Intelligent Octopus FAQs
We’ll pay you $10 account credit per month if your EV is connected to Intelligent Octopus and manages all your home charging. All you need to do is plug in!
To receive the credit you will need to allow Intelligent Octopus to manage all home charging for a complete calendar month. The $10 account credit will be applied the following calendar month and also appear on your monthly statement.
Be an Octopus Energy customer
You have a compatible device, these currently include:
Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mini & Tesla vehicles
You have an iPhone (iOS v14.0 or later) or Android (v7 or later) and have our latest Octopus Energy app
Please note: We can only currently integrate a single vehicle with a single Octopus Energy account
First you log into our mobile app and sign up for Intelligent Octopus. You then select your vehicle make and model, as well as the method you charge your car at home. We’ll then ask you for some log in details to link your vehicle or chargers account with Octopus. Once this is done, you’ll then see a new “devices” tab appear on your app.
Going into the devices tab, you’ll be able to set your charging preferences. You tell us at what time you need your car charged by, and to what state of charge. And that’s it! Just make sure you clear any existing charge timers you have on either your charger or vehicle app.
We encourage you to plug your vehicle in whenever you are home. As soon as you plug your car in, and it is at home (this will be the location where you were when you first registered the vehicle with Octopus) we will create a charging schedule. This will appear in your app typically within 5 minutes of you plugging in the car, but it can take up to 20 minutes.
If at any stage you want to pause or completely stop Octopus Energy managing charging your EV via Intelligent Octopus, you can do this from the ‘Account & Settings’ page within the Octopus Energy mobile app.
Any charging through Intelligent Octopus will be included in your Octopus Energy bill as normal, based on whichever time of use period (Peak, Off-peak & Night) the optimised charging falls within.
Any usage during a bump period will be charged at whatever rate is active during that time period, i.e. Weekdays - Peak: 7am-11am & 5pm-9pm; Off-peak: 11am-5pm & 9pm-11pm; Night: 11pm-7am | Weekends: Off-peak: 7am-11pm; Night: 11pm-7am
Yes, you still get access to the export buy-back rate for all the Solar you export to the grid, however we don't optimise to charge your car at times when your solar is generating.
Intelligent Octopus for EVs is currently available in New Zealand for Tesla, Mini, BMW & Audi vehicles and Wallbox chargers. We plan to add more makes and models as well as smart chargers over time.
No, you can only connect one car. You can remove a car and connect another at any point.
No, the smart charging is linked to a single property. This is taken as the location where you first register the vehicle with Intelligent Octopus, so make sure you’re home when you do this. Also, please note we only track if the vehicle is at home or not. We do not receive your actual driving history!
Your car battery might be full. We need to be able to charge your car for around 5 minutes to successfully complete a Test Charge.
We may have lost connection with your car during the test.
Your car may not have been properly plugged in.
First and foremost, we always try to hit your charging preferences. So if you have set 100% by 7am, that is our first priority. This means that if you have plugged in very late the previous evening (or you have a slow charger), we may need to start charging straight away to meet that target.
Assuming we don’t need to charge constantly to hit your target, we’ll first prioritise times during night rates (11pm - 7am). Within the night period though, we will be optimising on the cheapest time according to the energy wholesale market. By selecting exactly when to charge (and more importantly when not to charge!) we can make a slight saving on our wholesale energy costs, which at the moment we pass on to you in the form of a monthly fixed credit.
After night, we’ll then prioritise off peak, and finally peak times, if we need to charge for longer. You can also use the “bump charge” button on the app to set the car charging right now, in case you need to use the car sooner.
Once Intelligent Octopus starts controlling your EV, you should remove any existing charge timers on both the vehicle and charger to get the best experience.
Use the “Bump Charge” button, which will start a charge immediately.
You can stop this charge from the app at any time.
Please check the following:
Check the charge cable is properly connected to both car and charger - unplug at each end and try plugging in again.
Check the car and charger used are the ones you’ve registered for Intelligent Octopus.
Make sure any other smart charging services aren’t controlling your car.
