What’s the Right Time to Charge Your EV?

What’s the Right Time to Charge Your EV?

Everyone knows if you’re going to plan a vacation or wedding at a destination, you’re going to pay a lot more if you go during the most agreeable weather and much less during monsoon season. It’s the supply chain equation relative to peak season planning.

Did you know that making more money is actually NOT why transportation agencies and utility companies charge peak pricing? (OK, to some degree it is.) What they’re really trying to do is ensure customers don’t draw too much on their resources so they risk losing the ability to service anyone.

For example, bridges, tunnels, and highways can only accommodate so many vehicles at one time. Heavy traffic and congestion create strain on these resources that not only impedes mobility, it could also jeopardize public safety. Fortunately, drivers who divert their routes or travel times because they are unwilling to pay higher toll rates or sit bumper-to-bumper are simultaneously contributing to the balance of traffic volume.

Similarly, when your fleet instructs staff and drivers to charge your electric vehicles during off-peak hours, you are not only saving the company money by paying lower rates, you are also supporting your local grid’s ability to supply continuous power to your business and everyone else around you.

The Nitty “Grid-dy”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, peak hours generally start at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and run until 11:00 p.m. (Partial-peak hours may also be present within those timeframes.) Off-peak hours go from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Every provider in every region will use algorithms to determine or predict peak vs. off-peak times and rates.

On your utility bill, you’ll see it called “Time-of-Use” or TOU. Even public EV chargers are subject to TOU rates. With convenience fees added, the cost per kilowatt (kWh) for fast public charging can be as high as the cost for gasoline.

To control operating costs associated with EV charging, fleets should establish guidelines for preferred charging times and use of public fast-chargers. Since TOU rates and hours differ from region to region, your policy should flex to align with these differences, based on where your vehicles are located.

You can find the latest news on EV charging in The Morning Brake e-newsletter and the MOTIVE podcast. And as always, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns. We’re happy to listen and offer advice.