Help us shape the future of Electric Vehicles

Bulb’s mission is to help its members save money on their bills and reduce CO2 emissions.

We believe Electric Vehicles will be an essential part of this mission.

We recently sent out a survey out to members asking them to share there thoughts on Electric Vehicles.

What do you think Bulb should be doing to make it easier for people to purchase and run an Electric Vehicle?

I think the new smart hub goes a long way to helping EV drivers, as well as providing an incentive for home batteries.
A couple of ideas…

  • A simple alert from the app if your usage is high during the peak period "Hey it looks like you might have your car charging! You can charge overnight for a fraction of the price."
  • Work with an EV charger provider that allows the charging rate to be varied. myenergi's Zappi for example, are about to release a "hub" that allows remote control. Perhaps Bulb could control that to allow for further savings? I imagine being able to suddenly reduce load on the grid by a significant amount might be worth something to National Grid, and allow you to further maximise wholesale savings?

Of course one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption is education. Perhaps Bulb could mention somewhere the annual fuel cost of a car vs charging overnight for the average driver?
The average driver (apparently) does 8,000 miles a year.
The average petrol car gets 52.2 mpg (under the old rating system, this is likely actually far lower). Which gives us 153 gallons of petrol per year, or about 695 litres which costs £914 a year at today’s price. Just over 1 1/2 tons of CO2!

Say an EV gets 4 miles / kWh… so for 8,000 miles we need 2 MWh (2,000 kWh). If you charge exclusively overnight on Bulb’s smart tariff that’s £151.80 a year, increasing your electric bill by £12.65 a month. A saving of over £63 a month. I’d also provide an example for high mileage drivers.

  • A simple alert from the app if your usage is high during the peak period "Hey it looks like you might have your car charging! You can charge overnight for a fraction of the price."
I think this would be a great addition whether or not you have a car charger. Either automated based on average usage or a manually set level in the app, a "You seem to be using a lot more energy than usual at this time, could you save money by switching things on overnight instead?" as a push notification could be nice.

Push notifications for when cheaper tariffs are happening could be a nice option to turn on and off too:
“Notify me when my peak rate begins”
“Notify me when my standard rate begins”
“Notify me when my off-peak rate begins”

Of course one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption is education. Perhaps Bulb could mention somewhere the annual fuel cost of a car vs charging overnight for the average driver? The average driver (apparently) does 8,000 miles a year. The average petrol car gets 52.2 mpg (under the old rating system, this is likely actually far lower). Which gives us 153 gallons of petrol per year, or about 695 litres which costs £914 a year at today's price. Just over 1 1/2 tons of CO2!

Say an EV gets 4 miles / kWh… so for 8,000 miles we need 2 MWh (2,000 kWh). If you charge exclusively overnight on Bulb’s smart tariff that’s £151.80 a year, increasing your electric bill by £12.65 a month. A saving of over £63 a month. I’d also provide an example for high mileage drivers.


For me, the biggest issue is on-street parking/charging and availability of vehicles. I don’t have a dedicated space in front of my house (although I can generally get a space as a few houses don’t have cars), so I couldn’t reliably charge from my house, and as a tradesman I don’t have much of an opportunity to go and sit at a charging station for half an hour waiting for a top-up. Half an hour a day or so a week quickly removes any cost advantages of going electric over fossil.
Until the Transit Custom PHEV/electric comes out, there’s also not really a suitable vehicle out there for me to consider.
  • A simple alert from the app if your usage is high during the peak period "Hey it looks like you might have your car charging! You can charge overnight for a fraction of the price."
I think this would be a great addition whether or not you have a car charger. Either automated based on average usage or a manually set level in the app, a "You seem to be using a lot more energy than usual at this time, could you save money by switching things on overnight instead?" as a push notification could be nice.

Push notifications for when cheaper tariffs are happening could be a nice option to turn on and off too:
“Notify me when my peak rate begins”
“Notify me when my standard rate begins”
“Notify me when my off-peak rate begins”

Of course one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption is education. Perhaps Bulb could mention somewhere the annual fuel cost of a car vs charging overnight for the average driver? The average driver (apparently) does 8,000 miles a year. The average petrol car gets 52.2 mpg (under the old rating system, this is likely actually far lower). Which gives us 153 gallons of petrol per year, or about 695 litres which costs £914 a year at today's price. Just over 1 1/2 tons of CO2!

Say an EV gets 4 miles / kWh… so for 8,000 miles we need 2 MWh (2,000 kWh). If you charge exclusively overnight on Bulb’s smart tariff that’s £151.80 a year, increasing your electric bill by £12.65 a month. A saving of over £63 a month. I’d also provide an example for high mileage drivers.


For me, the biggest issue is on-street parking/charging and availability of vehicles. I don’t have a dedicated space in front of my house (although I can generally get a space as a few houses don’t have cars), so I couldn’t reliably charge from my house, and as a tradesman I don’t have much of an opportunity to go and sit at a charging station for half an hour waiting for a top-up. Half an hour a day or so a week quickly removes any cost advantages of going electric over fossil.
Until the Transit Custom PHEV/electric comes out, there’s also not really a suitable vehicle out there for me to consider.

The only issue I see with doing it for everything else is triggering false positives. If the meter readings are coming in every half an hour, then small usage things or something that uses energy in small bursts won’t get picked up.

Immersion heaters, EVs, cookers and other things that use large amounts of power over an extended period it would probably work well for.

You could ask your council to put an EV charger on your street. On street parking is an issue, but I think it will become less of an issue as longer range EVs come out and rapid chargers become more prevalent.

The only issue I see with doing it for everything else is triggering false positives. If the meter readings are coming in every half an hour, then small usage things or something that uses energy in small bursts won't get picked up.

Immersion heaters, EVs, cookers and other things that use large amounts of power over an extended period it would probably work well for.


That’s a good point. I keep forgetting that although you can get real time information from the electricity meter (less frequent from the gas meter due to limitations in battery power), the app won’t be able to get hold of that information.
You’re right of course on false positives. Thinking about it now, there’s little that might be used in the day aside from the items you’ve mentioned that have a consistently high usage that someone wouldn’t be using at that time because they had to (15 minutes in the oven to cook a pizza, running a vacuum etc.)
You could ask your council to put an EV charger on your street. On street parking is an issue, but I think it will become less of an issue as longer range EVs come out and rapid chargers become more prevalent.
Hah! I wish! I don't think Leeds has any on street car charging whatsoever and is relying on a third party to want to get involved, presumably for free, before they do anything.

Looks like octopus have already got myenergi onboard:
https://myenergi.uk/2018/06/12/octopus-energy-ev-tariff-and-zappi-partnership/

I am a Bulb customer and an EV driver, how come I didn’t get the survey?! If it’s still open, please let me know the link and I’ll have a look.

Hi @boggissimo.

We didn’t send the survey to all our members. I’m afraid the survey is closed now but we’d love for you to share your thoughts of EVs. Here’s the link to get involved in Bulb labs. Jenna and her team are always looking for members to help us create the right products for you.