Leasing an EV from your energy supplier - Interested?

  • 15 August 2018
  • 18 replies

Userlevel 7

Imagine a world where your energy supplier is offering you an exciting bundle, one where you can lease an EV from them alongside your energy supply, add insurance and membership to a charging network, and pay for it all together on one bill.

A bundle like this, might even get you a discounted price on a home charger. :D

If OVO or another energy company was to offer a bundle like this, we’d love to know:
- Would it be something you’d be interested in?
- What would you need to consider before opting in to a bundle like this, as opposed to buying all of the services from different providers?

Give us your thoughts below. We'd love to know what you think about this idea!

What do you guys think?
@Spaceprobe @Peetee @Absolute Zero @davrosuk @PeterR1947 @ITGeek123 @EverythingNeedsAUserName @Transparent @SianiAnni

18 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +1
Sounds like a brilliant idea, Coventry University have already done it! Their offering includes Vehicle, Insurance & Maintenance

See www.electriczoo.co.uk
Userlevel 3
Excellent idea for generation X perhaps but for an oldie like me I would pass, even if I or my age group would be acceptable 😞
Userlevel 4
I leased a 30kWh Nissan Leaf last year. Personal hangup, I hated not owning the car. I can happily sit in a taxi or car somebody else owns & drives. I am sure I'll be happy with TaaS but if I'm driving "my" car I want to own it.
Userlevel 5
I wouldn't lease a car either. Looking at the 'from cost' of the Coventry Uni offering, it seems to be a very expensive way to have the use of a car, almost three times the cost of ownership of my previous car over a period of 7 years (that's purchase, tax, insurance, servicing, repairs, replacement parts and breakdown insurance).
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Firstly... I think OVO is looking in the right direction. However, there are two issues I have with this suggestion:

1. I too don't like leasing cars. Now I realise that there is an existing problem with some leased EV's, whereby the legal agreement specifically prohibits the car from being used in V2G processes. The leasing company doesn't want the batteries recycled excessively as this could detract from its ultimate value when the lease-holder relinquishes the EV.

I'm assuming that a lease arranged through OVO wouldn't have such a restriction attached!

I have no idea how the lease restriction is policed. Possibly the on-board computer keeps a log of all battery charge/discharge cycles. And I'm also pretty sure that many with leased EV's haven't bothered to read the small print in the Contract, and are unaware of the constraints.

2. I think we need to see an overall strategy from OVO, rather than just an unconnected series of "deals" being announced.

It's not good enough just to lease (or buy) an EV. I also want to know:
- does the package include a V2G home charger?
- does it include a SMETS2 meter?
- can I have a half-hour variable tariff to maximise my V2G financial viability?
- can I also lease a home-battery to store charge from PV panels when the EV is elsewhere?
- how is this controlled via OVO's VCharge software?
- can I make use of a charging point provided by my employer for V2G operation whilst at work, and have this credited to my "home" electricity account?
- can I use an App on my phone to choose V2G settings?

Only once I'm aware of how my leased EV would fit into an overall package does it become possible to calculate the viabiity of the strategy.

I'd actually prefer a leased home-battery rather than an EV. This won't depreciate over time nearly as much as a car. And if I set up my charge-discharge parameters on an App with care, by the time the (3-year?) lease ends, OVO & I might have taken enough profit from reselling the electricity that I then end up owning the battery outright.

Finally, I live in a rural Westcountry area that has a long-term over-supply of renewable energy. There is insufficient grid capacity to pass this up-country to cities where it's needed. As a result we see significant voltage rises:

251v isn't uncommon here.

And before you imagine that this was the middle of a recent hot, sunny day - the photo was actually taken a couple of days ago at 19:04 in the evening. This is generally regarded as the peak-demand period!

Moreover I'm the very last house on this feed from the sub-station, where you'd expect the maximum voltage-drop! ... and neither I, nor any neighbour within 400m has a renewable energy grid-connection. The over-voltage we see here is across a wide geographical region.

So if OVO put together a package involving stored charge, VCharge control, an App and a flexible half-hour tariff, I'm up for it!

Of course, we also need Ofgem to change the rules so that OVO & its customers can be paid more for storing charge where this would most usefully aid grid-balancing and reduce losses on the distribution network (33kV and below).

Ofgem have already changed the financing regime for DNO's to encompass losses reductions, so it won't take too much to extend this strategy to domestic customers.
Userlevel 7
Badge +2
I love the fact OVO are really focusing on renewable energy as well as zero emission vehicles. To answer your question @Darran_OVO I love the idea but I agree with the peeps here. I am a bit skeptical when it comes to leasing, don't get me wrong, if the price is right per month I may consider it as I am currently paying £200 a month for a 14 plate Leaf on a bank loan. If OVO were bring this up as a BETA I would be happy to provide any feedback of the trial.

I think if OVO were to offer this and push their renewable products. Maybe offer a packages to offer flexibility for customers such as;

1 - Lease an EV for a reasonable price (Insurance the driver will need to sort out, this shouldn't be OVO problem)

2 - Or Lease an EV for a reasonable price (Insurance the driver will need to sort out, this shouldn't be OVO problem) and a V2G Charger.

3 - Or Lease an EV for a reasonable price (Insurance the driver will need to sort out, this shouldn't be OVO problem) and a V2G Charger and battery storage.

Not sure what you think of that? You can be as honest and blunt to me and say "Matt, those ideas are just awful!"
Userlevel 4
I can't say that leasing is on my agenda. I have heard too many horror stories about extra fees and costs on return of a car. I've only ever had it on work provided cars.
If run as a commercial deal, the lease company (not the user) makes money from manufacturer discounts, from financing charges, extra mileage charges, refurbishment charges, and from profit on resale at the end of the lease.
That said, there can be advantages to the user from inclusive deals on EV charging membership as you say, servicing, tyres, group insurance... if the monthly amount is ALL you pay except fuel.

