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Octopus Energy launches UK’s first vehicle-to-grid tariff

Octopus Energy has announced the UK’s first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) EV tariff, offering guaranteed free charging for customers.

Octopus says the Power Pack tariff could save drivers £850 a year compared to a regular rate by selling energy back to the grid at times of high demand and charging the car at low-demand times.

The tariff, which is still in beta testing using V2G technology and Octopus’s Kraken smart platform to balance charging and discharging when it’s best for the grid via smart chargers and meters.

Vehicle-to-grid charging is seen as a key tool in balancing energy use and offering cheap charging as more drivers go electric. It allows the grid to draw on energy stored in EV batteries at times of high demand, allowing owners to effectively sell that energy at a high price then charge their car at off-peak times when rates are lower.

Under the Power Pack tariff, drivers simply need to plug their car in for at least six hours per day and the system will automatically work out the optimum charging. Octopus estimates that for a driver covering 10,000 miles a year the savings would be more than £850 compared to a standard variable tariff and more than £170 compared with its existing Intelligent Octopus Go.

The downside is that the tariff is only available to drivers with compatible chargers and cars, which are currently very rare. Among the models to offer full V2G connectivity are the Kia EV9, Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen ID models with the 77kWh battery, although this needs to be activated by an over-the-air update currently being rolled out in Europe.

Renault says it will be standard on the new 5 and will eventually be rolled out to its Megane and Scenic E-Tech models, while other manufacturers including Volvo and Hyundai are exploring the technology.

Alex Schoch, head of flexibility at Octopus Energy, said: “We recently moved past a million EVs on UK roads – a major milestone – but their true power for storing energy remains untapped. Once we reach 10 million electric cars on the road, we’ll have enough storage to power the entirety of Great Britain during peak times. All our drivers have to do is plug in regularly and their charging is completely free.

“EVs are going to be a major lever in our future flexible, green grid, but to get there we need to unlock the capabilities of their batteries. Now we have Octopus Power Pack, it’s over to car manufacturers to build the cars that are compatible with V2G technology.”

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of inews.co.uk, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.