Electricity retailer Red Energy is hoping to attract owners of electric vehicles, by offering free electricity on weekends for EV charging.
Under the offer, Red Energy will provide electricity to those customers between 12pm and 2pm every Saturday and Sunday for free, as an incentive to recharge their electric vehicles during this period/
Red Energy, a retailing subsidiary of Snowy Hydro, said that the electricity used to charge electric vehicles would be “matched” with an equivalent amount of renewable electricity produced by the company’s power stations
“We are a business that’s owned and powered by one of Australia’s leaders in renewable energy, Snowy Hydro,” Red Energy CEO Iain Graham said.
“This product is supported by Red’s renewable matching promise. We know renewables are important to electric vehicle owners which is why we think Red’s offer will appeal to these customers”.
The “Red EV Saver” product will be available exclusively to owners of electric vehicles and requires that a smart meter or interval meter has been installed at the customer’s premises.
While the two-hour window is unlikely to allow electric vehicle owners to fully recharge their vehicles with free electricity, it will provide a reasonable boost to mileage using home charging. Electricity used outside of this window will be charged at Red Energy’s standard tariffs.
The amount of range added during the free charging window would differ between models and the home charging equipment used.
For example, Tesla models would be able to add between 120 to 200 km of range over each of the two-hour windows. The latest model of Nissan Leaf would add approximately 90 km of range over the two hours using a home charging unit.
Red Energy said that the offer was designed to lower costs for electric vehicle owners, and estimated that the recharging of an electric vehicle would add as much as 35 per cent to a household’s annual consumption.
These costs, however, are generally more than offset by the avoided costs of purchasing petrol.
It adds to a growing list of electricity retailers that are providing dedicated offers for electric vehicle owners looking for deals that provide an attractive option from electricity suppliers.
Last year, AGL Energy launched its own dedicated electricity offer to electric vehicle owners, that the company said could deliver savings of as much as $480 over a two-year contract.
Likewise, retailer Powershop partnered with charging station provider Chargefox to offer a $100 sign-on bonus to Chargefox customers who switched their electricity accounts to Powershop. Powershop also offered a discounted electricity tariff to incentivise charging between 12am and 4am on weekdays.
Origin Energy also offered a substantial discount on the installation of rooftop solar and battery storage system to purchasers of a Hyundai Kona.
While Red Energy’s deal is available now, the company will formally launch the new product at the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix to be held next week.