Electricity tariffs for electric cars

If you charge your electric vehicle from home then you may want to consider re-evaluating your current energy supplier and seeing whether an EV tariff or Economy 7 tariff can save you money on your home energy bill.

The number of miles you drive and how long and how often you charge your electric vehicle will factor into whether it is worth switching to a energy tariff with cheaper off peak electricity.

The more miles you do and the more time you spend charging your car at home the more likely you are to reduce the cost of your energy bills by switching energy suppliers.

Compare EV tariffs

Unfortunately there are currently no energy comparison sites that include EV tariffs as part of the comparison. Additionally many of the electric vehicle tariffs on offer from energy suppliers require you to be an existing customer before you can switch to their EV charging tariffs.

You may also need to have a charging point and smart meter installed to take advantage of any tariffs that give cheaper rates for charging electric vehicles.

With all these requirements and the need to visit each supplier individually to get a quote it makes it a complicated and cumbersome task to compare EV tariffs.

We have done a roundup of the currently available tariffs from the energy companies that provide them and also provided some useful calculations to give you an idea or costs and potential savings.

Some of the cheapest standard dual fuel tariffs can cost as little as 12p per kWh for an all day electricity rate. The least hassle option is where you compare energy yourself to see if you could save on your bills if you are already charging your car at home.

Car Battery kW Real world mileage Avg annual mileage Annual kWh used
Tesla model S 100 320 12,392 3,870
Nissan Leaf 2018 40 150 8,241 2,196
Renault Zoe 24 105 5,736 1,310

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging an electric car in the UK can vary depending on where you are charging it. On the road at a charging point it is going to cost more than charging your car at home.

The cost of charging your car will also depend on the cost of your home electricity tariff and the capacity of your car's battery. So a 100 kW battery will cost more to charge than a smaller 25 kW battery.

Costs will also be dependent on the amount of mileage you actually do. The more you drive, the more you have to charge the car and the greater the amount you spend on electricity.

To make it easier we've broken it down to three of the most popular models of electric car in the UK. We've taken the RAC's data on the average mileage drivers do in their electric cars. This is based on the specific make of car so it should be more realistic.

We have based the cost per kWh for UK electricity prices from Octopus at 15p per kWh to give you an idea of cost. You are likely to be paying more than this per kWh for your electric although you should really be paying less if you switched to a cheaper electricity provider.

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla (UK)?

A Tesla model S has a 100kW battery capacity and can do about 320 miles on a charge under real world conditions. A typical Tesla model S driver does an average of 12,392 miles per year.

So on a typical dual fuel energy tariff from Octopus costing about 15 pence per kWh you would see an increase of about £580 added onto your energy bill in order to charge your car for a year.

To fully charge a Tesla Model S would take 44hours using a standard UK 3 pin plug socket. If you get a home chagrin point installed a 3.7kW charger would take 27 hours to fully charge and the 7kW version takes 15 hours to fully charge your Tesla.

So for Tesla owners even with the fastest 7kW home charger installed it would still take 15 hours for a full recharge. Both Bulb and Shell have a 21 hour off peak period although at the 12.75p per kWh off peak price. You could get some all day tariffs at the same rate or cheaper, you can compare energy prices yourself here and get a better deal.

How much does it cost to charge a Nissan Leaf 2018 (UK)?

A typical Nissan Leaf driver with a 2018 model will drive an average of 8,241 miles per year. This model Leaf has a 40kW capacity battery and can do 150 real world miles on a charge.

Based on these figures you would be paying £329 extra on your electricity bill to cover the cost of charging your electric vehicle. This is assuming you are paying 15p per kWh, the typical cost of an Octopus tariff.

A 2018 model Nissan Leaf can be fully charged in 20 hours from a standard 3 pin UK plug socket. With a 7.4kW fast charger installed a full charge can be achieved within 6 hours. So in theory if you have a fast charger any of the 7 hour plus EV off peak tariffs would be long enough to fully charge you EV overnight.

How much does it cost to charge a Renault Zoe (UK)?

The UK model Renault Zoe has a 24kW battery capacity giving 105 miles on a real world charge. A Renault Zoe driver will do 5,736 miles annually in their electric car.

To charge the car to drive those 5,736 miles on a typical Octopus energy plan would cost you an additional £196 on your home energy bill.

A UK version Renault Zoe takes 11 and a half hours to charge from a standard UK wall socket. With a 7.4kW wall charger installed this takes it down to just over 3 hours making an off peak tariff a good option.

