Electric vehicles (EVs) are a smart choice for those who want the latest car technology while being more eco-friendly. And if you’ve decided to choose one of the many EVs available on the Motability Scheme, there’s a smart way to charge it too.
A smart charger allows you to charge your electric car at home in the most cost-effective way. It can communicate with your car, home, utility company and the electricity grid, to determine the cheapest times to charge your vehicle. This helps you save money by reducing your car’s running costs.
Did you know?
If you lease your first fully electric car on the Motability Scheme, you can get a home chargepoint installed through one of our chargepoint providers. All of the EV home chargepoints available through the Motability Scheme have smart charging functionality.
What you need to know about smart chargers
What is a smart charger?
A smart charger allows you to plan when to charge your electric vehicle. It can save you money by only charging your car at the most cost-effective time for you, such as during off-peak periods or when the energy grid tells it that demand is low. If you have an electric car with Vehicle-to-Grid or Vehicle-to-Load capability, the smart charger can even use the electricity in your car for other things, or sell some of its charge back to the grid when you don’t need it.
How does a smart charger work?
Like all EV home chargepoints, a smart charger uses a wallbox with a cable that connects to your car. The box can also ‘talk’ to your home smart meter, finding the best times to charge.
What are the main benefits of a smart charger?
Smart chargers save you money and reduce the load on the national electricity grid. They also give you control over when you charge, and have options to be even more sustainable through the use of renewable energy. Many also connect to an app, allowing you to monitor your charging on your smartphone. You can even tell it when you want to go out so it can fully charge your car for when you need to leave.
Is it easy to have a smart charger installed?
Yes, if it’s your first time leasing a fully electric car on the Scheme and you have suitable off-street parking. We’ve partnered with Easee and Ohme, two EV chargepoint providers, to support our customers with getting a chargepoint installed. You can learn more about the process here.
What’s the current status of the smart charging network?
Smart Charge Point Regulations were introduced in June 2022 for all home and workplace chargers, with the aim of making the national EV charging network smarter. As more chargers are fitted, the network will be better equipped to prevent overload and ultimately move towards a more sustainable future.
Choosing the smartest EV energy tariff for you
One of the biggest benefits of having a smart charger is that you can make the most of EV energy tariffs, which offer cheaper electricity rates at night during off-peak hours. When the Energy Price Guarantee was introduced in 2022, many energy providers withdrew their EV tariffs, but there are still some that are available.
One example is Octopus Energy, which allows you to set your smart charger to take advantage of the low-rate charging times. Other providers such as British Gas also offer a low overnight rate, although you will need to have one of their own home smart meters installed to take advantage of it. Be sure to check the tariff details though, because some packages require you to pay a higher rate for general electricity usage during the day.
Smart charging for EVs can help you save money on your car’s running costs, while also being better for the environment.