And no, we’re not talking about lying on the sofa watching a box set with a tub of popcorn the size of Devon, we’re talking about grazing when charging.
What does ‘graze charging’ mean exactly? The best way to think about charging your EV is the way you probably think about charging your mobile phone. Unless you don’t have easy access to a plug, you don’t usually run the battery on your phone down to zero before charging it up.
The same is true for your EV. When running an EV as your car, it’s far better to constantly top up by charging at home, so that you always set off for any journey with the highest convenient level of charge and range.
What’s in it for me?
This has two benefits. First, if you’re on an off-peak electricity tariff with your energy provider, it best enables you to keep as much of your charging in those off-peak times as possible, maximising your savings on your running costs. Second, by always starting any journey with that highest level of charge and range, it enables you to reduce any usage of public chargers, which are far more expensive than charging at home.
“I charge my Hyundai every day and whenever I’m at home, I always plug it in to my Ohme Home Pro and let the app take care of the rest, so I’m always graze charging,” said Ian Muller who drives a 2020 Hyundai Ioniq and covers around 25,000 miles a year. “My charging obviously varies with the smallest charge being 5kWh and the largest being 38kWh over the last year, but my average is less than 14kWh a day. That’s less than two hours, which means I’m always within the off-peak times of my Intelligent Octopus Go tariff.”
For any first-time EV drivers coming from a petrol or diesel car, this may be a new lesson to learn. With petrols and diesels, the usual habit of most drivers is to let the fuel gauge run down low before doing a big fill up.
Graze charging is effectively the opposite of that, so the equivalent of topping up your fuel tank when it drops to three-quarters or less. But while it may sound a bit unusual when described in that way, the reality is that, with an EV, graze charging is the best way to reduce your running costs and get the best value for money from smart charging your electric vehicle.
What is it and how do I take part?
What’s Demand Flexibility Service?
The National Grid Energy System Operator (ESO) has launched a new Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) for this winter, which encourages consumers to use less electricity when lots of households and businesses are using electricity at the same time. This means that we can prevent expensive and polluting fossil fuel generators from being fired up to keep up with demand.
DFS was launched to accelerate the transition to a smart, flexible power system. You can find out more about energy flexibility here.
How does it work this year?
There will be around 12 events between November ’23 – March ’24. An ‘event’ is a specific time in which you’ll be asked to reduce your energy consumption when demand for electricity is highest. If you successfully reduce your energy consumption when needed, you’ll be rewarded for helping to balance the grid.
How can I take part?
If you want to find out more about how you can earn up to £50 in Amazon vouchers this winter, check out our Flex & Earn Driver Guide. You’ll find all the information you need to sign up and earn your rewards with Ohme.
What’s energy flexibility?
For an energy system to work, it needs to continuously match supply (how much energy is being generated) to demand (how much energy is being consumed). This is called energy balancing. Energy system flexibility is the system’s ability to adjust supply and demand, so that they always balance.
The energy system has a certain amount of capacity based on how much energy is being produced by all of the available sources. As you can see in the graph below, demand on the grid is not always constant – there tend to be morning peaks in demand (for example when people wake up, make a cup of coffee, and have a shower), and evening peaks (for example when people arrive home from work, cook dinner, and turn on the tv). There are also times where demand may be much lower (like when most people are sleeping in the middle of the night).
Why is energy flexibility important?
Making sure there’s enough energy during busy times becomes more of a challenge with an increasing population size and the electrification of heat and transport. Flexibility means that we don’t need to invest in generating and supplying more energy, we simply distribute the existing capacity in a smarter way, which saves everyone a bit of money.
What does flexibility have to do with Net Zero?
Net Zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas that’s produced and the amount that’s removed from the atmosphere. Reaching Net Zero means we add no more greenhouse gas than we remove, so we are in balance.
As we strive to reach Net Zero, we need to increase reliance on renewable energy sources so that we can rely less on fossil fuel generation. Try as we might, we can’t predict exactly when the sun will shine and when the wind will blow. This means flexibility is even more important, so that we can continue to match supply and demand just as well as we can with more predictable energy sources.
More renewable energy sources is great news for everyone. If you’re on a smart tariff, you may already be familiar with some of the benefits, as you’ll be paying less for your electricity when there is a surplus of energy available, and more for your electricity when there is increased demand on the grid. Flexibility also reduces the need for network reinforcement, which means lower energy bills for everyone, and a cleaner electricity grid.
