Electric vehicle drivers got paid to fill up this weekend

Electric vehicle drivers got paid to fill up this weekend


● Electricity prices went negative for long periods on Octopus Energy’s Agile tariff on the bank holiday weekend

● Drivers with the Ohme charger automatically charged their cars when prices were cheap/negative

● Ohme drivers got paid around £5 as they charged over 600 miles worth of electricity, enough to drive London to County Durham and back, and would typically cost around £100 in petrol

UK, Thursday 28th May 2020: Over the bank holiday weekend, there were long periods during the day and the night where electric vehicle drivers, using Octopus Agile’s green electricity tariff and an Ohme cable or home charger, were actually paid to charge their car.

One driver, for instance, was paid £4.51 to charge up his Tesla Model 3 with enough electricity to drive over 650 miles – which would have cost over £100 in an equivalent petrol car, a BMW 3 series. That is enough energy to drive from London to County Durham and back.

Another driver, on Twitter, quipped “I drive from Bath to Edinburgh…and Octopus PAY ME enough to buy 2 pints of cask ale and a bag of crisps”, as other drivers were posting energy prices and declaring what they were planning to do, as you can see here.

Wholesale electricity prices were negative because of lower electricity demand, coupled with the weather which was both windy and sunny causing there to be lots of renewable energy available. Octopus Agile charges customers based on wholesale prices which allows people on this tariff to benefit from lower prices when excess power is available. Periods of negative prices are occurring more frequently. For example, on Saturday 23rd May, prices were negative for more than 12 hrs, from early morning to the middle of the day, and drivers were paid up to 11p per kWh used.

Ohme’s smart charging technology enables drivers to optimise each charge according to what they want and what the predicted power prices will be over the next 24 hours. Ohme will turn the charging on-and-off throughout the day-or-night to minimise the costs and take advantage of the lower energy prices. Ohme does all the hard work. This also uses surplus renewable energy which could, otherwise, be wasted if wind turbines are curtailed to balance supply and demand.

Case study

Jack from Bath was paid £1.43 to fill his Jaguar I-PACE up with 82 kWh – enough electricity to drive more than 200 miles, saving approximately £34 versus a petrol equivalent. Unfortunately, he did not have enough space in his battery to take full-advantage so he invited his Dad who drives a Tesla and lives around the corner to plug in, enjoy free electricity and earn Jack some money.

David Watson CEO and Founder of Ohme:“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.”

Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles: “Electric cars can save drivers up to 90% fuel saving normally, but this weekend we even saw drivers getting paid to fill up as Octopus Energy’s Agile tariff prices dropped below zero for a few hours – saving some drivers up to £85. Even better, drivers with smart tech like the Ohme cable were able to seamlessly take advantage of the negative prices without having to think about when to start and stop their charging – it just happened automatically – a great snapshot of a smart, green future.”


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