Can you imagine getting cash to charge your car? Well, on the last bank holiday weekend, EV drivers got paid around £5 as they charged hundreds of miles' worth of electricity, according to Octopus Energy, a green energy provider. WhichEV investigates why.
Electricity prices plummeted due to lockdown restrictions and reduced use of home heating. Octopus Energy said its customers, using its ‘Agile’ green tariff, home charger and Ohme cable, were paid to use excess electricity due to the reduced demand on the grid. The wholesale prices went negative for up to 12 hours on the 23rd of May and EV drivers got paid as much as 11p per kWh they used.
An Octopus Energy customer was paid £4.51 to charge up his Tesla Model 3 with enough electricity to drive over 650 miles, the equivalent of a return trip from London to Country Durham. The journey would normally cost up to £100 in an equivalent petrol car, such as a BMW 3 series. A Tesla Model S owner had a similar experience:
Ok…allow me to dream and do some beer mat sums…I use my @OhmeEV app to tell my @Tesla Model S LR to charge on @octopus_energy Agile. I drive from Bath to Edinburgh, catching up on @EVNewsDaily podcasts, and Octopus PAY ME enough to buy 2 pints of cask ale and a bag of crisps. https://t.co/BYXC9NW3Fy
— EV Life Ireland (@evlifeireland) May 22, 2020
Ohme’s smart cable enables drivers to minimise the costs as it can turn on-and-off and benefit from lower energy prices. The technology detects the best time of the day to charge the car depending on how much battery capacity will be needed and what the forecast power prices will be over the following day. It also uses excess renewable energy that could be wasted when wind turbines are limited to balance the supply and demand.
David Watson, Head and Founder of Ohme, said: “Smart charging is obviously great news for EV drivers, reducing the total cost of owning an EV significantly by passing on energy cost savings. As well as being a more efficient cleaner mode of transport, EVs will have a profound positive impact on the grid, unlocking value by cheaply shifting demand to times where there is an excess of renewable energy on the system.”