What does flexibility have to do with my Ohme charger?
Our clever chargers can communicate with the grid and adjust energy intake into your electric vehicle according to peaks and lows in electricity demand. This allows for energy balancing, as well as reducing peak demand. We’re taking part in various flexibility projects, with rewards for drivers who take part. Eligibility criteria for each project varies but we’ll be in touch if it looks like you might be eligible, so do keep an eye on your email inbox.
23 October 2023
New Citroen e-C3 will be under £23,000
If you want a small and affordable EV with a decent battery and a decent range, then Citroen has got just the car for you.
It’s the new e-C3 that boasts a 44kWh battery and a 199 mile range along with some fantastic looks for when it goes on sale next year. Better yet, it will have ride and handling set up for comfort, so in true Citroen style it’ll be a comfy place to be along with 100kW rapid charging capability That means it’ll be capable of getting from 20% to 80% charge in just 26 minutes.
However, we’ve left the best until last, as Citroen has promised that it will have a price tag starting from less than £23,000, making e-mobility even more accessible for more drivers.
Used EV prices stabilise according to Auto Trader
Auto Trader’s latest Retail Price Index has shown that used prices for electric vehicles have recovered with a small growth in October.
The reason is due to the combination of increasing consumer demand for more eco-friendly vehicles and more competitive pricing as well as reduced numbers of second-hand EVs entering the market.
“The continue realignment in used electric pricing is the real stand out so far in October with another month of improvement after a year in decline,” said Richard Walker, data and insight director at Auto Trader. “For the moment we’re seeing the stars align for second-hand EVs; greater affordability and rising prices at the pumps is helping to make them a more viable alternative to their ICE counterparts which are still increasing in value.”
Jaguar Land Rover’s new £250m Future Energy Lab
Jaguar Land Rover has just opened its new Future Energy Lab for EVs at its engineering centre in Whitley, Coventry.
The £250m electric vehicle test facility will develop electric drive units for the firm’s next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover electric models, creating 350 jobs. The facility enables testing of EVs, electric drive units and manufacturing of test cells and includes a series of climate chambers capable of minus 40 and plus 55 degrees.
Oliver Boakes, Chief Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover said: “Our operations at Whitley are at the heart of JLR, itself a leading business in the local community – so this test facility is another jewel in the crown of our move towards an all-electric future. This is a notable investment for the business and local economy.”
While the recent announcement on the cancellation of the 2030 plug-in hybrid ban got plenty of headlines, the main focus should really have been on the zero emission vehicle ZEV Mandate statement made shortly after that.
This saw the government lay out its path for all new cars to be zero emissions by 2035 with the unveil of the ZEV mandate figures. In essence, this mandate sets EV targets for car manufacturers for new car sales starting from 2024 and gradually increasing to 100% by 2035.
The mandate starts from 2024 at 22% meaning that 22 out of every 100 new cars sold by every mainstream manufacturer much be zero emissions. Current EV new car sales stand at 16.4% of all new cars sales so far this year, so there’s still a little way to go.
In reality of course, some manufacturers such as Polestar and Tesla with their all-electric line-ups, are already at 100 per cent. Those and other manufacturers already above that stipulated 22%, will be able to ‘trade’ their remaining allowance to other manufacturers who have yet to meet that target.
However, the targets will only get more challenging each year to encourage car companies to sell more EVs, rising to 80% of all their sales by 2030. The mandate is particularly stringent for the four years from 2027 where it jumps 14% each and every year to reach 80% by 2030. The target for vans is a slightly more steady rise.
So while in theory car manufacturers could continue to sell non EVs up to 2035, the reality is that it will be increasingly less viable for them to do so before then, particularly after 2030. And, if their sales are ahead of the mandate, they can trade every additional percentage they make too.
Some manufacturers such as Stellantis brands Citroen, Vauxhall and Peugeot are already on record stating that their entire ranges will be fully electric by 2028, so they will be ahead of their competitors and ahead of the mandate.
So the reality is that the ZEV mandate figures will make the 2030 decision largely irrelevant anyway and ultimately those are the numbers to focus on. And the great news is that thanks to that ZEV mandate, the transition to EVs and cleaner, smarter and more affordable motoring is still on track.
