'Drive anytime': Ovo Energy launches pioneering flat-rate EV charging tariff

Smart tariff will leverage AI to offer customers cut-price charging at a flat rate of 6p per KWh, no matter what time they charge, supplier says

Ovo Energy has announced plans to launch a new electric vehicle (EV) tariff that will allow drivers to tap current off-peak charging rates at all times of the day, by using algorithms to automatically charge vehicles when prices are low and electricity is greener.

The ‘Drive Anytime’ tariff will provide drivers with electricity at the same rate no matter what time of the day they charge, in contrast to some rival suppliers which tend to only offer cheaper rates overnight, when electricity demand is lower, Ovo said.

By guaranteeing a flat fee of 6p per kWh at any time of the day, the tariff shields drivers from fluctuating charges and price spikes, the energy supplier said, estimating the average driver could cut their charging costs by as much as 63 per cent, delivering savings of around £200 a year.

The tariff is broadly in line with off-peak rates offered by rival tariffs, which range from 4.5p per KWh from EDF to 10.44p per KWh from E.ON, and less than half the price of typical ‘peak rates’ offered by most energy operators, which range from 14.3 per KWh from EDF to 19.5p per KWh from British Gas, according to Zapmap.

Jessica Tan, managing director of Ovo Smart Home, emphasised the “pioneering proposition”, which will be offered to customers gradually throughout this year, benefitted both customers and the planet. “OVO Drive Anytime enables our EV driving members to charge their EVs on the lowest prices throughout the day, hassle free,” she said. “No more worrying about high energy peak prices or when to plug and unplug, Kaluza’s technology does all the hard work and is good for the planet.”

Technology developed by the company’s software business Kaluza parses live data on energy pricing, the weather, and local electricity network constraints in order to automatically shift EV charging away from peak times, thus optimising cars to charge when electricity is cheap and green.

Ovo said the software’s ability to adjust EV charging patterns in line with real-time data could play a major role in alleviating stress on the electricity grid as more EVs hit British roads over the coming years. The approach could also pave the way for power to be sold back to the grid from EV batteries at times of particularly high demand.

“Our intelligent software is designed to give EV users the energy they need, precisely when they need it, at the lowest environmental impact, and now at a guaranteed price that saves them money,” said Marzia Zafar, head of strategy and policy at Kaluza. “In doing so, Kaluza shields customers from the complexities of the energy transition, while at the same time driving it forward.”

Read more: businessgreen.com