British brand Octopus Electric Vehicles, the electric vehicle specialist, is a start-up from Octopus Energy. Launched in 2018, Octopus EV is a one-stop shop for everything EV – bringing together great offers on a handpicked range of the best electric cars, smart chargers for home and workplaces that save you money when you charge, 100% renewable electricity tariff specifically designed for EV drivers, and a free VIP support helpline to help you on your carbon-free journey.
As the UK’s only company to offer a full specialist service to the electric vehicle arena giving expert advice on finance, maintenance, EV charge point installations, special electric vehicle tariffs and the latest vehicles from BMW, Jaguar, Nissan, Renault and Tesla, it has everything that customers need to get on the road and lead the UK towards zero carbon transportation.
Octopus EV and Octopus Energy form part of the Octopus Group, which seeks to improve the lives of a million people by transforming the industries it operates in. The Octopus Group also incorporates Octopus Healthcare, Octopus Investments, Octopus Property, Octopus Ventures, and Octopus Labs.
A Prominent Leader
Fiona Howarth, the CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, is a sharp, strategic and analytical thinker. She also understands each and every detail to run a complicated product development process. Early on, she recognised the importance of giving customers a go-to place for impartial advice on the vehicles, charging and financial incentives. Fiona and her team now run events with communities and businesses across the UK to answer each and every query on electric vehicles and enable customers to test them out for themselves. Furthermore, Fiona has also pulled together partnerships with leading companies across the market to create the best offerings for every customer and client – from leading EV manufacturers like from BMW and Tesla; to EV-savvy leasing companies and dealers offering contract hire, salary sacrifice and outright purchase of the cars; to EV charge point companies and expert installation businesses; to the innovative renewable energy supplier Octopus Energy – all coming together to make it easy for customers to transition to EVs.
Journey of Adherence
Recalling the early days, Octopus EV wanted to test the appetite of UK consumers for electric cars. The company found that people were excited about the new technology – with “petrol-heads” that loved cars that can do 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds to individuals that wanted to find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Just by spreading the word and getting drivers behind the wheel of this new way of driving, Octopus EV found that people are ready to make the switch to electric. The company was engaging with interested customers early about changing their cars to electric, and it found they valued a whole solution – not just the car.
Octopus EV has really led the way with this bundle and is now beginning to see other companies follow suit. In addition, Octopus EV is leading the demonstration of Vehicle to Grid technology for homes. Incorporating this technology, EV batteries have become power packs and customers can charge whenever the energy demand is low and electricity is cheap. The customers are then able to use the power within the car battery for their home and even for neighbours when demand is high and electricity is expensive. Similarly, if technology is used this effectively, it is estimated that the UK could save £50bn in grid upgrade costs by 2050.
Overcoming the Hurdles
One hurdle for EV charging solutions was to find the best product that suits customer needs and enables them to charge their car at the times when electricity is cheapest. According to early research, many charge points that have been installed are not smart and have no “brains”. This limits the functionality for the customer. One of the effective products to overcome this situation is the Zappi charger from myenergi that allows EV drivers to automatically charge their car at the cheapest times of the days.
The Future Calling
According to Octopus EV, as more EVs are being charged at home, it will create more demand for electricity and could put more strain on the electricity grid. At this point, smart charging becomes even more important and doing it right will enable the UK to save billions while unlocking new ways for customers to access cheap electricity by charging at cheaper times of day, and even make money from their electric cars with technology such as vehicle to grid. Octopus EV is leading the charge in a consortium with six other members, and you can now pre-register for the Powerloop vehicle to grid the bundle.
Octopus EV is at the forefront of the EV revolution, and it is helping customers at every step of their journey. Today, EV drivers are enjoying the running costs of 1p/mile; a fraction of the cost of cars running on petrol or diesel, that cost around 10p/mile and sometimes much more. In addition, given there as few as 20 moving parts in an EV compared to around 2,000 in a standard car, servicing and maintenance costs can be 30-40% lower. EV drivers no longer need to detour to fill up, they just charge while doing things they love from shopping, working out or going to the cinema. Along with the latest smart charging systems and the ever-growing on-street charging network, they can even charge while they sleep and start each day with a fully charged battery.
Octopus EV is helping homeowners and businesses across the UK to take advantage of fantastic government incentives for EVs and charge points, including: £3,500 from the government plug-in car grant, up to £500 off a charging point at home or work, and up to 40% off monthly car costs by getting it on a salary sacrifice scheme that enables employees to save income tax and national insurance. Octopus EV has done the legwork to pull it all together, making it simple to make the switch and take advantage of all incentives.