Ovo Energy takes on Octopus with EV Charge app

Ovo Energy's new EV charging app will offer users payment plans that will allow them to access discounts on using public chargers.

Ovo Energy app interface appears against a backdrop of moving cars
Ovo Energy says its new app will make owning an EV 'more accessible'
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ovo Energy)

If you're looking to buy an electric vehicle, then one of the most important considerations is how you will charge your motor and the energy costs

Energy supplier Ovo has launched an app that will allow EV drivers to charge their vehicles at a discounted rate at more than half of the UK’s public charge points.

Open to any electric vehicle users, the Ovo Charge app offers people two tiers of charging plan that will give them access to discounts of up to 15% on a charge. The provider says people could save over £220 a year when charging on the go through its app.

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Its offering has been built on the Bonnet app it acquired in late-2023, and will put Ovo in direct competition with Octopus Energy’s ‘Electroverse’ EV charging app. The new system will work across several different charging networks. It will also offer users rewards, and show live availability and reliability data for charge points.

Ovo’s chief commercial officer, Mat Moakes, said the development would make EV ownership “cheaper and more accessible”. He added that the app would also complement its ‘Charge Anytime’ tariff add-on, which currently offers the cheapest charging rate according to MoneyWeek analysis of the EV tariff market.

Energy prices are set to fall steeply for most households in April. Further reductions to the Ofgem energy price cap are expected over the course of 2024. We’ve explained all the things you need to consider before installing an EV charger in your home.

EV drivers could save ‘hundreds of pounds’ with new Ovo app

Ovo’s Charge app offers drivers two different monthly payment plans that offer different discount rates at public charge points.

Users can opt for ‘Light Boost’, which offers a charging discount of 10% in exchange for a £2 monthly fee, or ‘Turbo Boost’, which provides a 15% saving for £8 a month. They can also use a pay as you go option. The plans can be cancelled at any time. They also offer as-yet-unspecified ‘rewards’ for users and live charging updates.

The energy supplier estimates the driver of a typical 64kWh EV could save up to £222 a year on the cost of an ultra-rapid charger. This calculation is based on them using the app once a week for a year to charge their vehicle’s battery from 0% to 80%, while holding a ‘Turbo Boost’ subscription. The saving works out as £4.28 per rapid charge (which usually costs £40.83, according to RAC data).

For ‘Light Boost’ the annual saving works out as more than £188 a year, with the cost of each charge reduced by £3.62 on average. Users of cheaper ‘fast’ chargers (7 to 22kW) can expect to save more than £2.50 per charge (a typical price for using this sort of charger would normally be £30.38).

Unlike its principal competition - Octopus Electroverse - Ovo’s app offers its discount plans to anyone, regardless of whether they are an Ovo customer for their domestic energy supply. The discounts offered by Ovo are also larger, although Octopus’s offering works across more charging networks.

The app will show drivers where charging points are, how many are available in each location, and what condition they are in. The reliability information will be built up by the app’s community of users, according to Ovo. The more expensive ‘Turbo’ plan will also allow EV users to plan journeys based on where eligible chargers are situated.

The Ovo app operates across nine networks, including Shell Recharge and Ionity, meaning users can access 34,000 individual charge points all over the UK without having to juggle different key cards and logins. Based on recent estimates by charger location app Zapmap, it means EV drivers can access around 60% of the UK’s publicly available chargers through Charge Anywhere. The app also works with more than 400,000 chargers in Europe.

Ovo’s new offering has come about after it acquired popular EV charging app ‘Bonnet’ in November 2023. At the time, it suggested it wanted to expand the app’s offering using its “experience and scale” - an aim that appears to have translated into a greater pool of the charging stations users can access across the UK. Ovo has added around 7,000 charge points to the app since the buyout.

Henry Sandercock

Henry Sandercock has spent more than eight years as a journalist covering a wide variety of beats. Having studied for an MA in journalism at the University of Kent, he started his career in the garden of England as a reporter for local TV channel KMTV. 

Henry then worked at the BBC for three years as a radio producer - mostly on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine, but also on major BBC Radio 4 programmes like The World at One, PM and Broadcasting House. Switching to print media, he covered fresh foods for respected magazine The Grocer for two years. 

After moving to NationalWorld.com - a national news site run by the publisher of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post - Henry began reporting on the cost of living crisis, becoming the title’s money editor in early 2023. He covered everything from the energy crisis to scams, and inflation. You will now find him writing for MoneyWeek. Away from work, Henry lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their whippet Whisper.