Electric cars are becoming a very familiar sight on our British roads. An increasing number of drivers are now favouring either fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, many spurred on by either environmental or economic factors; or a combination of the two. Given the many benefits, it is not hard to see why.
As most drivers of electric cars will be quick to point out, there is an initial learning curve that goes hand in hand with owning an EV for the first time. Getting into the habit of planning journeys ahead and understanding how both public and home car chargers work are two priorities. It’s a different mindset that can take a short period of adjustment, but soon becomes second nature.
There are so many benefits to be gained by switching to an electric car in place of a diesel or petrol model, especially given the current fuel prices. Even with the high price of electricity, running an EV is generally more economical than its ICE equivalents, especially if you know how to get the most out of your home car charger.
Choose the best home EV charger for your needs: Charging your car at home is generally more cost-effective than paying for public EV chargers, especially so when it comes to using rapid chargers. It is why most electric car drivers install their own home car charging points. All home EV charge points must, according to UK law introduced on 30th June 2022, be smart home chargers if installed after that date. This means they must have ‘smart’ or ‘intelligent’ functionality to send and receive information, allowing you to use off-peak energy, or renewable energy (when there is less demand on the grid) for cheaper charging. The Smart Electric Vehicle Regulations are applicable to private domestic and workplace environments in Great Britain (with the exception of Northern Ireland).
Check your energy tariff: Talk to your energy provider to check that you are on the most cost-effective energy tariff, and shop around, if necessary, to see what other service providers have to offer. Some energy providers took the initiative to set-up special tariffs for electric vehicle owners who use their home electricity to charge their cars. But, the energy market crisis and enforced energy caps, have forced many to suspend this given the current circumstances. This may (and hopefully will) change again in the future. The EV electricity tariffs are categorised as ‘Two-Rate tariffs’ and ‘Single-Rate tariffs’. The Two-Rate tariffs offer cheaper electricity for charging overnight, within a specified time period, reverting to the standard rate during the day, rather like Economy 7. Single-Rate tariffs are when you pay the same rate throughout the day, but that rate is often cheaper because of the discounts applicable for owning an EV. Both require you to have a smart EV charger installed at home, such as the EVIOS One home charge point, that can integrate with your energy tariff for the best rates available to you.
Consider renewable energy sources: With the high price of energy, and the threat of load shedding this winter, many more households are considering the merits of renewable energy rather than relying on power from the grid. This is driving demand for solar panels, and in some cases wind turbines, as an alternative sustainable energy source. Some smart home chargers, such as the EVIOS One home charge point, have solar integration allowing you to use the electricity generated from your solar panels for your charging your EV. While standard domestic solar panels for the home are unlikely to power your EV entirely, they still contribute by generating some electricity for your car; a much ‘greener’ way of thinking.
Make your EV charging app your best friend: Most home EV chargers have an accompanying app, to give you control of your charging sessions, along with other useful information about charging status, and charging costs. It’s a good idea to spend some time to really get to know how your EV charging app works to get the maximum benefit from it. For example, the EVIOS app allows you to charge in a way that suits your life, with three key charging options: Pure Speed, Pure Value and Pure Green. The EVIOS app is intuitive and learns from you. We always recommend that you use the scheduling tools and the charging modes that suit you best, integrating where you can and when you can.
Share your charger: One of the real advantages of the EVIOS One charge point is the ability to share it with others. It allows for multiple users and enables you to allocate charge sessions for each user. Additional users can be added via the app, so you may want to explore the opportunity of renting your home EV charge point out as part of a neighbourhood or collaborative sharing initiative. It can be quite useful if you want to become a host and generate some income. This concept of renting is becoming more popular with many people now registering their home chargers with apps such as co-charger.com, evmatch.com and plugshare.com
Preparation is everything: When you charge your car to 100%, you obviously want to get the maximum amount of range that your EV is capable of. There are quite a lot of factors that may influence this, either positively or negatively; the ambient air temperature being one of them. The colder the weather, the less range your car will deliver, which is where pre-conditioning the battery (to raise the battery temperature) before setting off on your journey really comes into its own. You’ll need to be plugged in to your home charger to start pre-conditioning ahead of your journey. This may seem like just another task, but it can make a difference to your electric car’s range on a cold winter’s morning. Preconditioning is very good practice and will help optimise your EV’s range.
Adapt your driving style: To drive your electric car in the most economical way, you may want to consider your driving style. Those who have a tendency to ‘push their foot to the metal’ will find their range depleting at a similar speed! Think of all that battery charge that you may have lost! Most electric cars have regenerative braking, which, when easing off the accelerator, can actually harvest miles. This stores kinetic energy in the battery, therefore increasing the range. Many electric cars also offer the option of different driving modes, with economy driving often being a feature.
Want to know more about the EVIOS One Smart Home Charge Point? All the details can be found here.