British Gas has launched a new smart tariff for electric vehicle owners, which will offer cheaper electricity when charging their vehicles during the night.
The Green Drive Nov 2020 tariff will offer customers a reduced rate for charging taking place between 12.30 am and 7.30 am, times when there is less demand on the grid.
The energy provider claims that EV drivers use up to 80% more electricity if they charge at home and can therefore benefit from tariffs which pass on cheaper overnight wholesale electricity costs.
Yearly bills are expected to cost around £1,547, based on an average use of an additional 2340kWh per year. The tariff is available for new and existing customers paying by direct debit.
The rationale behind the scheme is to balance energy demand and provide an incentive for EV drivers not to plug their vehicles in at times when the grid is under the most strain – particularly during weekday evenings.
According to British Gas, there are currently around 200,000 electric vehicles on the UK’s roads – a number which is forecast to grow to 1.4 million by 2025.
Peter Simon, Customer Propositions and Product Director at British Gas said: “Customers who choose this tariff will have peace of mind that if they charge their electric car overnight they can take advantage of lower prices. We want to offer our customers different types of tariffs that suit their individual needs and help them understand their energy usage.
“This is our first residential EV product. Over the coming months, we will launch further electric vehicle charging services to both residential and business customers.”
Last week, British Gas’s parent company Centrica announced that it is working with FreeWire Technologies on a study aimed at boosting the uptake of EVs in the UK.
Delivered in partnership with Westminster City Council, the project will combine FreeWire’s mobile EV charging technology with Zipcar’s electrified fleet and driver patterns to test the feasibility of scalable on-demand EV charging deployments, Centrica explained.
The study is expected to explore the potential benefits of mobile energy storage and wireless technology compared to fixed EV charging stations, which typically require high installation and labour costs as well as major electrical upgrades to support the connection between charging stations and the electricity grid.