6 October 2023
EVs for all – Kia’s vision of the future
Kia has unveiled a new global EV strategy unveiling three new electric models at its first annual Kia EV Day in Korea. With the popular EV6 and larger EV9 already in showrooms, Kia took the wraps off the new EV5 a compact family SUV which will have a choice of 58kWh or 88kWh batteries for standard or long range models. The smaller EV3 concept is a vision of a compact SUV, while the EV4 is a larger, sleek four-door saloon.
“As a sustainable mobility solutions provider, Kia’s transition to electric vehicles is a must, not an option,” said Ho Sung Song. Kia President and CEO. “By developing advanced EV technology, bold design and intuitive services and applying them to our entire EV line up, our ultimate aim is to provide Kia’s unique value to as many people as possible. The acceleration towards electrification begins now.”
UK gets 50,000+ EV charge points
The UK has now passed 50,000 EV charge points according to the charge point mapping service, Zapmap.
The 50,000th charging device was an ultra-rapid unit by MFG EV Power at a service station in Weston-super-Mare. This latest milestone underlines the rapid acceleration of fitted charge points with the 40,000 mark only passed in February 2023.
“Hitting 50,000 public charging devices is a really important milestone for the country and illustrates the sea change behind the increased rate of charge point installations,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, Co-founder and COO of Zapmap. “Alongside the number of high-power charging hubs in the UK more than doubling in the past year, these are changes that bring real benefits to electric car drivers up and down the country.”
Zapmap’s calculations show that, at the current rate of installations, the UK is likely to reach 100,000 chargers in August 2025.
Volkswagen Group EV sales on the rise
In the first three-quarters of this year, the Volkswagen Group has delivered 45 per cent more electric vehicles than in the same period for 2022.
With 531,500 EVs delivered between January and September, the Volkswagen Group saw the biggest rises for its EV sales in Europe (up 61 per cent) and the US (up 74 per cent) with 22 per cent of its EV deliveries going to China. The most successful models delivered were the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5 followed by the ID.3 and then the Audi Q4 e-tron.
9 October 2023
BYD Atto 3 wins News UK’s Electric Car of the Year award
The BYD Atto 3 has won the award for Electric Car of the Year by News UK.
With its 60.48kWh battery and 2560-mile range, the Atto 3 was evaluated on its performance, design, innovation, safety and environmental impact. The award was voted on by a panel of experts from The Sun, the Sunday Times, Driving.co.uk and Times Luxx magazine.
“Starting at just £37,000, this zippy and smart-looking EV gives Tesla’s Model Y a run for its money, “said Nick Rufford, Motoring Editor of the Sunday Times. There are nine BYD stores already open in the UK in London, Glasgow, Stockport, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Southampton, Leeds and Exeter.
Time to turn to an EV after four petrol price rises in September
According to the RAC, there were four rises in the price petrol during September, seeing the cost rise by 4.5p per a litre on average.
That meant that the average price of a unleaded went up to £1.57 in September driven by higher global oil prices. For the average driver in the UK doing 6800mls that means spending more than £1200.00 a year on fuel alone.
By comparison, that same mileage in an EV would cost £476 at the standard variable tariff of 28p/kWh or, if you charge with an Ohme charger on Octopus Intelligent, just £127.50. A year’s worth of motoring for less than £130.00!
Stellantis offer on electric vans
Stellantis is offering a £2500 grant on all of its small and medium electric vans across its Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat Professional brands.
The offer package also includes a home EV charger from Ohme as part of a package from Octopus that also includes £400 credit on an Octopus Electroverse card for up to 2500 miles of free charging at more than 500,000 chargers across the UK and Europe.
The offer applies to all stock vehicles sold until the end of 2023 and is on top of the existing government grant for electric vans worth up to £5000.
2 October 2023
Nissan unveils Concept 20-23
Nissan has announced that it will move all of its new car sales to electric by 2030 across Europe.
The announcement came as Nissan unveiled its sporty Concept 20-23 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its design studio in London. The 20-23 is meant as a vision of a fun electric city car that you’d like to drive every day in London. It’s packed with neat design details including eye-catching scissor-doors.
At the same time, Nissan said that all future new models launched from now on will be all-electric in Europe. Globally Nissan will launch 19 new EVs by 2030 including a new compact small car to replace the Micra and another vehicle that will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant
“EV is the ultimate mobility solution. More than a million customers have already joined our journey and experienced the fun of a Nissan electric vehicle, and there is no turning back now,” said Makoto Uchida, Nissan President and CEO.
