Electric vehicle drivers paid to charge up over Bank Holiday weekend
Octopus Energy and charging technology specialist Ohme confirm some EV drivers were paid £5 last weekend, as they charged 600 miles worth of electricity – enough to drive from London to County Durham and back
Electric vehicle (EV) drivers were paid to charge their cars last weekend, as electricity prices turned negative over much of the long Bank Holiday weekend, operators have revealed.
Last weekend wholesale electricity prices fell to a record low as power demand dropped from the already low levels that have been experienced throughout the UK’s lockdown and wind and solar energy generation continued to perform strongly.
With the grid facing a surplus of power National Grid paid generators over £50m to take renewable energy sources offline. Meanwhile, customers on flexible electricity tariffs were incentivised to help offset low power demand and soak up excesspower demand by increasing power use if possible.
As such, EV drivers on Octopus Energy’s ‘Agile’ flexible electricity tariff using an Ohme smart charging cable or home charger – which lets electric vehicle drivers charge when prices are lowest – were paid to charge their car.
On Saturday, when electricity prices were negative for more than 12 hours, drivers were paid 11p per kilowatt hour for power used, according to Ohme and Octopus Energy.
Some Ohme drivers were paid £5 as they charged 600 miles worth of electricity, or enough to drive from London to County Durham and back, the companies noted.
“Electric cars can save drivers up to 90 per cent 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,” said Fiona Howarth, chief executive of Octopus Electric Vehicles. ”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.”
One driver enthused on Twitter: “Ok…allow me to dream and do some beer mat sums…I use my @OhmeEV app to tell my @Tesla Model S LR to charge on @octopus_energy Agile. I drive from Bath to Edinburgh, catching up on @EVNewsDaily podcasts, and Octopus PAY ME enough to buy 2 pints of cask ale and a bag of crisps.”
“Breaking Records” No EV driver has ever been paid more to charge their EV than those using Ohme and @octopus_energy tonight! They said users would not respond to price signal and wanted simple Tarrifs! What do you think? This is just the beginning of a consumer driven revolution pic.twitter.com/n5xjotz6y6
— Ohme (@OhmeEV) May 22, 2020
Ohme chief executive David Watson touted the crucial role EVs can play as the country transitions to more flexible and cleaner energy system. “Smart charging is obviously great news for EV drivers, reducing the total cost of owning an EV significantly by passing on energy cost savings,” he said. “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.”