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OVO Drive + Anytime - Why isn't this available to all electric vehicle owners?


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Does anyone else agree thar OVO should provide EV owners with ability to charge at reduced rates during early hours like other energy companies. As an EV owner who has a home charger installed (not one of OVOs stipulated makes) I feel to expect me to pay £1000 to have their charger installed is a bit much..

As things stand as soon as I ca switch to BG or Octopus I will to take advantage of reduced EV rates.

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Best answer by Jess_OVO 20 April 2022, 15:56

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Personally if a particular 30 min slot is providing cheaper electricity i don't think it should matter what you are using the electricity for. Charging an EV, running the washing machine, using a heat pump etc. all should benefit from the cheaper rate electricity. 

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TOU (Time of Use) tariff’s have long been waited for on OVO and would be a great addition to their product line, unfortunately as yet there has been no news of OVO introducing them yet. 

If you have a Kaluza controlled Indra smart charger you can take advantage of the Drive Anytime tariff which is currently the equivalent of 5p / kWh (through rebate) which is very cheap by current standards.

It is frustrating that OVO do not have a product suitable for other chargers.

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A bit of an update here from the team on our Anytime compatibility, @ArundaleP and @cmccullie,

 

In the past we've been technically limited in our Anytime offering. We’ve been listening to your feedback and working hard to improve this. We’re happy to confirm that Anytime is now compatible with both types of smart chargers that we sell (Indra and Ohme). If you’ve already got another model of charger installed you might be interested by the news that we're soon rolling out a 'Direct to Vehicle' option. This allows us to communicate our Anytime product direct with the vehicle, so it wont matter what charger you have and the great news is that nearly 90% of car manufacturers are compatible!  Keep an eye out for further announcements on 'Direct to Vehicle' over the coming weeks. 

 

Exciting news ahead! 👀

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@Jess_OVO unfortunately this doesn’t help the V2G trial customers that have a second EV and the Indra Smart charger. Please can they look into this again

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@Jess_OVO  That sounds like progress! Do you happen to know if +Anytime will be compatible with the OhmeEV cable or just their wallbox? Looks like you’ve just pipped Octopus to the post to see who can get the OhmeEV compatibility up and running first! 😉

Although it might not make a difference for me if you still need a gas supply to get on the tariff! 😕

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@Jess_OVO  That sounds like progress! Do you happen to know if +Anytime will be compatible with the OhmeEV cable or just their wallbox? Looks like you’ve just pipped Octopus to the post to see who can get the OhmeEV compatibility up and running first! 😉

Although it might not make a difference for me if you still need a gas supply to get on the tariff! 😕

@nealmurphy Ohme has had Octopus integration for several years now (or at least had it), has something changed? 

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@ArundaleP Sorry, I was a bit vague there. I was referring to the Intelligent Octopus tariff (minimum of six hours cheap each night plus extra hours if conditions are favourable). Currently that tariff is officially for Teslas only with other makes of car in Beta, but they are due to connect Ohme to it shortly to enable the tariff to set the time slots that the car will be charged in. Yes, you can still use Ohme to charge at specific times based on your tariff’s cheapest hours, or manually set up a tariff to match your needs, but this next step gives greater control to the supplier to choose the charging times.

Obviously the benefit of +Anytime over other night-time tariffs is the ability to get the cheap rate for charging at anytime (as the name helpfully suggests!)

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@ArundaleP Sorry, I was a bit vague there. I was referring to the Intelligent Octopus tariff (minimum of six hours cheap each night plus extra hours if conditions are favourable). Currently that tariff is officially for Teslas only with other makes of car in Beta, but they are due to connect Ohme to it shortly to enable the tariff to set the time slots that the car will be charged in. Yes, you can still use Ohme to charge at specific times based on your tariff’s cheapest hours, or manually set up a tariff to match your needs, but this next step gives greater control to the supplier to choose the charging times.

Obviously the benefit of +Anytime over other night-time tariffs is the ability to get the cheap rate for charging at anytime (as the name helpfully suggests!)

Ah yes that make sense.

As far as I can tell from the +Anytime tariff it is only charges that are controlled by OvO / Kaluza that are at the cheaper rate. You set a ready time in the schedule and it will pick the favourable time slots to charge the car. If you manually override with the boost button you do not get the cheaper rate.  @Jess_OVO Is this how it works?

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Ah yes that make sense.

As far as I can tell from the +Anytime tariff it is only charges that are controlled by OvO / Kaluza that are at the cheaper rate. You set a ready time in the schedule and it will pick the favourable time slots to charge the car. If you manually override with the boost button you do not get the cheaper rate.  @Jess_OVO Is this how it works?

 

Yes that’s how it works. You set a time and a charge level you want, it works out when to charge. You then get a rebate at the end of the month reseting your costs down to equivalent of 5p per unit for the car. In that respect it’s not like Octopus Go which is a pure TOU Tarif. (but you can’t get 5p on Go anymore… or even anywhere near it.). 

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The problem with OVO Drive Anytime is that it is a Type of Use tariff. So for the same electricity, you would pay only 5p/kWh if it is for your EV, but 35p/kWh if it is for example for your shower. 

To distinguish the two, you need two electricity meters. The way OVO does this is by including a meter in the smart charge point - which is why you need the one sold by OVO. but that only works with the recommended one. 