Best energy tariff for electric car owners

As you can see from the table below, there are a number of energy suppliers who have energy tariffs aimed at electric car owners. There is no one size fits all tariff for EV owners as you need to take account of how much you are currently paying for your gas and electricity within your home and how much electricity you use annually to charge your car.

EV owners charging their cars at home can use 1,300 kWh to 3,800 kWh of electricity to charge their electric vehicles per year. This is the average in the UK depending on what model EV you drive. The higher figure is higher than the average UK electricity usage for a typical household so you could end up using a lot of electricity charging an electric car at home.

Supplier Tariff Peak kWh Cost Off Peak kWh Cost Daily Charge Off-peak Hours
Scottish Power SmartPower EV 15.574p 4.736p 46.03p 00:00-05:00 (5)
Octopus Energy Octopus Go 14.12p 5.00p 25.00p 00:30-04:30 (4)
SSE 1 Year Fix and Drive 17.62p Free(2,000kWh) 23.87p 00:00-07:00 (7)
E.ON Fix and Drive v9 17.801p Free(850 miles) 21.212p -
EDF Energy Go Electric 16.96p 8.00p 24.50p 21:00-07:00 (10)
British Gas Electric Drivers Energy Plan Sep 2021 20.001p 4.700p 25.001p 00:00-05:00 (5)
OVO Energy EV Everywhere 17.64p 9.07p 21.67p 00:00-07:00 (7)
Bulb Energy Smart Tariff 25.25p 12.75p 20.56p 20:00-17:00 (21)
Shell Energy Charge and Drive 2021 25.25p 12.75p 20.56p 20:00-17:00 (21)
Tonik Energy Tonik Charge EV V3 tariff 17.021p 9.450p 28.571p 00:00-07:00 (7)
Ecotricity Green Electricity + EV 16.7265p 9.9750p 37.0335p 00:00-07:00 (7)
Good Energy EV Driver 3 16.45p - 43.87p -

Scottish power EV tariff

The SmartPower EV tariff from Scottish Power is only available to existing customers. Their SmartPower EV tariff gives you cheaper electricity for 5 hours between midnight and 5am at a reduced cost of 4.736 pence per kWh.

The downside is that you have to pay 15.574p per kWh for outside the off peak hours and there is a daily standing charge of 46.03p per day. The standing charge is about twice as expensive as the cheapest tariffs and you can get a unit cost of just under 12 pence with a tariff like One Green Flex from Outfox the market.

So if you wanted to switch to an EV tariff from Scottish Power you would first need to switch to an non-EV tariff and have a smart meter installed. Their cheapest tariff is currently the Super Saver July 2021 B3 at 2.323 pence per kWh for Gas with a 20.822p per day standing charge. Electricity on this tariff costs 15.034p per kWh and 20.822p per day standing charge.

So if you were on their cheapest tariff and switched to the SmartPower tariff you would get 5 hours of cheaper electricity from midnight to 5am but would pay slightly more than their cheapest tariff per kWh (15.034p to 15.574p) and also pay more in daily standing charges (20.822p to 46.03p).

It's a bit complicated to work out if it would be worth switching for your specific circumstances but if you were a Tesla driver doing lots of miles then you would be more likely to save money compared to a lower mileage Renault Zoe driver.

Octopus Energy EV tariff

The Octopus Go tariff gives you 4 hours of off peak cheap electricity from half past midnight till 4.30am. You pair this electricity tariff with one of their gas tariffs. The cheapest Octopus tariff is currently their Octopus 12 Month fixed. Gas for this dual fuel tariff is 2.562p per kWh with a 17.85p per day standing charge.

Electricity is priced at 15.0255p per kWh with a 21.672p per day standing charge.So changing to Octopus Go for EV charging your cost per kWH would go from 15.0255p to 14.12p with 4 hours at the cheaper 5.00p rate. Your standing charge would go from 17.85p per day to 25.00p per day.

Octopus Energy EV tariff would benefit those using more electricity than average which would be the case if you were charging your car every day.

SSE EV tariff

The SSE EV tariff is the 1 Year Fix and Drive. You have to be an SSE customer first before you can switch to the Fix and Drive tariff and you also need to supply them with proof that you own or rent an electric vehicle and you charge it at home.

They offer 2,000kWh of free off peak electricity to charge your car and this is divided between each yearly quarter, so 500 kWh over 3 months. If you use more, which you will, you will be charged 17.62p per kWh. Maybe this is fine if you have a Renault Twizy that you just drive at the weekend but if you're regularly using your Tesla and doing 12,000 miles per year it isn't such a great offer.

