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Charge Anytime - Is there a timescale/roadmap for when other EVs will be supported?

  • 28 February 2023
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Hi all - long time listener first time caller,

 

This is a Charge Anytime question aimed at any folks from Ovo who frequent the forums.

 

I have a Polestar 2, and a Pod Point Solo 3 charger.

Neither of these are currently supported with the new Charge Anytime, so I was wondering if there is an anticipated timeline for additional EVs to be added to the supported car list, or is it a case of Ovo rolling out new EV support whenever it can become available?

 

I appreciate a lot of this is out of Ovo’s hands & they are reliant on what the EV can actually do, but if there is an anticipated timeline for other EVs (if this is even possible) then it would be really helpful.

 

Many thanks!

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Best answer by Tim_OVO 1 March 2023, 10:26

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Updated on 15/01/24 by Emmanuelle_OVO:

Hi @Muppet In The Corner and thanks for the post. 

 

Good question. I’m told it’s something that OVO (or more likely, OVO Group’s technology company, Kaluza) are working on. They want to expand this to as many EVs as possible. Getting you a time frame will be tricky though. 

 

Out of interest, what is your EV make and model? 

 

For anyone else seeing this you’re able to confirm eligible chargers and direct to vehicle eligible EVs here

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@Tim_OVO 

I have a Mercedes EQA (2022) & the Pod point 7Kw Solo 3 Charger (un-tethered) 

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@Tim_OVO thanks for the reply chief 👍

 

I have a 2023 Polestar 2 single motor, and a Pod Point solo 3 7kw untethered charger.

 

Cheers, 

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We are already using Charge Anytime for our Jaguar iPace with the Indra charger.  It took months to get setup due to delays in getting a smart meter installed at our property.  We are now only 2 months away from the end of the lease for the iPace and noticed today that the list of supported EVs is very short and does not include any of the used vehicles we were looking to buy.  
 

What is the reason for such a short list of support Charge Anytime EVs and when will other models be added?

 
Thank you

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Hi @michaela.mather and thanks for posting this. 

 

For our Charge Anytime add on, you must be an OVO Energy customer and have an eligible car or charger. As you have a compatible Indra charger, you will remain eligible for this add on no matter what EV you get next.

 

If someone see’s this who doesn’t have the charger or EV model on that list, please know that we’re constantly looking to open up the eligibility of this product to more EV models and chargers, so if you don’t see your tech here, keep an eye on our page. 

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@Tim_OVO thank you the quick reply and clarification.  Just a quick follow up, do we need to notify Ovo when we change car, or just update the app?

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If memory serves, you just need to reconfigure things in the app to ensure your new EV can charge properly. :)

But if you’re using the Indra charger, no changes are needed. Simply plug in and charge

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Hi @Muppet In The Corner and thanks for the post. 

 

Good question. I’m told it’s something that OVO (or more likely, OVO Group’s technology company, Kaluza) are working on. They want to expand this to as many EVs as possible. Getting you a time frame will be tricky though. 

 

 

Well maybe if they could communicate on the projects they have, like what charger, what new car they are looking at adding to their list?

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I feel your pain!

 I have a hypervolt and a VW e-golf.  Neither ovo or octopus support this car or charger. 

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Good question. I’m told it’s something that OVO (or more likely, OVO Group’s technology company, Kaluza) are working on. They want to expand this to as many EVs as possible. Getting you a time frame will be tricky though. 

 

Well maybe if they could communicate on the projects they have, like what charger, what new car they are looking at adding to their list?

 

Yep this is good feedback and is something I’ve heard suggested already. That list of eligible chargers and EVs could be updated with more context and detail about what’s on the horizon. Thank you for the suggestion!

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Well, I contacted Polestar to ask them about whether they could open the car up to D2V, and the news from them was not great:

To quote Polestar….

“Thank you for contacting Polestar.

Polestar are aware of this programme and others that are available with alternative energy companies. Unfortunately we are not currently aware of any plans to join one of these schemes. However that is not to say this won't change in the future.

Sorry I could not be of more help on this matter.”

