Electric vehicle energy tariffs

What are they and how do they work?

Some energy suppliers are again offering tariffs aimed at electric vehicle owners, after most were pulled last year due to the energy crisis. But if you're one of the 850,000 EV owners in the UK, should you go for one? This guide helps you decide if they're worth it. 

This is the first incarnation of this guide. If you've any feedback or tips you think we should add, please let us know in the Electric vehicles energy tariffs forum thread.

What are electric vehicle energy tariffs?

As the name suggests, these are energy tariffs aimed at owners of electric vehicles (EVs) that use their home electricity to charge their car. There are generally two types of EV tariffs:

  • Two-rate tariffs, that offer cheaper electricity overnight. The most common, and typically the cheapest type of EV tariff, offers two different electricity rates depending on the time of day, with much lower rates at night. This means you can charge your car – or run your dishwasher, washing machine etc (there are often no stipulations on what you can use the cut-price electricity for) – very cheaply overnight. 

    Though prices are high right now, if you make full use of the cheap overnight rate, the best two-rate deal generally works out cheaper than capped standard variable tariffs – and there are no meaningfully cheaper regular open-market deals than these right now. See What EV tariffs are available? for our full analysis. 

  • Single-rate tariffs, where you pay the same rate throughout the day, but it's often discounted if you have an EV. The other type of EV tariff works the same way as regular deals, where you pay a flat rate, but it'll be a special price if you've an EV, or you'll get extras such as bill credit. 

    Currently, there are no single-rate EV tariffs that we could find. 

You can usually only get these tariffs if you own an EV (suppliers say they reserve the right to ask for proof of ownership). For more on owning an EV, or if you're thinking of getting one, see our full Electric Vehicles guide. 

EV tariffs are also controlled by the Price Cap 

Most EV tariffs available are variable deals, which means – like all variable tariffs – EV tariff prices are currently capped under Ofgem's Energy Price Cap, which controls the underlying rates you pay.

However, there are a few fixed deals now available, which WON'T be controlled by the Cap. 

For full info see our Price Cap FAQs guide.

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Six electric vehicle energy tariff need-to-knows

Energy tariffs for EVs are a bit more complicated than your standard gas and electricity deal, so before we go through the tariffs, here are some tips to help you navigate the market...

  • It's difficult to say exactly how much more electricity you'd use if you start charging your EV at home – it all depends on the size of your car's battery, how often you use it, and how much you use public charge points.

    However, as an example, charging a Nissan Leaf from empty to full at home would use about 38 kilowatt hours (the unit electricity is measured in). So say you need a full charge each week – that'll get you about 160 miles – it would add 1,976kWh per year to your bill. Using this example, depending on your tariff it would cost an extra:

    • About £3 per week or £150 on the cheapest EV tariff. Provided you ONLY charge your car when the rate is cheap.

    • About £11 per week or £590 a year on a standard tariff. Based on average rates for a standard variable tariff at the max allowed under the July's Energy Price Cap

    Bear in mind this is only the cost of charging the electric vehicle – you still need to factor in your general electricity costs, your gas prices (if you use gas), and the daily standing charges of your tariff. 

    And right now – if you factor all that in, and assume you only charge your car when the rate is cheap – the cheapest EV tariff (Intelligent Octopus) is more than £400 cheaper a year, based on typical use, than charging your EV on a standard tariff.

    You won't be forking out for expensive petrol or diesel, which should more than offset any increase in your energy bill

    Electric cars are generally much cheaper to run than petrol or diesel cars – and by far the biggest savings you can make will come from the fuel.

    Using the Nissan Leaf example above – that's a mileage of just over 8,000 miles a year from about £150/year. That would cost well over £1,000 for petrol or diesel.

    Don't forget there are public charge points for your EV, so you won't always need to charge at home

    This guide is all about EV tariffs for people charging their car at home, yet there are 10,000s of public electric car charging points for when you need a top-up when you're out and about.

    Some are free, but many require you to pay, either via a subscription to the provider's charging network, or pay as you go. See how to find your nearest public charge point

  • Unfortunately, it's not easy to compare EV energy tariffs. Many of them are complex, offering electricity rates that vary throughout the day, or are in what's known as a 'beta' phase, meaning the supplier is testing out the tariff, so it's not ready for the open market.

    All this means you won't find all EV tariffs on price comparison website. This means you have to go direct to get a quote or to compare rates and switch, making it much harder to know which tariff is best when it comes to charging your car.

    For info on how to compare, see how to find your cheapest EV tariff.

  • Some EV tariffs are only available to existing customers of the supplier. That means if you're not already a customer, to get the tariff you'll need to switch to one of the supplier's regular energy tariffs, then switch to the EV tariff.

    This is usually the case for two-rate EV tariffs – where there are cheaper rates overnight, and higher rates during the day.

    Suppliers do this as they'll need to install a smart meter if you don't have one or, if you do have one already, make sure they can fully connect to it (more on that below).

