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How To Reduce the Cost of Owning an Electric Car

Owning and driving an electric vehicle (EV) does not have to break the bank. From gentle acceleration to the 80-20 charging rule, there are many ways EV drivers can reduce the cost of owning an electric car.

cost of driving an electric vehicle

In this blog:  EV Charging Habits  |  Efficient EV Driving Tips  |  Other Tips

Read on to find out how driving efficiently, charging at off-peak times, and more can help EV drivers save money when driving and charging their vehicles.

EV Charging Habits

Just like re-fuelling an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, charging an EV is an expenditure that no driver can avoid. However, there are several ways to ensure the cost of charging does not become overwhelming.

Charge at off-peak times

Being mindful of when you choose to charge your vehicle is important for reducing costs. By plugging your EV in overnight when energy is at its cheapest, you will save money compared to if you charge at peak hours.

You could also consider smart EV tariffs. Due to the introduction of the government’s energy price guarantee, most providers do not offer EV tariffs at the time of writing. Octopus Energy, however, does, though it is available to existing customers only. Their Intelligent Octopus tariff offers six hours of cheaper green energy from 11.30 pm to 5.30 am every night.


Save money and preserve your EV’s battery with the 80-20 charging rule

To make sure you are not spending more than is necessary on charging, apply the 80-20 rule, which follows that it is best practice to take your EV off charge when it has reached 80% and avoid letting it run lower than 20%.

By applying the 80-20 charging rule, you can also preserve your battery for longer. Charging to 100% will, over time, impact the degradation of the battery. To preserve the life of your battery, it is better to stop the charge when it has reached 80%.

This will also make charging more efficient. The charging experience slows the longer the vehicle is plugged in and charging for. Whilst with a rapid charger, it can take a mere 20-30 minutes to reach 80%, the final 20% will take just as long.

Depending on your EV, 80% battery life offers a good driving distance.

Efficient EV Driving Tips

Another way drivers can reduce the cost of owning an electric car is by avoiding having to charge repeatedly. Drivers can achieve this by being mindful of how they drive.

Drive gently

According to What Car, driving gently reduces your fuel consumption by approximately 15%. By avoiding harsh acceleration and braking, as well as driving at a high speed, drivers can minimise energy consumption and preserve their vehicle’s battery life.

cost of driving an evDrivers can also minimise drag by closing windows when travelling at speeds above 45mph and removing any unnecessary weight from the vehicle.


Be mindful of heating and air conditioning usage

The Energy Savings Trust claim ancillaries in ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) can add more than 10% onto the energy drawn from the battery. The EV’s battery will be depleted when the heating is on.

If drivers can refrain from switching on the heating and air conditioning unnecessarily, they will waste less energy from the battery.


Check tyre inflation

Tyres that are not inflated properly influence the energy consumption of a vehicle. Checking them regularly (the Energy Savings Trust recommend at least once a month and before long journeys) means drivers can avoid wasting energy unnecessarily.

Other Tips

Beyond driving and charging habits, there are a few more ways to reduce the cost of driving your EV.

Rent out your charger

Whilst home charging is a popular choice of charging for EV drivers, not everyone has access to off-street parking, meaning they cannot install a charger on their driveway.

If there is a community of EV drivers on your street or in your borough, you could offer your neighbours the opportunity to use your at-home charger and earn a little extra cash.


Join an EV club

If you travel infrequently and thus cannot justify buying a vehicle of your own, why not join a car club? A car club is the perfect way to ensure you can drive an EV when you need to without the cost of purchasing your own. You will also not have to pay maintenance and insurance costs towards the vehicle.

The Energy Savings Trust provide more information about joining a car club.