Save £1,367 a Year with an EV (and 8 More EV Money-Saving Tips)

Save £1,367 a Year with an EV (and 8 More EV Money-Saving Tips)

An increasing number of people are being drawn to electric vehicles because of their green energy. However, many people are put off by their higher initial costs and worries about range and charging on longer journeys. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With a range of money saving options to reduce the initial costs of EVs and to reduce their already low running costs, switching to an EV is economically worthwhile in the long run. We spoke to EV specialist and co-founder at EVCables.com, Graham O’Reilly, to get the company’s  top EV money-saving tips so you can see where you could be making big savings.


Tips for Saving on EV Running Costs

1. Free Charging Stations

Saving: Save up to £1,367 a year.

Throughout the UK (and around the world), there is an ever increasing network of public EV charging stations. The prices of charging your EV will vary throughout this network with around 8.5% of the network offering free EV charging. With the average car clocking up 7,400 miles a year, fueling a petrol car will cost around £1,367 per year and £1,243.20 per year for a diesel car (with unleaded petrol costing 146.35p per litre and diesel costing 158.91p per litre as of 01/05/2023). 

“You could save thousands of pounds with an EV by planning your car charging at free public charging stations as you go about your normal life. There are thousands of free chargers in the car parks of big supermarkets, hotels, shopping centres, airports, park and rides, and even your workplace. Charge up while you’re doing your weekly shop or while you’re at work to save both time and money.” says O’Reilly.

Charging your EV at a home charging station would also save you hundreds of pounds compared to spending your money on petrol or diesel with a yearly cost of around £666-£814 (based on an average electricity cost of 34p per kW). 

Wherever you’re charging up your EV, it’s useful to bring a charging cable with you in case the cable at the public charging point is missing, damaged, or too short to reach your vehicle. A range of cable lengths are available as well as useful accessories for storing and transporting your cable. Don’t know what cable is compatible with your EV? Check out our handy cable guide.

 

2. Charge Between 20%-80%

Saving: Avoid using more expensive fast charging

To protect the battery, your EV will slow down its charging speed between 0-20% and 80-100%. Therefore, to improve the Battery State of Health and preserve the resale value, it’s recommended to keep your battery charged between 20-80%. Protecting the battery also ensures the EV has a long range throughout its life, reducing the need to use more expensive fast charging stations as often. It’s also important to remember that EVs can lose their charge when parked for longer periods of time. Keeping your charge between 20%-80% also helps to protect the battery and reduces the loss of charge when the vehicle is parked meaning you aren’t losing as much power that you’ve paid for and need to replace.

O’Reilly’s advice for longer journeys is “if you’re going on a longer journey, charging your EV to 100% can be tempting as it’ll give you a larger range. However, It’s quicker, cheaper (as you won’t be using a fast charging station), and healthier for your EV if you charge your EV to 80% then recharge back up to 80% further along your journey.”

 

3. Track Your Charging

Saving: Switching tariffs could save you hundreds of pounds a year

There are a range of EV charging apps available with many car manufacturers supplying their own apps for their EVs. Using an app compatible with your EV allows you to track the charge of your battery and set charging limits (like setting your EV to charge to 80%). 

Charging apps can also save you money by showing you the most cost-effective charging times and electric tariffs. O’Reilly says “it’s usually more environmentally friendly and cost-effective to charge your EV during off-peak times. To make the most of this, you could use your EV app to set your vehicle to start charging and stop charging at certain times throughout the night.” 

Energy suppliers might also have tariffs specifically for EV owners to help reduce the costs of charging your EV (which can add up to hundreds of pounds of savings every year). If you fancy becoming more environmentally friendly and helping to reduce the cost of your daily household electric use as well as your EV charging, installing solar panels on the roof of your house might also be an option for you.

4. Use the Right Car Mode

Saving: Increase your range by 5%

Many newer vehicles offer a range of driving modes, allowing you to pick the driving mode that best suits your environment, driving conditions, and mood. However, driving modes can have a big impact on the fuel consumption of your vehicle, ultimately costing you more in charging costs. To keep your EV costs down, avoid driving modes like sport and 4 wheel drive. Instead, it’s estimated that you could boost your range on a single charge by about 5% by opting for an eco mode. Eco mode sends power back to your car battery when you break as well as regulating other fuel consuming aspects of driving (like your air con).