  • To get an EV energy tariff, you'll need a smart meter. Generally, this is needed so the supplier can track your usage throughout the day, allowing it to offer cheaper rates during off-peak hours.

    The supplier also has to be able to pick up the meter's signal – so if you have an older smart meter that goes 'dumb' when switching, you may need to get a new one installed. See our Smart meters guide for more info.

    If you don't have a smart meter, to get on an EV tariff you'll usually have to switch to another of the supplier's tariffs first, while you wait for an appointment to have them installed. And even if you do have one already, you'll still need to sign up to another of its tariffs first, so the firm can check if it can connect to your smart meter (and arrange a replacement meter if it can't).

  • Some EV energy tariffs are electricity-only, which means that if your home also has gas, you'll need to have a separate tariff for it.

    However, some firms do offer dual-fuel EV tariffs letting you switch both your gas and electricity. But remember, the main benefit of EV tariffs is the cheap rates overnight, which you won't get with your gas supply.

    So even if it does offer a dual-fuel tariff, it may still be worth checking you're not overpaying on your gas, and then opting to have two different suppliers.

  • Charging your EV at home can take hours, especially without the proper equipment. According to the RAC, charging a typical 40kWh EV battery from empty could take as long as 17 hours using a standard household three-pin socket.

    What's more, if you've gone for a two-rate tariff, cheaper overnight rates for four or five hours won't really help – if takes as long as 17 hours to actually charge your car.

    So if you can afford it and have the space, it's a good idea to get a dedicated wall-mounted charging point for your vehicle – these gadgets can charge your car around three times faster than a standard plug.

    For more info, see our full electric vehicle guide. 

What are the cheapest EV tariffs?

Tariffs change regularly and new ones are launched all the time, but below are the top deals aimed at electric vehicle owners we found as of 26 September 2023. Currently, there are fewer tariff available than usual due to the energy crisis, and all the top deals are two-rate tariffs.

To help you compare, we've worked out the average electricity rates on offer, and the average annual price. As there are no official figures on average consumption for someone with an electric vehicle, we've taken typical usage for a dual-fuel household, and added some extra electricity use for the electric vehicle – enough to charge a Nissan Leaf from empty to full once a week (that'd get you about 160 miles). We've assumed you'll want gas as well, so have given average dual-fuel prices. 

While it might not be an entirely accurate figure, it gives us a base for comparison – but be aware these tariffs are complicated to compare, so this as a list of who to try, rather than which one is best.

 Cheapest electric vehicle tariffs 

Price capped dual-fuel tariff – to benchmark EV deals.  Most homes are on a price-capped tariff, so we've used the Cap to benchmark (average elec rate: 30.11p per kWh, gas: 7.51p per kWh). See Energy Price Cap regional unit rates.
Octopus - Intelligent Octopus
Variable, elec-only, existing custs only

Two-rate tariff with six off-peak hours – but not everyone can get it.

- Off-peak hours: 11.30pm to 5.30am

- Off-peak rate: 7.5p/kWh


However, it's only available to those with certain EVs or  chargers. It's electricity-only, so you'll need a separate gas deal - we've paired it with Octopus' standard variable gas tariff to give a cost for a dual-fuel home. See full tariff details.  

£2,225 (2)
Octopus - Octopus Go
Variable, elec-only, existing custs only

Two-rate EV tariff with four off-peak hours.

- Off-peak hours: 12.30am to 4.30am

- Off-peak rate: 9p/kWh


It's elec-only, so you'll need a separate gas deal – we've paired it with Octopus' standard variable gas tariff to give a cost for a dual-fuel home. See full tariff details.  

£2,265 (2)

Ovo - Charge Anytime

Existing custs only 

Two-rate 'add-on' tariff – but you can only charge your car on the cheaper rate & not everyone can get it. 

- Off-peak hours: Anytime

- Off-peak rate: 10p/kWh - for EV charging only


Ovo's Charge Anytime is an add-on to its existing tariffs that gives a rate of 10p/kWh for any electricity you use for charging an EV. You'll initially be charged the normal rate under your existing tariff for all electricity you use, but Ovo says it will refund you the difference for anything you use for charging your EV each month. However, it's only available to those with certain EVs or EV chargers. See full tariff details.


As it's an add-on to any existing Ovo tariff, we've used the supplier's standard variable tariff prices for the non-EV costs but it can be added to any of Ovo's available tariffs.


E.on Next - Next Drive

Fixed, dual-fuel & electricity-only, new & existing customers

Two-rate tariff with seven off-peak hours, fixed for 12 months

- Off-peak hours: 12am to 7am

- Off-peak rate: 9.5p/kWh


There are no exit fees. See full tariff details


British Gas - Electric Driver Oct 24

Fixed, dual-fuel & electricity-only, new & existing customers

Two-rate tariff with five off-peak hours, fixed until 30 September 2024

- Off-peak hours: 12am to 5am

- Off-peak rate: 9.4p/kWh


There are no exit fees. See full tariff details.  


