September 20, 2022
The recent surge in gas prices has made the economics of EV ownership seem better than ever. But beyond saving on gas prices, there are a number of other ways to reduce the cost of EV ownership. All EV owners should strategically approach home charging, rate plans, and vehicle maintenance. We’re here to help you figure it out as easily as possible.
One crucial tip any homeowner should know is that charging is far less expensive at home during off-peak hours. Off-peak hours occur when demand for electricity is at its lowest and on-peak hours occur when demand is highest for electricity. Generally, that means it is most cost-effective to charge your vehicle between the hours of 8pm and 6am or during the super off-peak hours of 11pm - 6am. Charging your EV during off-peak hours is the holy grail of cost reduction! We've partnered with Optiwatt, a free tool that helps you save money by scheduling your home charging when electricity rates are cheapest.
Most utilities now offer EV Time-of-Use and Tiered Rate Plans. PG&E, in California, offers a prime example alongside the rate plans offered via SRP and SDGE. Taking advantage of Time-of-Use rates and tiered rate plans can also save you a significant amount of money and stress as you transition into your new life with an EV. PG&E even offers an EV charging rate plan calculator to determine the best rate plan based on your specific EV and driving habits.
Time-of-use rates are rate structures that effectively shift power consumption away during peak demand. The easiest way to take advantage of Time-of-Use Rates is to use appliances or charge your vehicles when electricity is least expensive.
Tiered rate plans set one rate for energy use up to a certain amount, then the rate for energy beyond that point is increased to the amount of the next tier. This is generally a great option for households that have a total energy use below a certain amount every month.
Cost-effective vehicle maintenance comes in a number of different forms. Electric Vehicle owners can extend the life of their battery by charging when it reaches 20% and generally not charging beyond 80%. Additionally, you should consider the climate in your area. In colder climates, it will be most cost-effective to charge your car close to the morning or whenever you plan to leave for the day as charging warms the battery and provides greater range with the same energy. If it’s hot in your area, charge in the shade.
There are many opportunities to save on level 2 chargers and level 2 charger installations via rebates offered by local utilities and AQMDs. On top of that, EV drivers may get federal tax breaks and cheaper vehicle registration fees. It’s also key to note that electricity is much cheaper than gas, and that fewer moving parts does translate to fewer breakdowns, repairs, and parts replacements. Additionally, it is, on average, cheaper to charge your vehicle than it is to fill up. The financial reasons to go electric are strong, but don’t stop there. If you’re still not convinced, check out these 22 (extra) reasons to drive electric!