 

So it seems that - if you own a car (certainly a Polestar 2 anyway) & charger that isn’t on the Ovo Anytime list, the choices are::

  • Hope that Ovo can introduce a reduced price energy time slot, akin to Octopus Energy, but using similar ‘educated guesswork’ as is used in the app for detailing EV charging costs.
  • Change the charger to one of the supported models.
  • Hope Polestar/{insert-your-car-here} change their mind and support this.
  • Move energy supplier (which I don’t want to do).

 

Personally, I hope that Ovo can look into whether they are confident enough in the EV cost calculation used in the app to then expand how charge anytime picks up EV charge vs. any other electricity usage..

Even if this lower charge were only applicable during certain hours when carbon usage in the grid is usually low (e.g. 4-6 hour slot overnight), it would be a great help.

 

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Thanks for the update on this, @Muppet In The Corner - it’s a shame to hear the response from Polestar. You may consider a more conventional time of use tariff out there on the market...

 

Keep an eye on the eligibility list for new chargers and EV models!

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Hiya @Tim_OVO 

 

Does my idea regarding using the same calculations as is used in the Ovo app to identify EV charging, in combination with an overnight time slot, have any mileage (pun intended)?

 

To recap the idea:

  • Customer’s energy usage is calculated as is done now, breaking the usage into different categories using the same approach as in the app (so no additional calculations needed there)
    • In addition, the time used is factored in
      So, this pattern of energy usage between (for example) 1:00am - 5:00am is categorised as EV charging.
      Let’s call this usage ‘Charge AnyEV’ 
  • Come bill time...
    • Customer’s electricity charges are as normal
    • But a second cost calc for the Charge AnyEV is performed
      • Charge AnyEV categorised cost at standard rate is deducted
      • Charge AnyEV categorised cost at Charge AnyEV rate is added
  • Nett result is OVO introduces a great new product, customer has a low-carbon time slot for EV charging, with any EV & any charger, and gets a cheaper rate for using it for EV charging; no Arc Welding a 3:00 am

 

Now, this could be retrospective  so as not to interfere with the current bill production process (month 1 you get a normal bill, month 2 sees month 1’s Charge AnyEV difference credited back onto month 2’s bill, and so on as the months go by).

Also, this need not be at the same rate as Charge Anytime 10p kw/h, as we know Charge Anytime does more to alter charging for most efficient use.

Instead this could be at a rate of (for example again) 15p kw/h or ‘Charge Anytime rate + xyz%’ or ‘Standard rate - xyz%’.

 

What do you think?  Do it got legs?

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Nice post, @Muppet In The Corner - I’d like to understand this concept a bit better and get the thoughts of other EV owners. @Dark @FatOldSun what do we think?

 

Can you go into a bit more detail about what you mean here? 

 

Customer’s energy usage is calculated as is done now, breaking the usage into different categories using the same approach as in the app (so no additional calculations needed there)

 

 

Also this bit here will need compatible EVs or chargers like the current Charge Anytime will it not? Unless you’re saying any usage in that window would be categories as EV charging?

 

 

  • Customer’s electricity charges are as normal
  • But a second cost calc for the Charge AnyEV is performed
    • Charge AnyEV categorised cost at standard rate is deducted
    • Charge AnyEV categorised cost at Charge AnyEV rate is added
  • Nett result is OVO introduces a great new product, customer has a low-carbon time slot for EV charging, with any EV & any charger, and gets a cheaper rate for using it for EV charging; no Arc Welding a 3:00 am

 

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Hellooo 🙂

 

This is all based on a combination of best guess & low carbon timeslots.

As it is educated guesswork, it could be used across all EVs & chargers, but with an acceptance that it is a best guess - more on reflecting this on customer bills later.

 

Point 1 - the ‘As Is Done Now’ bit

The current OVO app already breaks down electricity usage, and it best-guesses what electricity has been used to charge an EV (and always on, standby usage etc.)

OVO indeed state that it is an estimate in the app and explain how they do it, but from my experience it seems pretty on the money.

