If you are thinking about buying an electric vehicle to save money, you need to sit down and do a bit of figuring. A big part of the savings will depend on how your electric company charges you for your usage. Knowing this, you can determine how and when to charge the vehicle for the most savings.
If your electric company charges you in tiers, it will not matter when or how you charge the vehicle. As you use electricity, the company charges you a standard electric rate. Once you go over a specified usage amount for the billing cycle, you will be charged a different standard rate. For example, the tiers for your electricity company charges you $0.10 per kilowatt-hour for the first 500 kilowatts. Any kilowatts you use after that, until you reach 2,000 kilowatt-hours is charged at $0.12. If you use over 2,000 kilowatt-hours in a month they will be charged at $0.15 each.
The only way to save money on this type of plan is to use less power. So, if you purchase an electric vehicle and do not want your electric bill to go up much, be sure to turn off lights when you are not using them. Keep in mind though, the increase in your electric bill for charging an electric vehicle will still be less than what you would be paying for gasoline for the same amount of driving.
Time of Use Plan
If you are lucky enough to have an electric plan that has different rates for different times of the day, you can really take advantage of some savings. You should receive a chart with your electric bill that tells you what the different rates are for the different time periods. Usually, the cheaper rates are overnight or in the middle of the day. This is when you want to charge the vehicle. If you work overnight, go home, wait until the peak period of the morning has passed, and then charge up. If you work during the day, wait until everyone has gone to bed before plugging in.
Using an electric vehicle is going to save you money no matter when or where you charge it. However, your boss may not like it if you charge at work trying to save more money, and charging at equipped gas stations should only be done when absolutely necessary. If you take the time to charge during off-peak hours at home, and turn off extra lights in the house, you may find that you spend very little to power your car. How you spend the extra savings is entirely up to you.