So you decided to live more sustainably and purchase an electric vehicle (EV). That’s such a great decision for yourself and this planet.
Only now you’re staring at that shiny new EV in the garage (or still at the auto dealer) wondering how much it’s going to cost you every month to charge.
To that we say fear not, the days of expensive gas fill-ups are behind you.
Here are three effective ways you can save on EV charging costs.
Use a (really) smart EV charger
First things first, let’s talk EV charger intelligence. We’ve got two contenders in the ring — dumb chargers and their brilliant counterparts, smart chargers.
Dumb chargers are as straightforward as it gets. Plug it in, and it sends electricity to your lovely EV.
Sounds good, just not good enough? We agree.
Enter the smart charger. This one comes equipped with not only an EV-specific plug socket but a network connection, too. That means it can collect and communicate data on your electricity usage and EV charging status (which is great news if you want to monitor and manage your EV’s charging times).
However, to those wishing to take energy cost management to the next level, we recommend the upgraded smart charger. That means:
- Done-for-you automation. A smart charger that can analyse market prices against your charging and financial goals and adjust the EV’s charging schedule accordingly. Without requiring manual input or a change in charger settings.
- App-controlled convenience. In this digital age, we want everything at our fingertips. EV charging needs not be an exception. There are chargers that can be connected to an app so you can monitor your EV’s battery status, set charging sessions, even switch between energy sources — all from your smartphone.
- Future-ready flexibility. A smart charger that is compatible with renewable energy sources, such as solar power. With it, you won’t have to invest time and money in replacing the home EV chargepoint when you decide to switch to solar or other alternative energy sources.
- Environmental benefits. Some smart chargers allow you to prioritise the environment and automatically set the EV to charge when electricity from the grid is at its greenest. You not only save money but also contribute to a greener future. A win-win if there ever was one.
Set up a smart home energy management system
Why settle for a stand-alone charger when you can integrate it into your home energy management system (EMS)?
It’s the ultimate power couple — a software and hardware solution that monitors, controls, and optimises your energy use and devices in perfect harmony.
When you’ve got multiple ‘assets’ under your roof (like an EV, EV chargepoint, solar panels, and other appliances), juggling them individually can be a nightmare. But combine them with your smart EV charger into one EMS and you can forget about jumping between numerous apps and portals.
- Need to monitor your electricity consumption in real time? EMS is on it.
- Want to know which appliances are energy hogs? EMS has your back.
A top-tier EMS combines your electricity use with real-time data from different energy sources, sparkles it with the latest on weather conditions, and works its algorithmic mastery to determine the most effective ways to improve energy efficiency.
It’s like having a personal energy-saving assistant. (With Powerverse, it’s literally so as its AI Energy Assistant, Powerverse Vesta, works for you to determine the best tariffs, the cheapest times to charge, best times to switch from the grid to home-generated power, pinpoint wasteful practices, and provide personalised recommendations on energy management and use.)
Harness the power of solar
Getting an EV — and setting up a home chargepoint — is a cost-efficient decision, compared to driving a gas-guzzling internal combustion engine vehicle.
Crossing 1000 miles in a VW Golf ID3 120kW 163PS, for example, costs* you £18.51 on at home EV tariff, £86.37 using public slow charging, and £135.73 using public fast charging.
*Summer 2023 prices
But add solar to the mix and you’re taking it to a whole new level. While electricity prices will continue to fluctuate, solar power remains free like the warm sun on your face as you cruise down the open road.
And with payback periods for solar panel installations better than ever, you’ll start reaping the benefits sooner than you think.
Typically, it takes 8-12 panels to fully charge an EV using solar energy.
There are three main factors that determine this number:
- Battery size — the bigger the EV’s battery, the more energy and solar panels it will need to charge.
- Location — the brighter the sun above your roof and the longer it shines, the more electricity produced.
- Angle — solar panels facing South and installed at 30-35 degrees will be much more effective at producing electricity than others.
Solar panels today are capable of generating around 400W of power each. With the sun shining on 9 of those alongside a 3.68kW solar inverter (which converts the power produced by solar panels into electricity you can use to charge your EV), it would take 16 hours to fully charge (from zero) a VW Golf ID3 with a 58kWh battery. With a larger 5.5kW inverter and more panels on your roof, you could charge the same car in under 11 hours.
In reality, of course, we don’t usually wait for the car’s battery to run completely empty before charging it. That means you’ll need even less time to get the EV ready to hit the road again.
For a complete guide on choosing and setting up solar panels, download our Guide to buying solar for your EV.
So there you have it. The upgraded smart charger, AI-powered home energy management system, and solar power are the ultimate power trio you need to keep your EV (and home) running green without breaking the bank.
At Powerverse, we’re experts in solar panel systems, EV chargepoints, and smart energy management systems. Our home EV charging solutions help you run your home and EV on clean and cost-efficient electricity.
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