Mercedes-Benz does Monaco
If you’re a fan of the gorgeous Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda classic car from the 1960s, then you’ll love this.
It’s the latest conversion from Everrati, which fits classic cars with bespoke electric powertrains with this SL Pagoda enjoying its global unveil last week at the Monaco Yacht Show. As well as the switch from petrol to plug-in power, the SL was meticulously restored and rebuilt by hand to concours standards.
Also at the Show was a similar electric restoration of the classic Land Rover Defender by Everrati meant as a Shore Tender for super yacht customers.
Volkswagen goes on the pull
Ohme partner Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has picked up a Towcar of the Year award for 2024 from the Caravan and Motorhome Club for its all-electric ID.Buzz.
Securing the Caravan weight under 1100kg title, the judges praised the ID. Buzz’s driveability, range and room interior as well as its retro feel-good factor. Elsewhere in the VW CV range, the Multivan also won an award for Large Family Towcar for the second year in a row.
“It’s an honour to be recognised at this year’s competition,” said Laura Bignall, Brand and Performance Manager at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “ The all-electric ID. Buzz is designed to make you smile, whether this be for short trips with the family or towing a caravan on a family holiday.”
25 September 2023
New Fiat 600e – a slice of the Dolce Vita
Need an EV that’s small, stylish and Italian? Then welcome to the new Fiat 600e.
The big sister to the cute 500e, the 600e boasts a 54kWh battery, a range of more than 250 miles and some of the very latest safety and comfort technology. Available as a five-door with a 360-litre boot, the 600e matches practicality to efficiency along with five seats inside.
With a 100kW fast charger system, it takes less than half an hour to charge the 600e’s battery from 20% to 80% along with three driving modes – eco, normal and sport – with a 0 to 60mph time of less than 9.0 seconds.
The Fiat 600e is available in standard or La Prima trims with prices starting from £32,995 with the first deliveries in early 2024.
New charging Gigahub for NEC Birmingham
The UK’s largest public EV charging hub has opened at the NEC Birmingham in the West Midlands.
Enabling 180 EVs to charge simultaneously, the hub boasts 30 ultra-fast 150kW chargers and 150 7kW charge points. Run in connection with the EV Network and BP Pulse, the Gigahub has access to a drive-through Starbucks for drivers at the UK’s leading live events business.
“This new, nationally significant BP Pule Gigahub at the heart of the UK’s road network, is another great example of our strategy in action,” said Akira Kirton from BP Pulse. “We plan to roll out hundreds of hubs this decade in places EV drivers need them – urban areas, on trunk roads and motorways and at destinations such as restaurants, retail parks and hotels.”
Skoda Enyaq offer with up to £7,500 savings
Skoda is offering up to a £7,500 saving on its all-electric Enyaq models for a limited time. Skoda has introduced a range of offers including on the Enyaq to help support drivers who take advantage of Transport for London Scrappage Scheme following the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.
The Scrappage Scheme itself offers a financial support package of up to £2,000 to eligible drivers when purchasing a new compliant model. Skoda is boosting that still further for customers after an Enyaq or Enyaq Coupe with a £2,000 discount and a deposit contribution of up to £3,500 for those who order by 2 October on a Solutions PCP.
With the Government announcement, 2030 is a date you might have seen quoted a lot when it comes to electric cars.
Previously, the plan was that from 1st January 2030, sales of new cars and vans that were only powered by a petrol or diesel engine would no longer be allowed. However, plug-hybrids could continue to be sold if they were capable of a certain distance.
This is the rule that the Prime Minister’s announcement on Wednesday 20 September has effectively dropped, while the 2035 ruling on fully-electric cars remains the same.
What happens with new car sales and EVs in 2035?
While the 2030 date has changed, the 2035 ruling date remains unchanged from before and from 2035 onwards car manufacturers will only be able to sell purely electric vehicles.
So what happens between now and 2035? Given the costs in developing new cars, the reality is that more and more manufacturers will naturally grow their electric model ranges before then – Citroen, Vauxhall and Peugeot have already said that they will have fully electric ranges by 2028. Every new Ford will also be electric by 2030.
So many manufacturers are already planning to be ahead of that fully electric 2035 date by some margin.