The growth of Intelligent Octopus

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A little over 24 months ago, we launched Intelligent Octopus Go. Today, it’s the UK’s most popular EV tariff, chosen by 150,000 customers, working with 280+ EV and charger models. And it's not just for cars anymore: Intelligent Octopus has grown to manage all sorts of devices, from EVs to batteries to smart thermostats and more – and spread to Germany, the USA and New Zealand. It’s also the world’s largest ‘virtual power plant’ with the collective energy in all those EVs, batteries and thermostats being equivalent to half a nuclear plant - enough to power Birmingham and Leeds!

And this is just the beginning.

I want to give you a look at the breakneck global growth of Intelligent Octopus Go.

How does Intelligent Octopus work?

Right now, the most popular part of Intelligent Octopus is Intelligent Octopus Go, our smart EV tariff that makes charging at home incredibly easy and cheap for drivers.

All you have to do is plug in when you get home: we do the rest — switching your charger off and on automatically while you sleep to get you to your goal battery level when you need it, using the cleanest available energy.

It’s the easiest, cheapest way to charge.

But it’s so much more than that...

When all those devices turn on or off at once, the collective energy demand can help balance the energy system. For example, on a windy summer night when there’s an oversupply of clean power, instead of paying turbines to switch off, we can switch on Intelligent car charging to use it up. In a winter cold snap, instead of paying millions to fossil generators to cover extra power needs, we can reschedule Intelligent Octopus for later that night.

Essentially, you’re helping make energy greener without having to lift a finger, and being rewarded handsomely for it

Intelligent Octopus over time

We launched in May 2022 with Tesla EVs, and by September, we’d added integrations with Ford. We then built a direct connection to Ohme chargers: so any EV could join Intelligent Octopus, as long as they had an Ohme charger.

By the end of 2022, our tariffs had integrated with Volkswagen, Audi, Mini and BMW. Our journey continued into 2023, as Cupra, SEAT, Porsche, Škoda, and VW ID Range all joined our expanding network in January. In September, we branched out further and connected to Wallbox chargers, and in November, our hotly-demanded integration with Zappi chargers hit the streets.

Our rapid expansion didn’t stop at the UK border. Intelligent Octopus became accessible globally. Within a year of launching in the UK, it was launched in New Zealand, to empower green Kiwis and help make the most of their whopping 85% renewable electricity — mostly hydroelectric, produced from generators along their picturesque rivers and lakes.

We introduced our innovative tariff to Texas, USA last December. Thanks to extreme weather, an ever-growing population and a creaking grid, rolling blackouts are already a reality for customers living in Texas. Now, Intelligent Octopus is rewarding people for helping keep the power on in their state by letting us optimise their EVs, batteries, and air conditioning via smart thermostats.

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Most recently in August, we expanded our tariff to Germany where it’s gaining traction among consumers who are increasingly seeking innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. Our tariff demonstrates the massive benefits of smart meters and empowers German residents to play an active role in shaping the future of energy efficiency in their country while saving hundreds of Euros.

This July, Intelligent Octopus entered a new era with Flux: smart-managing home battery storage. We’ve launched first with GivEnergy batteries, with Enphase, Tesla and SolarEdge batteries coming soon. Other technologies including heat pumps are in testing, soon to be ushered into the Intelligent ecosystem.

Our brilliant flexibility team led by Alex Schoch, has ambitious plans for Intelligent Octopus’ future. Intelligent Octopus is the UK's largest and the world’s only virtual power plant made up of domestic devices capable of balancing grids in multiple countries. And it’ll keep growing to many more in the coming months.

His team is constantly devising innovative ways to grant customers even more control over their usage. Take the popular Greener Days initiative for example, where customers can opt to receive a forecast of the best days to charge on a given week. The more often customers charge on Greener Days, the more Octopoints they're rewarded with.

Have a look at some of our customer feedback:

Love the different thinking from Octopus to try help people make better energy decisions!

I changed my charging habits to when the grid was greener. It's an excellent idea and I really like it!

Have a look at Intelligent Octopus EVs in action, balancing the grid:

The innovators’ challenge

On the surface, Intelligent Octopus is fantastically simple for customers. Below the surface it’s vastly more complex.

For every single new brand of car we connect to, we have to build a separate integration into our system and tech platform, Kraken. Every business has its own systems, hardware and codebase, meaning some connections take months longer than others. Some stall midway through. Some will never happen, because of the other brands’ rules about third party integrations.

Working with these brands also means we’re reliant on technology that isn’t our own — from time to time, things can go wrong with the car systems that we have limited control over. In some cases it can even mean having to switch Intelligent charging off. We, of course, work closely with the brand to find a solution.

Rarely, car companies can even choose to switch off all third party integrations meaning we, and other third party charging apps, can’t manage your charging at all anymore. We know this can be incredibly disappointing for customers. Thankfully, we’re working on exclusive partnerships with leading brands to get around this. Take Ford for example – they switched third party integrations off, but we worked out an arrangement that meant Intelligent Octopus could stay on – it’s now the only smart charging Ford drivers are still able to use.

All this to say — in forging this new path, there are plenty of challenges, but we’re going to keep working them out creatively so that more people can benefit.

A 'thank you' to the trailblazers

Our mission is to put power in the hands of our customers, and pave the way towards Net-Zero and a more sustainable and resilient energy grid.

So much of our success in electrifying our industry is due to the early adopters of electric vehicles and their willingness to embrace new technology. These incredible trailblazers have not only helped shape the future of energy but have also set an inspiring example for others. Take our customer Alan for example, who has made massive savings after buying an EV 6 years ago and encouraged at least 10 of his friends to make the switch to EV’s.

None of this would have been possible without all our incredible customers who have been willing to leap into the future and try something new. They've been patient as we have been working through the kinks, and enthusiastic as we expand faster and further. They're helping to create a genuine shift in the energy system as we know it, and and assisting us in making products better for countless future customers. By opting for our Intelligent Octopus Go tariff, these pioneers are reducing their carbon footprint and supporting a greener future for all.

Our customers are the bedrock for the new green future

Our commitment to a cleaner, greener energy future where customers are in charge has never been closer. With our constantly expanding integrations across car companies and countries, and advanced battery technology we are making massive strides towards the future.

It’s a privilege to be on this journey, and to have all of you along for the ride.

Read more

The transformative power of flexibility How flexibility is the key to solving green energy's greatest challenge
Spotlight on… Alex Schoch, Head of Flexibility Meet Alex Schoch, the brains behind our innovative products, such as Intelligent Octopus Go and Tesla Energy Plan.
Smart tariffs are good for all Everyone’s a winner - why smart tariffs are good for all customers, even those not on them

Published on 6th December 2023 by:

image of Samsam Farah

Samsam Farah


Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!