So, my idea is to take this existing logic and use it as the basis for electricity usage for EV charging.

 

This bit is important, as this is what will flag up (estimated, but pretty close estimated) EV charge vs. other usage.

 

As this appears as a separate section of energy usage already if you look at energy breakdown on an OVO account, this hard work is already being done so could possibly be used ‘As Is Done Now’; no re-inventing the wheel required.

 

This would then be combined with a fixed time slot to be defined by OVO, so any energy usage that is estimated as EV charge between certain night time hours when the carbon use on the grid is historically low would then be subject to this lower kw/h rate.

Again, we know the charger/car may not actually be reacting to carbon usage for electricity production, but any electricity produced between 1:00 and 5:00 appears to be historically low carbon, so I would suggest this 4 hour window as a time slot.

 

Any charging outside this time slot would be subject to usual rate.

Also, any electricity usage within this time slot that doesn’t fit the EV profile as used by the app would also be subject to standard rate costs.

This may mean some EV charging might be missed, but that’s the risk we take.

 

Part 2 - How It Affects Billing

As said above, this is all guesswork, but educated guesswork.

Because of this, and also because this doesn’t offer a dynamic charging approach like a smarter charger would, the kw/h rate would need to be higher.

I would suggest the Current Charge Anytime rate + a certain percentage so they are linked.

If this were 50% for example, it would still only work out at 15p per kw/h with the current Charge Anytime rate (at time of writing) being 10p per kw/h.

 

The question then becomes how this is reflected against customer bills.

 

To not interfere with current billing processes, I would suggest that these lower charges are processed in lieu of bill production as a separate process.

So, bills are produced as-is, but then a secondary run is performed for ‘Charge AnyEV’ customers.

By this I mean if a customer has signed up to this new Charge AnyEV scheme, and they have electricity usage that fits the time slot and usage profile I described above, the difference of what was billed vs. this new cost could then be credited onto the next month’s bill. 

If OVO are confident enough in the guesswork used in the app, and so as not to interfere with current billing processes, this in lieu process has a nett result of a lower billing amount for any EV & any charger.

 

Summary

All this means that:

  • Any EV & charger can get a cheaper rate
  • Because it is a best guess rather than actual usage data from a charger, a higher rate is used, but this higher rate is still less than standard rate. 
  • Because it can’t be guaranteed regarding low carbon production, it only applies to specific time slots
  • This product only need be offered if a customer can’t use Charge Anytime
  • As Charge Anytime expands to cover more vehicles, the customers you’ve retained via Charge AnyEV could swap over to Charge Anytime
    This would allow OVO to retain customers while they wait for the EV manufacturer to pull their finger out, and that has to be a good thing for you.

 

I hope all this makes sense.

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It does indeed make sense, @Muppet In The Corner - thanks again for outlining this.  I’ll share it with our teams!

 

What’s the nearest equivalent on the market? Have you looked at Intelligent Octopus? 

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Hey @Tim_OVO 

 

Glad it makes sense, and thanks for sharing it around.

 

To answer your question, the closest thing I’ve seen on the market so far is indeed from Octopus, but their Intelligent Octopus product requires the same connectivity technology as Charge Anytime+ (specific charger, or specific EV).

As a result, it has the same limitations on charger & car combination.

 

The closest offering to the idea I’ve floated is their Octopus Go plan.

This gives 4 hours cheaper electricity between specific hours overnight, but doesn’t factor in how it is used.

To offset this the Octopus standard rate and standing charge prices are higher than the OVO standard rates.  So it’s cheaper for four hours overnight, but more expensive any other time (41p per kw/h standard, 12p per kw/h over cheap time band, 41.7p per day standing charge at time of writing).

 

It don’t half make it tricky, I tells you!

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Yeah I Looked at Octopus & using the last 12 months number from my car usage & house usage  Octopus would only be £100 Cheaper over the year than the Basic Variable OVO plan. and that's based on only charging my car over night which is unrealistic. you will have to charge your car for some time outside those 4 hours. in reality id be amazed if I save anything 

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