Cutting costs has become a top priority for everyone. The good news is that you can adopt many tricks of the trade to pay less for charging. In this article, we are going to explore several strategies to reduce charging costs for your electric car and make savings over the long term.
Charging your car free of charge
Yes, you can still charge your EV without spending a single penny! Some public charging networks propose free charging for users. For example, you can top up free of charge at certain:
- attractions (cinemas, theatres, museums, National Trust properties),
- hotels, restaurants and B&Bs,
- public car parks
To locate them, nothing could be easier. You just need to use the “Free charging stations only” filter on the Chargemap charging station map or the Chargemap app. Each charging pool has a detail screen with useful information (access, photos, connector types etc.) and above all, feedback from users who have already charged at this site.
Detecting how to gain access to public charging stations
Network RFID cards, mobility service provider (MSP) cards, mobile apps, credit cards – there’s a whole plethora of ways you can charge at public charge points. It can be difficult to sort out all the options available. So let’s take a quick look at the range of charging options and their main features.
Multi-network RFID cards
With these cards, provided by electric MSPs such as Chargemap, you can charge your electric car at the charge points of various operators. You therefore benefit from a single, subscription-free RFID card to charge your EV in the UK and across Europe. Users also have access to the Chargemap app, which makes travelling by EV much easier and provides assistance 24/7.
Chargemap also provides savings on your charging budget via a subscription to the IONITY network. You can profit from preferential rates at the network’s ultra-rapid charging stations!
Don’t forget: different public charge points bill charging sessions in different ways – per KWh, by the hour or minute or at flat rates.
We advise you always to check the tariffs applied at charging points before starting your charge. If they are time-based, don’t forget to re-badge your card when you have finished your charge to avoid unpleasant surprises when you receive the bill!
RFID cards plus a subscription
Most public charge point operators give their customers a choice of how they pay. A subscription is often the most economical solution, depending on the options selected.
If you don’t have an RFID card – don’t panic!! You can pay at some charging stations via a mobile app. To do this, you just need to follow the instructions given at the charging station. In terms of pricing, it is similar to using a subscription-free charging card.
However, it should be noted that RFID charging cards remain the most widespread means of accessing public charging points.
You can pay with your credit card at some charging stations. However, this means of access is not widespread. 90% of charging stations are not equipped with a credit card reader. To be sure you can charge everywhere, the ideal combo is an EV RFID card plus an app on your smartphone.
Opting for home charging
Another solution is home charging. This means you avoid the costs linked with charging at public charge points. To do this, you need to kit yourself out with charging equipment, making sure it is the right equipment for your usage and your EV.
Think about comparing offers from various home energy suppliers. For example, you can opt for a tariff with peak / off-peak hours so you can save money by charging at night.
Best practice for lower consumption
Cutting back on EV charging costs is also a question of everyday habits.
You may have heard of eco-driving for ICE vehicles. Well, the same applies to electric cars! This is a sure-fire means of saving energy and limiting wear and tear on your battery by cutting down on the frequency of charging cycles, thereby cutting electrical energy costs. In a nutshell, eco-driving means smooth driving, anticipating the traffic around you and taking your foot off the accelerator. We also advise you to restrict travelling by motorway as this guzzles the energy stored in your EV battery.
Preserving battery life
You can preserve the battery of your EV by adopting smart habits on an everyday basis. To limit battery degradation, you are advised to avoid resorting to rapid charging too often.
It is also inadvisable to charge your battery 100%. If you do this occasionally, it won’t have any major impact on your battery. But the best way to extend your battery’s lifespan is to charge up to 80% and no more.
Last but not least, avoid running your battery down completely, i.e. down to 0%. As soon as the level drops below 20%, you should top up your battery as soon as possible.
Using the right power rating for your EV
Charging points don’t all deliver the same power rating. Likewise, charging capacity and charging times differ from one EV to the next. Being familiar with your EV’s specifications will help you spot the best charging stations for your needs and enhance your charging experience. Not quite sure what we mean? Then, find out more on the theme of power ratings and charging times.
And what about you? What are your tips for cutting down on charging costs? Please don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments!