Buying a brand new Model 3 Tesla can feel quite daunting, or any new car for that matter but especially one which is fully electric.
Many questions start to circulate, and often, it’s how frequently do I need to charge and how much does it really cost. Well, continue reading, and I will talk you through how you can charge your Tesla for ~£1.50.
The Tesla Model 3 comes in various models, I have the long-range as I wanted a minimum of 300 miles, or a larger battery capacity for added peace of mind. Bare this in mind as you continue reading as it’ll be a factor.
Home Charging vs Charging Points.
Charging points are helpful for bump charging, for example, topping up to get to where you need to go; I wouldn’t recommend relying on them for your recharging needs as they are four or five times more expensive than home charging and also, one will likely be in use when you need it.
Home charging is by far the most efficient and flexible way to charge your vehicle.
To be able to home charge, you typically need a few prerequisites such as:
- 100A mains switch fuse box*
- A Smet2 electric smart meter**
- EV Charging wall connector
- A driveway or garage***
*If you don’t have the 100A fuse in your home, the UK Power Networks can help upgrade you; click to read more.
**This is maybe not essential for home charging, but it is fundamental to get to the £1.50 charging cost.
***Maybe not essential either as I have seen homeowners feed a cable to an on-street housing box for their charging cable. No guarantee you will always have that parking spot, though.
EV Charge Wall Connector
Many charger options are available to choose from. I went for the Tesla Wall Connector. It’s stylish, looks gorgeous, and I’m keeping on-brand with the vehicle I own. It is more expensive, and I couldn’t take advantage of the government allowance, but I’m happy with my choice, and I will elaborate more on why later on.
I have the 7.5-meter cable as I have a rather large driveway, it’s no extra cost compared to the 2.5-meter cable, and I wanted the additional flexibility which comes with that. The only downside I see is the messiness from having such a large cable while it’s stored away.
Which Energy Provider?
I won’t be comparing all energy providers; you can do your own research, but when you are looking, ensure you go by the cost per kWh, not per standing charge. Especially look out for a nighttime cost per kWh as nine times out of ten, you will be charging your EV during the night.
I have chosen to switch to Octopus Energy 🐙 don’t worry, this is not an ad for Octopus Energy but more to highlight the available tariffs designed explicitly for EV charging.
I started on the Octopus Go tariff, which gave me 5p per kWh super off-peak charging between 11:30 pm – 4:30 am; a good 5-hours of charging every day for my EV. This is insane value and allows me to charge or add 200 miles to my car for around £3.00.
However, and this is where it gets even better. I recently got invited to their private beta for Intelligent Octopus which gives me smart charging from 11.30 pm – 5:30 am at 5p per kWh.
Key word smart, they use machine learning to optimise my charge, meaning each day they map out a charging plan to make use of the greenest energy-efficient electrons, and by doing so, I always pay the 5p rate.
This is where some of my prerequisites come into play. Octopus requires you to have a Smet2 smart meter – don’t worry, you can book an engineer from Octopus to install one for you. And a compatible charger wall connector, Tesla or OCPP-enabled charger.
My electricity usage for my whole house, not just when charging, is now smartly managed by Octopus machine learning energy-efficient system; by using this system, I get cheaper electrons, therefore when I set my charging schedule, let’s say I want my Tesla fully charged by 5:30 am, Octopus will map out my plan to use the most energy-efficient electricity available in the grid. Therefore I pay less for what I use, even if the amount I use is still the same. This also puts less strain on the grid; I’m not consuming electricity at peak times, and I feel thrilled that Octopus get their energy from green sources; it’s a win-win.
All in all, this equates to the ~£1.50 charging cost. It took a lot of time researching and learning about all of this, but it’s been worth it. I particularly feel pleased about using green energy to power my car and house.
Here are my referral codes for Octopus Energy and Tesla
Octopus Energy – we split £100 after you sign up.
Tesla – we both receive a 1000 miles free on the Tesla superchargers.
I hope you found this post useful.
Further reading – what and why OCPP?