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There is now another supported charger. I'll grab the link when I'm back on my laptop 

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Here we go! https://www.ovoenergy.com/electric-cars/anytime

At the time of me writing this comment on 23rd April 2022, the following chargers are supported:

  • Indra/Kaluza Smart Pro
  • Indra/Kaluza Smart Charge V3
  • Indra/Kaluza Smart Pioneer
  • Ohme Home
  • Ohme Home Pro
Userlevel 1

I had my charger fitted (Wallbox) assuming OVO like every other energy company would offer TOU tariffs I have a smart meter fitted which can tell me how many kWs I use every half hour, surely it is not beyond the bounds to determine how many kWs I have used between the designated hours and charge accordingly.

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I had my charger fitted (Wallbox) assuming OVO like every other energy company would offer TOU tariffs I have a smart meter fitted which can tell me how many kWs I use every half hour, surely it is not beyond the bounds to determine how many kWs I have used between the designated hours and charge accordingly.

Unfortunately OVO do not currently offer a Time of Use tariff (which is a great shame), they do offer a type of use tariff but it is only compatible with a very limited number of chargers that can be controlled by their Kaluza platform. 
 

A proper time of use tariff (like octopus go) would be so much more flexible and allow all EV chargers, heat pumps etc to take advantage.

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To be honest, only one company offers one proper Time of Use tariff based on wholesale prices. Everybody else is making some EV tariff up as they go along. But I would have expected better from OVO. 

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Except that said ToU tariff is currently pinned to the maximum rate pretty much 24/7 due to crazy high wholesale prices. So it’s not really acting like a proper ToU tariff right now if you think about it. My circumstances also means I’m definitely better off sticking to a flat rate deal as well, since I managd to lock in an ultra cheap two year deal with OVO in October last year, just before prices starting going crazy.

At the moment, I can’t forsee OVO releasing any ToU tariff until market conditions allow it to actually make sense. It’s probably something that OVO has considered as a future idea, but it’s basically unviable for the time being.

I think I also read somewhere that Ofgem is not keen on the idea of loss making tariffs (other than price capped standard variable, prepayment and deemed contract tariffs last year which was unintended and probably won’t be repeated) and wants to clamp down on them. It would be unwise to launch any kind of loss making fixed rate or ToU tariff now because of that. I can’t seem to find that source right now, so I am not going to claim that this is definitely what Ofgem said (I’ll update my comment if I ever do find it!) but I personally suspect that Ofgem will start to get more strict about such behaviours in the future. This statement seems somewhat close to my thoughts though and is probably the one I’m thinking about.

Time of Use is a pretty cool concept, but it definitely needs more work before I’d even consider using such a tariff. And until it can prove itself capable of dealing with weird edge cases in wholesale prices… I’m staying put with fixed rate.

By the way, I realised I kinda messed up my comment slightly shortly after posting it. I’ve made a few corrections to fix those mistakes.

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Hi, thanks for your comments, I can see the logic in your reasoning but at the moment I have a quote from EDF offering me EV charging at 5ppkW if I use it between midnight and five am,  their electric tariff is the same as I am paying to OVO but the gas is a couple of pence more per kW.

i have been a customer of OVO/SSE/Scottish Hydro for over 50 years and although it may seem odd in this modern age I still feel some loyalty to them, I hope they can come up with something in the next couple of months or a long acquaintance will be over. 

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Has anyone got the drive tariff fixed for 12 months and if so is it beneficial. 

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Hi @C Emerson - thanks for posting. 

 

I’ve seen @nealmurphy give excellent advice on the factors to consider when choosing OVO Drive, vs all the other plans and prices out there with OVO and elsewhere. Let’s see if he’s about to suggest what you should think about when deciding...

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Hi @C Emerson  and thanks @Tim_OVO for the nudge!

I’m going in a bit blind here as I can’t get an online quote for OVO Drive at the moment.

@C Emerson are you referring to just the standard Drive tariff or the version with the +Anytime add-on that gives a low unit price for charging (but requires a compatible charger set-up)?

If you can post the rates for Drive (if you have them) I can possibly advise. It has to be said that a lot of suppliers have currently pulled their EV tariffs and e-on have said that they don’t expect to reintroduce one, so options are limited.

Happy to give any impartial help I can to try and keep your charging costs down! If you could also give your EV make, how much charge you’ll need each week and at what times of day you will generally be charging that will help.

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Hi, OVO told me I can’t have the drive tariff as my new home charger is not on their list🤷🏻‍♂️  I will get my new Cupra Born on Friday and will charge it between midnight and 07:00 as I’m on an economy 7 variable tariff. 
So much for encouraging green eh  

 

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The specific charger is only required for the +Anytime add-on. As the name suggests, this gives a really good rate for charging your car at any time of day. I believe you can get the standard Drive tariff, which is a single rate tariff, but doesn’t have low charging prices like +Anytime does.

However, as you will be charging overnight the benefits of +Anytime are limited. If you have a smart meter (or happy to get one) then your best bet for cheap charging overnight is probably the Octopus Go range of tariffs (e.g. 4hrs at 7.5p/kWh). Whilst not as cheap as the +Anytime rate it can be used with any make of car and charger. The only issue would be if you require much more than 4 hours charging each night (i.e. if you will be doing more than around 100 miles per day without the ability to charge elsewhere). edf used to have a very cheap off-peak EV tariff that gave slightly more cheap hours, but they have recently pulled this from the market unfortunately.

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Thanks neal for you help. Looks like I’m at a dead end then with OVO. 

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Great to see one of our EV experts, @nealmurphy, offering some great advice here, @C Emerson.

 

Whilst we appreciate our Anytime offering is restricted at the moment, this is an area we’re hoping to improve soon. Check out the ‘Best Answer’ above for the latest. 👀

 

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Ok great news. Let’s hope it’s sorted soon as EV purchases are going through the roof and a lot of green members will be looking for low off peak charging rates. 

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