We might think your car isn’t at home. We currently identify ‘home’ as your car’s location when you went through onboarding. If your car was not at home during your onboarding, then you will need to log out of your car in the Intelligent Octopus app and go through onboarding again with your car at home.
We might have your home address incorrect. We set your home location as the location of your car during onboarding. If you believe this may be incorrect then please log out of your car, and complete onboarding again whilst your car is at home.
In most cases, Intelligent Octopus should stop charging when you plug in your car.
The charge may not stop for the following reasons:
The Charging Plan has started when you plug in, so all is according to plan! You can check the Charging Schedule in the app to check if this is supposed to happen.
Something else is causing the car to charge, such as a charging schedule in the car, or smart charging features on the charger. You should turn these off in order to guarantee Smart Charging.
IO may not be stopping your charge because it believes your car isn’t at home. We currently identify ‘home’ as your car’s location when you went through onboarding. If your car was not at home during your onboarding, then you will need to log out of your car in the Intelligent Octopus app and go through onboarding again with your car at home.
IO checks in on your car at regular intervals to monitor your charging status. If the car is plugged in just after one of these checks, it could mean up to a 30-minute delay in us stopping the charge.
You can turn off Smart Charging from the app from the Settings page. This means Intelligent Octopus won’t wake up your car, or create Smart Charging schedules. Remember to switch Smart Charging back on when you’re using your car again.
Our charging plan won’t impact your battery any more than regular charging. Car batteries are designed to handle this pattern of charging, and should also be covered by your car's battery / warranty.
To Smart Charge your car we’ll need to wake it up. We let your car go back to sleep (to avoid battery drain) as often as possible. We recommend keeping your car plugged in at home to help it go to sleep more often and for longer periods.
When you charge your EV or PHEV at home, you can have smart controls both onboard the vehicle, and/or in a smart charger (technically called an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment - EVSE). If one or both of these is cloud connected, then Octopus can potentially control these devices.
Ideally we prefer to talk directly with the vehicle, as ultimately it is the vehicle’s onboard charge controller that determines if and when it will allow to be charged. When we talk with the vehicle, we also get information about the state of charge of the battery. So most importantly, we know what the battery % is when you plug it in. This means that when you tell us on the Octopus mobile app that you need your car charged to “100% by 8am”, we can use that as a target to make sure we hit those numbers.
However not all vehicles have cloud connectivity. In fact a lot of new vehicles in New Zealand, and most of the second hand vehicles, do not have cloud connectivity. For these, we only way we can offer Intelligent Charging is to talk with your smart charger. At the moment, we support Wallbox chargers. The one downside of this is that currently vehicles are not able to pass on their state of charge (the battery %) to the charger. So we don’t know what the current battery % is. This is why on the mobile app when you set your charging preferences, you tell us a “top up %”. So if you set this to 60%, we will schedule enough time overnight to put 60% of your battery capacity into the vehicle (because we know the size of your battery).
You can connect your smart charger to Octopus using the Octopus mobile app. Currently we support Wallbox chargers only, and hope to add more in the future.
Once you have successfully registered and completed the test charge you will see the “devices” tab on your Octopus mobile app. Here you are asked to set a “Top up charge %” and a “Ready by time”.
At the moment vehicles are not able to send their battery’s state of charge (%) to the charger, so your charger is not able to pass that on to us. This is why we ask you for a “Top up” amount. This is the amount of battery capacity that you wish Octopus to add each night. For example, if you plug your vehicle in and the battery is at 30%, you would need to ask us to “top up” by at least 70% to have the vehicle fully charged by the morning. We calculate this based on the vehicle you chose during onboarding, as we know the battery size of all vehicles.
If you have onboarded your smart charger with Intelligent Octopus, you can charge more than one vehicle from the charger. However we will not know which vehicle is plugged into the charger at any point in time. If the battery sizes of the vehicles are similar, this should not matter. But if the battery sizes are different, our charging schedules are unlikely to match the charge preferences you have set in the app. In this case, it is best not to use Intelligent Octopus, or pause control whilst you have your second car plugged in.
We love feedback!
This is a trial so we’re really keen to hear your feedback. If something quirky happens let us know, if you have any questions let us know. We’re looking forward to working with you!