An energy supplier is offering its customers the chance to lease an electric vehicle for a ‘reduced’ price – at the same time as trialing new environmentally friendly technology.
Octopus Energy, through its sister company, Octopus Electric Vehicles, is encouraging customers to take part in a trial and give them access to its new Powerloop V2G Leasing Bundle.
Customers will be testing a technology called ‘vehicle-To-grid’ (V2G) charging which essentially turns an electric car into a battery pack that can then power their home ‘off-grid’.
As part of the bundle, customers will get a ‘competitive’ lease on a Nissan LEAF, one of the most popular electric cars, a new EV charger for free and £30 off their energy bills every month.
Customers will be testing V2G technology which turns an electric car into a battery pack
It claims vehicle-to-grid can help make a 100 per cent green energy system possible in the UK by ‘balancing the grid’ in a future world where all the nation’s power is generated purely from on-and-off energy sources like the wind and the sun.
With V2G, people can charge their cars when green energy is plentiful and cheaper and then use that stored green energy to power their home ‘off-grid’ when more of the UK’s power is coming from dirty fossil fuels and it’s more expensive.
To see how well this technology works, Octopus Energy is trialing it out with willing participants, running until March 2021.
The trial is taking place in areas across the South East and for customers in the trial area, who want to take part, can register through the Octopus Energy website.
It states that you can lease a new Nissan Leaf from Octopus Electric Vehicles, from £225 a month, as the energy firm states that ten Nissan Leafs could power 1,000 homes for an hour.
It depends on the equipment of the car, but the costs start at around £250 a month for a Nissan Leaf N Connecta in red for a 36 months lease, excluding the initial deposit of around £3,000.
Those leasing a car will have to hand it back at the end of the 36 months – there is no option to make a balloon payment to keep the car at the end of the three years.
Customers will also get a Wallbox Quasar Charger which will enable the V2G charging functionality, for free, all whilst continuing to receive 100 per cent green Octopus Energy.
They will get £30 off their energy bills a month, as a reward for taking part, provided they complete 12 full cycles a month.
One cycle includes plugging your car in before 6pm and staying plugged in until at least 5am the next day, charging your home at the same time through V2G.
Households will also have access to an app that will allow them to control their charging schedule.
Those trialing the new bundle will lease a Nissan Leaf, one of the most popular electric cars
The V2G technology was born in Japan, and momentum grew in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, where mass power cuts led engineers to create an EV battery/charger designed to function as a ‘back-up generator’ to power homes in emergencies.
Now, the technology has morphed into an even broader, climate-fighting solution which could help save the UK an estimated £30billion in infrastructure upgrade costs as we build a greener energy system.
Through V2G much more electricity will be bought and stored when it’s not in demand, and therefore much cheaper, which is usually during the night.
The Powerloop trial is funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and Octopus says it’s one of the biggest initiatives of its kind globally.
Both Octopus Energy and Octopus Electric Vehicles are involved alongside the network operator UKPN, and it teamed up with Nissan because of their charging technology.
Nissan Leaf is also one of only a few cars on the market that’s capable of sending power back to the grid as it uses CHAdeMO technology.
But Octopus is not the only supplier offering deals for EV customers.
This is Money investigated how many offers are available at the moment.
However, pinning down EV specific tariffs can be tricky due to the way they are priced.
For example, the rates change at certain times of the day, making it tricky to provide accurate comparisons.
One of the only electric vehicle specific tariffs available is from Eon on their Fix and Drive v10 deal.
This is priced at £1,018, however, customers receive a £30 account credit each year if they own an EV.
British Gas also has a EV specific deal on its Electric Drivers Nov 2021 tariff giving customers cheaper, off-peak electricity between 12:00am and 5:00am so they can charge their electric vehicle for less.
Ovo offers EV Everywhere, a two year fixed energy plan that gives users 100 per cent green energy and works with Economy 7.
Mini owners who sign up to this tariff are eligible for 5,000 free green miles.
Octopus, aside from its new bundle, also offers customers the Octopus Go tariff for EV drivers.
The Go tariff costs 5p per kWh between 12.30am and 4.30am so customers can charge their car for just £5 overnight.
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