EDF - GoElectric

Variable, dual-fuel & electricity-only, new & existing customers

Two-rate tariff with five off-peak hours.

- Off-peak hours: 12am to 5am

- Off-peak rate: 8p/kWh


As it's a variable tariff, there are no exit fees. See full tariff details.  

Correct as of 26 September 2023 (we'll aim to update this each month). Based on typical dual-fuel use with an extra (52 x 38kWh = 1,976kWh/year) added for the EV.  Standing charges for each tariff are similar - between 51p/day and the July Price Cap of 52.97p/day. (1) Where a tariff has off-peak and peak rates, we've assumed the EV will only be charged in off-peak hours. (2) This is an electricity-only tariff, so we've assumed the average price for gas is charged at Octopus' standard variable tariff rates.

Octopus has another tariff worth considering if you've got an electric vehicle, but it's not specifically an EV tariff. Agile Octopus is a variable tariff where the rates you pay for energy can change half hourly, based on wholesale prices, with rates typically cheaper overnight and during the middle of the day. It's not right for everyone, but if you use the tariff the right way and take advantage of the off peak rates to charge your EV, it could mean big savings. We've full info in our news story.

How to calculate YOUR cheapest tariff (you'll usually have to do it manually)

Electric vehicle tariffs can be complex, and they generally don't appear on comparison sites, which makes it much harder to work out if they're a good or not. We've a few tips below on how to check. 

While the cheapest EV tariffs we found are variable right now – and should also fall in line with the Price Cap. If you do go for a fixed EV tariff, do remember to bear in mind any exit fees you'd need to pay to leave the tariff if prices started falling elsewhere and you wanted to ditch it.

Two-rate tariffs are generally the cheapest EV tariffs, but they're trickier to compare

Here's a rough way of working it out:

  • Find out how much electricity your EV will use. Work out how many kWh it'll take to charge your car for the mileage you'll likely do (check the car's stats online if you've not yet bought it).

  • Work out how much it'd be on the EV tariff.
    - Get overnight (or EV charging) rates for the EV tariff and multiply that by the amount you need to charge your car (we're assuming here you only charge off-peak, if not, adjust your maths).
    - Get peak day rates for the EV tariff to work out a cost for your normal electricity use (you'll see that on an old bill – deduct your car use if you've got one already)
    - Add costs for normal electricity use and EV charging together (if you have gas too, you'll need to add that as well in a similar way).

  • Work out how much it'd be on a regular tariff. Get a quote from suppliers for regular tariffs and put in your total use in (including EV use) and you'll see a a projected cost for the next year. 

  • Then compare the total cost for an EV tariff versus a regular tariff. Do the maths to work out what is cheapest (remember to factor in gas if needed).

Single-rate tariffs are generally pricier, but are easier to compare

Find out how much your EV needs as above and add that to your usual use (if you don't already have an EV), then get an annual quote of the price directly from the EV tariff supplier. Simply make a note of that quote, then compare that to quotes you get elsewhere. 

How to get an EV tariff – you'll usually need to be an existing customer

To sign up to an EV tariff, you'll usually need to go direct to the supplier, you won't be able switch via any comparison sites. What's more, most electric vehicle deals are only available to existing customers. If you're already with the firm you want an EV tariff from, then it's easy, but if not there's a few more steps involved:

If you're an existing customer, it's easy

If you're already with the supplier that's offering your EV tariff of choice, it's super-easy, just ask it to move you over to the EV tariff. 

If you don't have a smart meter the supplier can read, you'll need to get one installed. This could take a few weeks, but once that's sorted you can be moved on to the EV tariff immediately. 

If you're a new customer, you'll need to switch to a regular tariff first

If you're not currently with the supplier you want an EV tariff from, there's a few things you'll need to before you can be moved on to it: 

  • Step 1: Switch to a regular tariff with the firm that's offering your EV tariff. Make sure you pick its cheapest deal, as you're likely to be on this for a few weeks. However, due to the energy crisis, most firms only offer their standard variable tariff right now,  

    Once you've switched to it, then you'll need to ask it to switch you to the EV tariff – you can either contact it by phone or email, or some will let you request it through your online account.
  • Step 2: Get a smart meter installed if you don't already have one. Most EV tariffs rely on smart meters to work, so the supplier can track your use throughout the day and offer cheaper night-time rates.

    So you'll need to wait until your supplier can arrange installation before you can move across to the EV tariff. If you already have smart meters, you may still need to wait a few weeks while your supplier connects to your meters.

    Once your smart meters are installed and your supplier is receiving readings from them, you should be moved across to the EV tariff.

Some EV tariffs are for electricity-only, so don't forget to sort your gas tariff 

If your EV tariff is an electricity-only tariff, don't forget to sort out your gas tariff. It's likely you'll need to remain on the standard variable tariff for your gas, either with your existing firm or with the EV tariff provider (the rates will likely be the same), due to energy market crisis. 

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!

Spotted out of date info/broken links? Email: brokenlink@moneysavingexpert.com