Electric car sales are a bright spot in an otherwise beleaguered market for new vehicles.
Official figures show both battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars have seen strong growth in the last year while petrol and diesel motor sales have fallen dramatically.
In the midst of that, a new comparison service has launched, helping electric car owners find the best tariffs, home charging and installation costs.
Rightcharge claims it can save bill payers more than £230 a year on their energy bills while drivers can also save more than £100 on the upfront cost of installing a charger.
New service helps users compare EV energy tariffs, home charging and installation costs
As the first of its kind, the site launched due to growing environmental awareness and the rapid growth in the ownership of zero emission vehicles, with registrations up by 157 per cent in 2020.
It says a lack of clear information means drivers are missing the opportunity to switch to specific EV energy tariffs and install smart charge points – a mistake that is costing them hundreds of pounds every year in energy bills.
Charlie Cook, founder and chief executive of Rightcharge, said: ‘The explosion of EV ownership means there is more choice than ever – of cars, chargers and energy tariffs.
‘However, without easy to compare information, drivers are still in the dark about what options work best for them to get the best deal.
‘Ten million people will switch to an electric car in the next 10 years. With the right advice, drivers can collectively save over £10billion on home charging energy bills in the next decade.’
How can people save money?
Generally, EV-specific energy tariffs will offer customers cheaper energy rates at times of low demand, such as overnight.
However, they can be difficult to find, with price comparison sites not offering many to compare between.
By combining a specific tariff with a smart charger, which can be scheduled to charge a car at the cheapest times, bill payers could save hundreds of pounds and ensure their energy is as green as possible.
It’s estimated that only a fraction of households currently take advantage of smart home charging, meaning many drivers are overpaying on their energy bills by an average of £233.19 per year, or as much as £1,102.94 per year for those who have a high annual mileage.
For example, by adopting a smart charger and a time-of-use tariff, drivers can charge overnight for as little as 5p per kWh – around 1p per mile.
This is compared to a Standard Variable Tariff, which comes in at an average of 17p per kWh, costing drivers four times more to charge their car – around 4.5p per mile.
Installation of home charging units, and the cost associated, has often put people off, with many rather using public ports instead.
However, Rightcharge is hoping to prove that this won’t always cost thousands of pounds and instead could be installed for a cheaper price when you know where to look.
Graeme Cooper, project director for electric vehicles at National Grid, said: ‘There could be 35million electric vehicles on UK roads by 2040.
‘Ensuring these drivers have easy access to smart technology that rewards them for charging their cars with clean and cheap electricity when it is plentiful will be key to minimising stress on the grid, keeping bills down and emissions low.’
Best value EV tariffs in Europe
Separate data from Delta-EE, an energy consultancy firm, found that the best value tariffs for an EV owner were available in the UK and Spain were EV tariffs, with British Gas and Lucera respectively, when comparing deals throughout Europe.
However, on average, EV tariffs were found to be worse value than the average of other tariffs on the market, for a medium mileage EV owner. Only in Germany was an EV tariff consistently better value.
The research also revealed that the average EV owner across Europe is spending €45.09 on EV charging in a typical month.
Of this, €29.35 is the average amount Europeans are adding to their home electricity bills each month for EV charging.
The remaining €15.74 is spent on public charging, for example, access fees, session fees and subscriptions.
When compared to the average anticipated spend on petrol of €114.45 per month, this would be a saving of €69.38 every month – a 61 per cent reduction.
Delta-EE’s combined EV market assumptions with electricity tariff data to create estimates across six markets.
How does it work?
Rightcharge enables drivers to find a suitable energy tariff and smart EV chargers, as well as the best company to install the home charger.
Drivers are able to compare all available options, using information about their home and driving habits to tailor their results.
Users put in what car they own, where they live and if they have a garage or driveway available.
They will then get a list of options for chargers and energy tariffs to suit their needs.
By switching from a petrol car to an EV and using Rightcharge’s services to find the best EV energy tariff and home charge point, it claims drivers can expect to save an average of £670.25 – or up to £3,170.11 for those who have a high annual mileage – on fuel costs alone.
The firm is partnering with leasing companies and car dealerships across the UK to help them to offer the full range of charge point options to their customers, as demand rapidly shifts towards EVs.
Retailers pay nothing for the service and even receive a commission for each driver that uses the tool, creating a cost-free revenue stream.
Charlie adds: ‘Our relationships with charge point providers and hand-picked installers mean we can give customers the best possible experience and price.
‘Dealerships and leasing companies are experts in educating consumers about the benefits of EVs, but by partnering with Rightcharge, they also have instant access to the UK’s only all-in-one comparison service for home charging.’
Charlie Cook, pictured, is the founder & CEO of electric vehicle comparison site, Rightcharge
What is smart charging?
Rightcharge is aiming to facilitate a move toward smart charging, where EV charging can be adapted automatically to take place at times of low demand and clean energy generation, which could reduce this peak demand by up to 47 per cent and save users money.
At the moment, there is still a lot of ‘dumb’ EV charging, where EVs charge from the moment they are plugged in until they are unplugged, puts significant strain on the UK’s energy network.
This creates a peak in power demand, which could reach more than 5GW each evening by 2030, equivalent to powering 5million homes for an hour.
With smart charging, the customer benefits from the cheapest and cleanest available power, while the peak of demand is reduced UK wide, ensuring an efficient and lower-cost energy system for everyone.
How are EV’s helping the new car market?
The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers shows September recorded the lowest number of new car registrations in 21 years.
Registrations are down 4.4 per cent annually with 328,041 new 70 plate models sold – the lowest figure since a second annual plate change was introduced for the ninth month in 1999.
However, electric vehicles are providing hope with battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid cars showing strong growth as these zero and low-emission models accounted for more than one in 10 registrations in September.
Demand for BEVs continuing to surge, up 184.3 per cent compared with September last year with sales of 21,903 electric cars in September accounting for a third of all 2020’s BEV registrations.
Which EV’s have the longest range?
To help potential EV customers decide which car is best for them, This is Money has listed the 10 battery electric models available in the UK with the longest ‘official’ ranges.
The top three with the longest ranges, perhaps unsurprisingly, are all from electric car firm Tesla.
Coming in first place is the Tesla Model S which can run for 379 miles before it needs charging. However, the motor will set you back £77,980.
In second place is also a Tesla, this time the Model 3, with a slightly shorter time of 348 miles. Motorists could make a bigger saving on this car than the Model S, however, with a much lower price tag of £46,990.
In third place is the Tesla Model X with a range of 314 miles but a hefty price of £82,980.