If you own an electric vehicle (EV), the question of going solar may have already crossed your mind. What better way to power your car than with the sun? But can solar power charge an electric car? And can you charge an electric car at home with solar power? The good news is that there is technology that makes it possible to charge EVs with solar panels on the roof of your home or garage.
But how realistic is it to consider? Is it worth the effort and expense?
Can Solar Power Charge an Electric Car?
Solar power is an effective renewable energy option to charge electric cars. Not only is it cost-effective, but it remains true to the clean energy purpose of opting for an electric vehicle over a gas vehicle.
Consider the alternative. Where does grid-sourced electricity for your home come from? Many electric utilities rely on the burning of fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) to generate half of their power. Rooftop solar energy offers a 100% clean, renewable energy solution to power your vehicle and keeps your monthly electric bill low.
How to Charge Electric Cars at Home: Solar Array, Home Battery, Level 2 Charger
There are three options for electric car chargers.
Level 1 chargers are the low-level charging cords that come standard with most electric vehicles. Only a normal three-pronged outlet is needed to plug in and charge the car. This cord is designed to charge cars overnight and commonly takes upwards of 20 hours to achieve a full charge.
Level 2 chargers require professional installation but will reduce the charge time (in many cases, a full charge can take around 4-10 hours, depending on vehicle and amperage of the charger) and make it easy to fully charge a vehicle overnight.
Level 3 chargers are only available for installation on industrial sites. On average, these models cut the full charge time down to 30-40 minutes.
If you’re contemplating switching to solar energy to charge your vehicle, you’ll want to consider that solar panels don’t store electricity. If you don’t have a solar battery installed along with your solar array, all the energy that’s not immediately used to power your home will be sold back to your electrical utility.
With that in mind, you’ll want to install a home battery to collect and store the energy from your solar array so that surplus power can be used after the sun goes down, when most homeowners charge their EVs (and take advantage of off-peak charging incentives).
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Charge My Electric Car?
The exact number of solar panels needed to charge an EV depends on the vehicle’s battery size and how much energy the solar panels produce. Average solar panel systems include 20-30 panels, which most electric vehicle owners find sufficient for charging their cars and powering their homes.
Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical System with Mr. Electric
Whether it’s adding solar panels, installing a home battery, or upgrading your garage with a Level 2 charger, updating electrical systems is no small task. Merging new components with an existing electrical system is a job for experienced professionals. That’s why your local Mr. Electric® has a team of licensed electricians who are ready to help you.
When you’re ready to improve your home and your EV driving experience, call your local Mr. Electric at (844) 866-1367 or make an appointment online.