EON EV tariff

The Fix and Drive v9 tariff from E.ON is a 2 year fixed tariff. Like SSE it offers some free electricity each year, in E.ON's case 850 miles (about £30 worth). Again this is a great deal if you use the car for commuting as the unit cost is 17.801p and there are far cheaper tariffs available from other suppliers that are not EV specific.

Not a great deal from E.ON considering you would be locked into these prices for 24 months. For most electric car users a tariff that offers off peak cheaper electricity would be more cost effective.

EDF Energy EV tariff

The EDF Go Electric tariff can be used on a smart or standard meter. It offers both a single rate and an economy 7 style dual rate. Their dual rate Go Electric tariff offers 10 hours (9pm to 7am) of cheap rate electric at 8p per kWh with the peak rate costing 16.96p per kWh for the rest of the day. The daily standing charge is 24.50p.

With a generous 10 hours of cheap rate electricity it would be easier to charge your car within the off peak window compared to the measly 4 or 5 hours off peak offered by some of the other energy suppliers. They also have an EV tariff with a fixed price for standard single rate meters costing 11.81p per day which is quite reasonable. You do however have to prove you have an electric vehicle to charge in order to switch to the Go Electric tariff.

British Gas EV tariff

British Gas has an EV tariff, currently 'Electric Drivers Energy Plan Sep 2021' giving 5 hours of off peak cheaper rate electricity. You'll need to pay by direct debit, prove you have an electric vehicle and have a British Gas smart meter installed.

You get 5 hours a day off peak electricity at 4.700p per kWh between midnight and 5am. The cost per kWh for the rest of the day is 20.001p and the daily standing charge is 25.001p.

OVO EV tariff

OVO Energy has an EV tariff named EV Everywhere and offers a single rate tariff or a dual rate Economy 7 style tariff. Included is a POLAR Plus membership so you can charge your car up at charge point whilst away from home. However on 80% or the POLAR Plus charge points are included with the membership so if you need to use one of the other 20% of charge points you will have to pay.

OVO offers 7 hours off peak (midnight to 7am) at 9.07p per kWh and 17.64p at all other times with a daily standing charge of 21.67p. Their single rate meter version of the tariff offer a flat rate of 15.74p per kWh all day and a daily standing charge of 24.5p.

Bulb EV tariff

Bulb's Smart Tariff is aimed at EV owners and offers 21 hours of off peak electricity during the week and all day weekends. The off-peak rates is 12.75p per kWh and peak is 25.25p per kWh with a 20.56p per day standing charge.

The off peak period runs from 8pm until 5pm the following day and all day during the weekend. Whilst this is a great length of off peak time the rate of 12.75p is much higher than most other EV tariffs and about the same price as a cheap all day rate from cheaper energy providers. At 25.25p the, although short, (5pm to 8pm) peak period is very pricey.

You need to already have a SMETS2 second generation smart meter installed and be an existing Bulb customer to join this tariff.

Tonik EV tariff

The Tonik Energy EV tariff offers an economy 7 style 7 hour off peak rate from midnight to 7am. Tonik Energy's Charge EV v3 has a 28.572p per day standing charge with a peak rate of 17.021p per kWh and off peak rate of 9.450p per kWh.

You will need a 2 rate economy 7 style meter or a SMETS2 second generation smart meter installed to sign up for this tariff.

Ecotricity EV tariff

The Ecotricity EV charging tariff is designed as an economy 7 style 2 rate tariff and for single rate meters. The Green Electricity + EV tariff offers 7 hours of off peak rate electricity from midnight to 7am at 9.9750p per kWh. The day peak rate is charged at 16.7265p per kWh and there is a 37.0335p per day standing charge for electricity.

The single rate tariff version is a flat all day rate of 15.0360p per kWh with a 37.0335p per day standing charge. You also get half price charging on Ecotricity's Electric Highway charging points when you are out and about, costing 15p per kWh rather than the usual 30p per kWh.

Good Energy EV tariff

The EV Drive 3 tariff from Good Energy is a single rate tariff with a higher daily charge and lower kWh unit rate compared to their standard variable tariff. There are no off peak rates a they charge a flat all day rate of 16.45p per kWh with a daily standing charge of 43.87p per day.

Good Energy and Ecotricity are the 2 true green energy suppliers where they generate their own electricity or have direct partnerships with renewable energy generators.