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff.  Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.7
93k reviews
Octopus Energy
Intelligent Octopus
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 11:30pm to 5:30am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

35.04p
7.5p
47.88p/day
1.63p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.1
30k reviews
EDF Energy
GoElectric
100% renewable

Same unit price all day, every day.
Smart meter NOT required.
See tariff details.

37.92p
37.92p
28.1p/day
8.22p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.1
30k reviews
EDF Energy
GoElectric 98
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 9pm to 7am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

38.96p
18.85p
38p/day
4.08p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.1
30k reviews
EDF Energy
GoElectric 35
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 12am to 5am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

37.91p
4.5p
38p/day
0.97p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

3.4
35k reviews
E.On
Next Drive
100% renewable

Not available currently.
Off-peak price applies every night from 12am to 4am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

17.6p
4p
38p/day
0.87p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.2
55k reviews
OVO Energy
Drive + Anytime
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 12am to 4am.
Drive+Anytime is an add-on and requires an OVO Drive plan (dual-fuel) first:
• plug in anytime
• follow optimised smart charge schedule for 5p per kWh
• or boost to fast charge at 35p per kWh day time rate.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details

5p
5p
46.6p/day
1.08p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.5
5.8k reviews
Good Energy
Green Driver 7 Hour
100% renewable

Prices are outdated. Prices will be updated as soon as the provider updates their tariffs.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

22.7p
7p
31.19p/day
1.52p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.5
5.8k reviews
Good Energy
Green Driver 5 Hour
100% renewable

Prices are outdated. Prices will be updated as soon as the provider updates their tariffs.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

23.33p
5p
31.19p/day
1.08p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

3.6
41k reviews
Scottish Power
SmartPower EV
100% renewable

Get a quote to find an estimated cost for your home and area.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

17.33p
4.73p
46.06p/day
1.02p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

3.1
92k reviews
British Gas
Electric Drivers
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 12am to 5am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

42.02p
21p
56.45p/day
4.55p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

3.1
92k reviews
British Gas
Electric Drivers
100% renewable

Off-peak price applies every night from 12am to 5am.
Smart meter required.
See tariff details.

40.17p
15p
48p/day
3.25p/mile

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always check providers' websites. Cost per mile example calculated for a Kia e-Niro using night EV tariff. Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

4.1
58k reviews
Shell Energy
Home Charging

Request an individual quote.
See tariff details.

Disclaimer: Rates and standing charges may vary by area. Always contact providers to check details.  Reviews based on TrustPilot profile.

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