Save on fuelling costs with an electric vehicle

For literally decades we have been driving internal combustion engine light commercial vehicles so it comes as no surprise that making the move to electric may seem a little daunting but there are many advantages if you are willing to break away from tradition.

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons is the potential for a reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO), particularly if you can charge at home, so let's look at this in a little more detail.

There are a number of great Electric Vehicle (EV) designed electric tariffs from many of the well-known household names such as Octopus Energy, E.ON, British Gas and Ovo to name just a few. These targeted tariffs usually allow for a specific number of overnight hours with exceptionally low unit rates. For instance, Octopus Energy through its Octopus Go product offers a night rate of just 9.5p although this is just for four hours between 00.30am and 4.30am. This means if you have a 'standard' 7 kilowatt (kW) home charger you will be able get 28kW of charger for just 38p – that equates in many vans to around 70 miles of driving for less than 40p.

But it's not just Octopus Energy with EVs tariffs, British Gas also offers very attractive rates with a night rate of 9.4p per kW and this lasts for an hour longer than the Octopus Go tariff consequently van drivers can potentially get 35kW of energy for just 47p equating to around 90 miles of driving.

Of course, some van drivers work at night and some may want more flexibility on charging times, if that's the case, the Ovo Charge Anytime all day tariff maybe of interest. Ovo offer an attractive rate of 10p per kW, attractive by itself, but as the name suggest its available anytime using the smart meter to ensure it charges your van at very cheap rates when demand on the grid is low. To get this tariff you will need a compatible EV and charger. It is available for EV charging only, you cannot use the cheaper electricity for any other purpose, unlike other tariffs.

All the above is great but what does a 'typical' diesel van cost to run per mile just taking just the fuel into account? If we look at an average price of diesel which is around £1.55 per litre which equates to approximately £7 per gallon and if we look at the UK's best-selling van, the Ford Custom it is quoted by Auto express as having a miles per gallon (mpg) of 38.7. This equates to 18p per mile for the diesel against a home charging rate for an electric of 4p per mile, you can see it starts to make sense.

*Electric figures worked out on 2.5p / kWh . These figures are for example only and should not be used for a decision-making purpose as fuel and electric consumption can vary considerably due to many operational and financial situations.

  • Reviewed: 15 Nov 2023

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