O’Reilly adds that “using different driving modes is needed in some situations and is fun to try out. But if you want to make your money go further, eco mode is the way to go.”

 

5. Use EV Tyres

Saving: Get over 10,000 extra miles out of your tyres

“If you’re using regular tyres on your EV, you’re losing out.” Electric vehicles are heavier than their petrol and diesel equivalents due to the lithium-ion battery. Regular tyres that aren’t built for EVs will wear down more quickly under the weight of the EV and need replacing more regularly. Save money by opting for tyres specifically made for EVs that are more durable and will last on average over 10,000 miles further than normal tyres.

It’s also important to ensure that your tyres have the right tyre pressures. O’Reilly advises that if your tyres aren’t properly inflated, “even by a drop of just 7 psi, driving range can be reduced by 5%, meaning you’ll need to pay to charge your EV more often to achieve the same range as an EV with the right tyre pressures”.

Money-Saving Tips for the Initial EV Costs

6. Buy Second-Hand

Saving: Cut the price of your EV in half

“Electric vehicles have a higher initial cost than their non-electric counterparts due to the cost of the lithium-ion battery. However, as more and more electric vehicles are being produced and bought, the amount of second-hand EVs available at cheaper prices is also on the increase.” explains O’Reilly. This means you’re more likely to find a quality EV at half the new car price or less, allowing you to make the most of the cheaper running costs of an EV (as well as helping the environment). However, when buying an EV, it’s important to make sure the Battery State of Health is above 85% to ensure you’re not purchasing an under performing EV.

 

7. Lease Your Battery

Saving: Knock around £6,500 off the initial EV cost

Another option for reducing the initial cost of an EV is to lease your battery. As the battery is the part that makes EVs so expensive, paying a monthly rent for your battery reduces the upfront costs and usually removes the responsibility of paying for any battery fixes and maintenance. O’Reilly does acknowledge the downside that “you’ll usually have a cap on the distance you can travel. However, if you work out your usual travel distance, you can often make a deal for the cap to be high enough to meet your usual travel needs.”

Depending on the EV model and the driving range, leasing a battery can cost around £50-£100 a month. Doing this would save you around £6,500 on the initial car cost (depending on the model). Therefore, it would take over 6 years for leasing to become more costly than buying the battery. 


8. Charging Point Subscription

Saving: Spread the cost of your home charger over 3 years


O’Reilly also advises that “paying a monthly charge to reduce your initial costs is available to help with the costs of purchasing a charging point as well as renting a battery.” However, instead of just renting the charging point (like with the battery), the charging point subscription allows you to own the charging point but spread the cost over a longer period of time. For example, the Egg EV Charger offers the option of a monthly payment of £24.50 for 3 years instead of the one off payment of £882.


9. Grants and Government Schemes

Saving: Get 75% the cost of installing your home charging unit

The final tip that O’Reilly suggests is that “to help with the larger initial costs and to encourage the use of more environmentally friendly transport, grants and payment schemes are available from the government and electricity providers.” Although the government is no longer providing grants to help buy electric cars, they are still providing grants for other low emission vehicles. For example, a grant of up to £2,500 is available for buying electric small vans, up to £5,000 for electric large vans, and up to £7,500 for taxi drivers wanting to buy an EV. However, there are calls for the government to provide more support to help the logistics sector switch their fleets from mainly diesel to electric power.

O’Reilly continues, “as well as grants to help you buy your EV, you can also get money off installing a home charger point.” The government offers flat owners and renters (but not homeowners) up to 75% off the cost of installing a home wall-box charging unit. Grants are also available for your workplace to install charging points and to receive electricity tax breaks.


Summary

O’Reilly concludes by saying “by making the switch to electric, EV owners have found that their vehicle is not only less damaging to the environment, but it’s also less damaging to their wallets. Switching to electric power and following these money-saving tips is especially important in the current cost of living crisis as the ability to save £1,367 a year and more could be a lifeline for people.”

From grants and subscriptions to small changes in how you drive and how you recharge your EV, your chance to save money is at your fingertips. It’s worth the switch for the £1,367 a year saving on petrol alone!

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