Earlier replies have come up with some interesting points. V2G sounds a good move, but perhaps I am too far north. I've recently looked at using the surplus power that we generate, which isn't enough to power a car. At 5.24p on just over 2000 surplus kWh in a year, we earned £106 from the grid. Gas is cheaper for water heating. I investigated a storage battery to also take advantage of our Economy 7 tariff, but it would lose capacity years before it paid back its cost. V2G might change that calculation, but as I said in the other post about cars, EVs don't yet fit my golfing requirements.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
@EverythingNeedsAUserName wrote:
I investigated a storage battery to also take advantage of our Economy 7 tariff, but it would lose capacity years before it paid back its cost.

In the timeframe we're discussing, your E7 tariff won't be the way you'd charge a storage battery.

Ofgem and Government legislation have set up a new strategy for electricity supply in the UK called Demand Side Response. This offers half-hour (HH) variable tariffs, implemented by firmware within the forthcoming SMETS2 meters.

We don't yet know how Energy Suppliers will actually implement a new tariff system, but it's relevant to our decisions on whether we invest in Battery-storage and V2G technology.

Instead of having a single 7-hour overnight cheap-electricity slot, we will be offered different prices throughout the day, depending on what energy generation exists. Your static Battery-store and/or EV will be available to store and release charge several times each day. OVO's VCharge software will monitor/control this, charging batteries when there is surplus electricity and releasing it when prices rise due to demand-peaks.

That's why I think we need information about an overall package from OVO, rather than just considering whether to lease an EV or static Battery-storage in isolation.
Userlevel 4
@Transparent thanks. I remember reading about that a few years back as a far future possibility. I'd certainly be interested in being a part of it. Distributed storage for network resilience and Peak demand cover.
I've read about the tesla battery farm in Australia and how it has evened out the voltage and frequency variations.
Userlevel 2
It sounds like an interesting concept, and would consider it when looking for my next vehicle. However, I tend to get cars one or two years old.

With bundling all these services together, would you need all your existing services to be up for renewal at the same time to benefit?
If joined up thinking about energy supply and usage including a car and v2g means better efficiency and hence lower costs to the consumer then I'm all for it..
If the car is billed at a daily rate and a mileage rate.. Like electricity then why not..
Then second hand cars could be used also with their own daily and mileage rate.
Customer centric plans..
Userlevel 4
After many years of buying our cars, we have moved to leasing. But the deal has to be right. The thing that many people forget to factor in, when buying a car is depreciation, and if bought on finance, the interest. Both of these add a considerable slightly hidden cost to car ownership. And on top of that, when you buy, you lose the interest or investment value on the money you put in. Why tie up multiple thousands of pounds into something that is rapidly depreciating by the day, and EV's have seriously heavy depreciation, except the Teslas? Leasing is like a pay as you go system, each payment is like paying for the use and depreciation of the car month by month. I know it won't suit everyone, but our current pcp (not quite a full on lease, I know) has an interest rate of 1.3 %. That is lower than where we keep the money that would otherwise have bought the car. As much as we love our i3, it's just a car at the end of the day, there will always be another better one next year. This applies even more so to EV's than most other cars, because the technology is still evolving. And that's the big problem with resale values. Every year, or even 6 months that passes in the EV world is bringing rapid development at this moment in time. And, unlike an ICE car, the range slowly but surely decreases over time, which makes the car less attractive to buyers as it ages.

We bought our i3 last June. The Hyundai Kona EV is due on the market any day, and for less money than our i3 but twice the range. That's the speed of change. I believe the newer Leaf does around twice the miles of the earlier models. So newer models are very much more attractive than earlier ones. Therefore for us at least, the idea of having access to a car on a kind of payg basis is more attractive during this period of rapid developments.

It's true that the longer you keep a car the lower the average annual cost of ownership is (fuel aside), but EVs are a different kettle of fish. There are plenty of cars on the road over 8 years old and more, many running like new when cared for, but the current EV batteries are going to be showing their age by then, no matter how well the car has been cared for. And a new battery is a pricey risk that someone who can't afford a newer car isn't going to want to take.

Certainly for hubby and me, we think leasing is the way to go for the time being.
Userlevel 3
Leasing is/will be the solution for many but not for me.
I have a simple philosophy, you can’t take it with you.
I am looking forward to taking delivery of my KonaEV early next year, should I live so long 🙂
Userlevel 4
We've definitely got our eye on the Kona. We've had Hyundai in the past and our son in law has an Ioniq full EV. Really nice ride.
Userlevel 3
We've definitely got our eye on the Kona. We've had Hyundai in the past and our son in law has an Ioniq full EV. Really nice ride.

If you are thinking about purchasing the Kona in the near future I think you should decide one way or the other as quickly as possible.
I read today that Hyundai U.K. may have difficulty in supplying many more because it has proved far more popular than anticipated by Hyundai and capacity will not be able satisfy demand for many months.
Userlevel 4
Oh really. That's good news and bad. As it happens we are on a list for test drive as soon as the car arrives at our local dealer.
Userlevel 3
Oh really. That's good news and bad. As it happens we are on a list for test drive as soon as the car arrives at our local dealer.

You may have quite a wait for test drive. Presently the car is only available online here :
Userlevel 4
Well our local dealer has promised us an early test drive as soon as it arrives at their site. We aren't in a rush, it'll be there when it's there. We are existing customers and they've also known since before we got the i3 that we wanted to go ev. Our daughter and her hubby also bought an all electric Ioniq from them.