Try and find free chargers
At one stage there were plenty of free public EV chargers dotted up and down the country, but unsurprisingly as electricity prices have increased, many have switched to requiring payment.
However, there are free chargers still to be had, with some hotels and shopping centres, for example, offering it as an incentive to use their facilities. It’s worth looking at the dedicated EV mapping service Zap-Map, which allows you to filter electric car chargers, and therefore search for free units. Using these will dramatically reduce the cost of plugging in.
Avoid rapid chargers wherever possible
One easy way of reducing the cost of charging, especially if you use public chargers regularly, is by cutting back on the number of ‘rapid’ chargers you use. These are rated at 50kW and above.
Though significantly quicker to use and more convenient, they are far pricier than a regular ‘fast’ or slow charger. If your vehicle can be parked up for several hours away at a time, using one of these slower units will help to make EV charging noticeably cheaper.
Choose the cheapest networks to charge
Just like different petrol stations charge more than others, the same applies to EV charging firms, which are each able to set the price for using their charge points.
If you’re keeping an eye on the cost, it’s worth looking at what different providers charge, with some costing significantly more per kilowatt hour (kWh) than others. Pod Point units, which are found in many car parks and also Lidl and Tesco supermarket stores, are known to be some of the most affordable.
Consider a subscription if you regularly charge on the move
If you do a lot of driving and are a regular user of public EV chargers, it could be worth considering a subscription. While these often involve having to pay a fee every month, it makes things far cheaper when you do plug your car in.
Though it’s not suitable for those rarely plugging in away from home, if you’re using public chargers several times each work, it’s definitely worth getting out the calculator to see if these charging subscriptions work for you.
Pick your times when charging at home
Running an electric car is far simpler if you’re just able to plug in your vehicle at home, as essentially your EV is refuelled while you sleep.
Home charging is already cost-effective, but it’s worth choosing your time when plugging in at home, as many electricity providers offer reduced rates for overnight charging when there’s less demand on the grid. Many EVs also allow you to schedule when you want a charge to stop and start, meaning you don’t need to worry about going and plugging your car in at midnight just to benefit from the cheaper rates.