Electric vehicle chargers (EVs) are not as standard in Australian driveways as petrol or gas-fuelled cars, but they’re making their way into the mainstream. According to an industry tracker (Fleetcarma), there were 10,000 EVs on Australian roads at the end of June 2018, double the 2017 levels. For context, there are potentially 4 million petrol cars on our roads.
As EVs become more prevalent across Australia, home chargers have become an increasingly common feature for new housing in the country. Given that most Australian drivers plug in their cars overnight between 10 pm and 6 am, it’s best to find the best energy deals for your home.
At the same time, with an increasing number of households now using solar power, the availability of cheap electricity late at night is something that both businesses and householders can exploit. So look into how you, too, can choose the best tariffs for EV charging.
As the cost of running EVs is usually measured in kilowatts (kW), most EV owners look at their home energy bills and check whether their tariffs include a time-of-use component. For those unversed in the mysteries of household electricity rates, this means that you pay different rates for power at different times of the day.
For example, you might be on a ‘peak’ tariff that’s most expensive between 10 am and 7 pm for business users (i.e., Monday to Friday).
It used to be the case that all EVs came with plug sockets and cables capable of recharging their batteries very quickly – usually four hours or less, but there are now some cheap models on the market (e.g., Nissan LEAF and Hyundai Ioniq) which take six to eight hours to recharge.
But even these chargers will be able to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates – as long as they’re connected to a ‘time of use’ designated wall socket.
How to Find the Best Tariffs for EVs Charging?
The best way to find the cheapest electricity for charging your car is to use an electricity price comparison site. There are several online energy comparison tools that you can use to find the best rates over 24 hours and easily see how much they’ll cost you to charge your car.
For example, take a look at the cheapest tariffs available in Sydney during Monday, March 26, 2018: Time of Use tariff 1: peak rate 23c/kWh, shoulder rate 16c/kWh, night rate 7c/kWh. Time of Use tariff 2: peak rate 25c/kWh, shoulder rate 18c/kWh, night rate 10c/kWh.
As you can see from the above energy-related information, off-peak rates for EVs start at about $7/day and peak at around $9-$10/day (for a Nissan Leaf). And even if you don’t have solar panels to take advantage of cheaper electricity at night, there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t charge your car overnight, given that it’s free after all.
You can easily find the best energy deals for your house by using a comparison website to compare various plans offered by several electricity providers in your area.