OVO Energy launches OVO Drive division with key strategic appointment

22 March 2021

London, 22 March 2021: OVO Energy, the UK’s largest independent energy supplier, announces the appointment of Chris Russell as Managing Director of OVO Drive.

Chris will be responsible for continuing to expand the current Electric Vehicle offering at OVO. He will bring new products and propositions to market for OVO's existing members, as well developing new partnerships and routes to market. Chris will also work with the leaders at Kaluza, OVO's intelligent software business, to use the technology to optimise members’ devices.

Chris was previously Co-Founder and Managing Director of Tonik Energy. Chris founded Tonik Energy in 2016, with a focus on offering 100% renewable electricity and new technology and storage solutions. In a short period of time Tonik Energy created innovative electric vehicle bundles and propositions for its customers.

Last month, OVO Energy launched its ‘type of use’ tariff, powered by Kaluza technology. OVO Drive Anytime is the world’s only ‘type of use’ energy tariff for electric vehicles. The unique pricing model offers EV drivers a flat fee of 6p per kWh[1] at any time of the day. Compared with the average cost of electricity on a standard tariff, consumers stand to save as much as 63% - or £200 - on fuelling their car throughout the year. The news also follows recent announcements from car manufacturers, including Ford and Jaguar, to accelerate towards an all-electric future showing the momentum in the market.

The appointment builds on successes of OVO Energy’s electric vehicle ambitions. OVO Energy launched the world’s first widely available domestic vehicle-to-grid charger, unveiling OVO’s breakthrough into energy technology with the largest domestic V2G trial. The Kaluza-connected V2G charger enables drivers to charge their EV at cheaper times, when there’s a high amount of renewables on the grid, and sell surplus energy back to the electricity grid - meaning they may never have to pay to be on the road again.

Chris joins alongside recent senior hires including Ben Blake (CEO of OVO Energy) from Expedia Group, and Simon Maine (Director of Corporate Affairs) from Brunswick.

Commenting on the appointments Ben Blake, CEO of OVO Energy and Smart Home said:

“Chris was ahead of the pack in the electric vehicle space when running Tonik Energy, and we’re incredibly lucky to have Chris join us and bring a wealth of experience in the energy sector to OVO. We have an opportunity to decarbonise the energy sector and accelerate the electrification of transport. Chris will play a critical role in exploring those possibilities for our members.”

Chris Russell said:

“I’m delighted to be joining OVO at such a pivotal moment. OVO’s brand, scale, people and capabilities mean we are well placed to lead the way in the electric vehicle market. I look forward to working with the team to make electric vehicles a core part of the OVO proposition, Plan Zero strategy and everyday life.

“OVO Energy has already built a unique electric vehicle capability as a front runner in Vehicle to Grid and Flex technology with Kaluza. We have the opportunity to further leverage these assets to create simple, compelling and differentiated propositions for Electric Vehicle owners.”

Notes to editors

For more information please contact [email protected]

[1] 6p/kWh calculation: Average unit price in the market (among the top ten suppliers) is 16p/kWh, based on the London region. Type of Use is 6p/kWh. Assuming an EV uses 2,000 kWh per year charging at home, this equates to £120 on OVO Drive Anytime and £320 on a normal tariff - a 63% saving.

About OVO Energy
OVO Energy was founded in 2009 and redesigned the energy experience to be fair, effortless, green and simple for all customers. Today OVO Energy and its Retail partners serve nearly 5 million customers, all striving to deliver more affordable clean energy for everyone. OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing our customers with us on the journey towards zero carbon living. OVO Energy has committed to being a net zero carbon business and achieve bold science-based carbon reduction targets by 2030, while helping members halve their carbon footprint at the same time.