There has been criticism of the government’s decision to end grants worth £1,500 towards buying electric cars this week with motoring groups suggesting this could stop consumers buying the green vehicles.
Instead, the Department for Transport said funding would now be “refocussed” towards public charging and supporting the purchase of electric vans, taxis and motorcycles.
However, it is hoped drivers will still consider investing in buying an electric vehicle instead of a diesel or petrol car, especially as they are becoming cheaper to own.
They are currently growing in popularity with more than one in six new cars on the road now either battery electric or hybrid.
For those who do have one, or are considering buying an EV, it is cheapest for those motorists to charge their car from home and install a charging point.
Whilst energy prices have soared for millions in recent times, there are still several EV specific tariffs available on the market, that won’t cost the earth.
i, with the help of Go Compare, reveals the best ones.
What are EV specific tariffs?
EV tariffs are specifically designed for owners of electric vehicles who want to be able to charge them at home.
These tariffs usually offer a lower rate per unit of electricity used at night, similarly to domestic Economy 7 tariffs, with the rationale that car owners can charge overnight when they’re less likely to be away from home, and therefore pay less to do so, according to Uswitch.
It’s worth noting that most, if not all, of these electric car tariffs will require you to have a smart meter so the supplier can track your usage at different times of the day and charge you the right amount (i.e. less for the lower night-time hours).
If you don’t, or can’t, have a smart meter, you probably won’t be able to take advantage of these EV charging tariffs.
The best EV offers available
Many of the top electric car energy tariffs are with the Big Six providers.
However, the best EV energy tariff currently available is with Good Energy on its Green Driver 5 hour tariff costing an average of £793.88 a year.
The off peak hours are between midnight and 5am.
This is closely followed by British Gas on its Electric Drivers Jun 2023 deal costing an average of £864.96 a year with its off peak hours also between midnight and 5am.
E.ON Next and Shell Energy follow with annual costs of £971.81 and £990.99, respectively.
EDF Energy and Ovo Energy are two of the most expensive.
Customers on EDF’s GoElectric 35 May24 pay an average yearly cost of £1,365.62 whilst Ovo Energy customers on its Ovo Drive deal will pay £1,698.45.
The figures have been calculated using Ofgem’s medium user consumption for an E7 tariff which is 4200kWh (split 58 per cent day and 42 per cent night).
An E7 tariff would be applicable to an EV tariff as they often use E7 rates.
Ryan Fulthorpe, motoring spokesperson at GoCompare, said: “EVs are absolutely the future, and there’s now more choice than ever when it comes to purchasing an electric vehicle.
“The range on these vehicles is longer and there are more places to charge, but there is still some way to go when it comes to building the infrastructure needed to turn this rapidly-growing market segment into a market leader.
“While the news that the Government has ended the plug-in car grant scheme is a setback, there are still several other points to consider if you are thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle.”
Mr Fulthorpe says although the up-front cost of EV cars is typically higher than their petrol and diesel equivalents, the lifetime running costs are lower, particularly if you benefit from free charging points, for instance at your workplace.
He added: “Taking plenty of time to consider your purchase is key. Electric vehicles vary widely when it comes to things such as charge and range capacity, so consider your lifestyle and driving habits before you buy. For example, thinking about how often you need to make long journeys will help determine the type of car you need.
“As with petrol and diesel cars, it also helps to compare Electric Car Insurance ahead of time, as this will be a key expense to factor into your budget.”
Why were EV grants stopped?
Ministers closed the plug-in car grant, which offered drivers up to £1,500 off the cost of a new electric vehicle, claiming it is no longer needed to spur EV purchases.
The Government said the money used would be better spent addressing other “barriers” to EV ownership, such as expanding the number of public charge points and supporting taxi drivers and van drivers to switch to electric models.
However, experts have argued the move is not a good one.
Alex Hasty, director at Compare the Market, said: “Motorists will be disappointed that the Government has chosen to scrap the plug-in grant. This decision is worse for the environment and drivers’ pockets. Despite rising energy bills, our figures show an electric vehicle is typically more than £550 cheaper to run each year compared to a petrol-fuelled car.
“However, the significant upfront cost of buying an electric vehicle and installing a home charging point will prevent many drivers from switching, especially when household budgets are under so much pressure due to the cost-of-living crisis.
“Both electric and petrol car owners could help reduce the cost of running their car by more than £100 each year by switching to a cheaper insurance policy ahead of their renewal.”