This Eskom tariff makes electric car charging over 70% cheaper than using petrol

Using Eskom’s recently-introduced time-of-use tariff, EV owners could save around 70% in transport costs compared to using a similar petrol-powered model, an analysis by MyBroadband shows.

First made available in April 2023, the Homeflex tariff plan’s charges change based on the typical demand Eskom experiences throughout the day.

Charges are divided into three main categories — peak, standard, and off-peak.

The tariffs are also slightly more expensive during the three coldest winter months in the year — June to August.

Off-peak periods include the late night and early morning hours on weekdays, extended evening and morning hours on Saturdays, and all of Sunday.

These off-peak times lin up with when a household’s vehicles are most likely to be parked at home.

Eskom Direct households with a regular single-phase 16-amp connection to the grid will be placed on the Homeflex 4 plan if they choose to switch from Homepower 4.

During off-peak hours in the high-demand season, Homeflex 4 users will pay R2.33 per kWh and for the rest of the year, they will pay R2.19 per kWh.

This is cheaper than the Block 1 R2.50 and Block 2 R4.03 tariffs they will pay per kWh of consumption on the flat-priced Homepower 4 plan.

The table below outlines the electricity tariffs under the Homeflex 4 tariff plan.

Homeflex tariff plan 2023/2024
Peak Standard Off-peak
High Demand Season (June to August)
Times Weekdays:
06:00–09:00
17:00–19:00
Weekdays:
09:00–17:00
19:00–22:00
Saturdays:
09:00–17:00
18:00–20:00
Weekdays:
22:00–06:00
Saturdays:
20:00–07:00
12:00–18:00
Sundays:
All hours
Charges R6.24 (R7.53) R1.90 (R3.19) R1.04 (R2.33)
Low Demand Season (September to May)
Times Weekdays:
07:00–10:00
18:00–20:00
Weekdays:
06:00–07:00
10:00–18:00
20:00–22:00
Saturdays:
07:00–12:00
18:00–20:00
Weekdays:
22:00–06:00
Saturdays:
20:00–07:00
Sundays:
All hours
Charges R2.04 (R3.33) R1.41 (R2.70) R0.90 (R2.19)

The main downside to Homeflex is the extremely expensive peak tariffs of R7.53 from June to August and additional capacity charges.

For this reason, the Homeflex tariff is primarily intended for grid-tied solar users with batteries that can sustain them through these periods.

An EV owner who strictly charged their car in the off-peak hours mentioned above would pay substantially less than a petrol or diesel car to cover the same distances.

To calculate the difference, we determined the per-km energy cost for several EVs with the fuel cost for comparable internal combustion engine (ICE) cars.

We used four EVs in the comparison: the BMW iX1, BMW iX3, Mini Cooper SE, and Volvo XC40 Recharge Single Motor.

Although the upfront costs of these models are substantially higher than their ICE equivalents, they are also significantly more powerful.

If a driver recharged their car only during the Homeflex 4 Tariff’s off-peak hours, their per-km energy expenditure would work out to roughly a quarter the price of the petrol needed to cover a kilometre.

Compared to the two diesel models, which are more fuel-efficient, the price per kilometre would still be around a third of the ICE option.

The table below compares the per-km and average monthly recharging and refuelling costs of four EVs and their ICE equivalents.

EV vs ICE costs
Electric Petrol  Diesel*
(where available)
Price per kWh/litre R2.19 (Low Demand)
R2.33 (High Demand)
R23.24 (Inland)
R22.52 (Coast)
R24.64 (Inland)
R23.83 (Coast)
Model BMW iX1 xDrive30 BMW X1 sDrive18i BMW X1 sDrive18d
Efficiency 18.3kWh/100km
5.46km/kWh
6.5ℓ/100km
15.38km/ℓ
5.0ℓ/100km
20km/ℓ
Useable battery/tank size 64.7kWh 51ℓ 51ℓ
Distance per full charge/refill 354km 748km 1,020km
Price per km R0.40 (LDS)
R0.43 (HDS)
R1.51 (Inland)
R1.46 (Coast)
R1.23 (Inland)
R1.19 (Coast)
Average commuter’s monthly spend* R528 (LDS)
R568 (HDS)
R1,993 (Inland)
R1,927 (Coast)
R1,624 (Inland)
R1,570 (Coast)
Model BMW iX3 M Sport BMW X3 sDrive20i BMW X3 sDrive18d
Efficiency 18.9kWh/100km
5.29km/kWh
7.3ℓ/100km
13.70km/ℓ
5.2ℓ/100km
19.23km/ℓ
Useable battery/tank size 74kWh 65ℓ 65ℓ
Distance per full charge/refill 392km 890km 1,250km
Price per km R0.41 (LDS)
R0.43 (HDS)
R1.70  (Inland)
R1.64 (Coast)
R1.28 (Inland)
R1.24 (Coast)
Average commuter monthly spend* R541 (LDS)
R568 (HDS)
R2,244 (Inland)
R2,165 (Coast)
R1,690 (Inland)
R1,637 (Coast)
Model Mini Cooper SE 3-door hatch Mini Cooper S 3-door hatch
Efficiency 14.7kWh/100km
6.80km/kWh
6.0ℓ/100km
16.67km/ℓ
N/A
Useable battery/tank size 28.9kWh 44ℓ
Distance per full charge/refill 197km 733km
Price per km R0.32 (LDS)
R0.34 (HDS)
R1.39 (Inland)
R1.35 (Coast)
Average commuter monthly spend* R422 (LDS)
R449 (HDS)
R1,835 (Inland)
R1,782 (Coast)
Model Volvo XC40 Recharge Single Motor Volvo XC40 B4 
Efficiency 18.3kWh/100km
5.46km/kWh
7.3ℓ/100km
13.70km/ℓ
N/A
Battery/tank size 66kWh 54ℓ
Distance per full charge/refill 360km 740km
Price per km R0.40 (LDS)
R0.43 (HDS)
R1.70  (Inland)
R1.64 (Coast)
Average commuter monthly spend** R528 (LDS)
R568 (HDS)
R2,244 (Inland)
R2,165 (Coast)
*Based on 50ppm diesel price with an added 15% retail margin.
**Using 44km average in South Africa determined by Numbeo.

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This Eskom tariff makes electric car charging over 70% cheaper than using petrol