Solar Power Blog

Can Solar Panels Charge EV’s?


The global commitment to reduce carbon emissions has increased the sale of electric cars and the adoption of renewable energy. With the US government planning to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035, the transport industry must reduce its share of carbon emissions as it contributes a third of America’s carbon emissions. Many people are also embracing solar energy for charging electric vehicles since charging stations for electric vehicles are not as widespread as public gas stations.

Using electricity can be costly since electric cars use a considerable amount of energy. In addition, since electricity comes mostly from fossil fuels, it increases your carbon footprint. That is why using solar panels to charge your vehicle is an eco-friendly solution that will lower your utility bills.


EV Charging and Solar Panels

Using solar panels brings numerous benefits and can power your entire house aside from charging cars. However, you need to invest in the best solar panels that can fuel your electric car. Besides, you must convert the solar energy before using it to charge your car or power your home appliances. Solar inverters that can convert the direct current to alternating current used to charge your car.


How Much Battery Power Does Your Electric Vehicle Use?

Before setting up your solar charging system at home, determine the amount of power required to charge your car. Your electric vehicle’s power depends on how you use it, the type of EV and the battery system incorporated in your solar PV system. Unlike the traditional rating system of miles per gallon, EV’s have a different rating system based on Kilowatt-hours. Therefore, you can determine the energy efficiency of your car by checking the kilowatts it needs to cover 100 miles.

Knowing the battery capacity of your car helps you determine the size of the solar energy system to acquire. From your electric car's miles ratings, you can also quantify the savings you make by switching to electric vehicles.

Once you know your car’s rating, you can determine the solar electricity needed to charge your vehicle. You can then find a solar installer to design a system to power your house and charge your car.

How Many Panels Do You Need to Charge Your Electric Car?

You will need solar panels that can produce adequate power to charge your car’s battery. Start by determining the power produced by each panel to ensure they can power both your house and car. A standard solar panel produces up to 40 kWh of AC per month, but you can find panels that produce more power. If you cover a couple of miles a day, you will need fewer panels since you do not have to recharge your car to maximum capacity.

For instance, a Tesla with a 75 kWh battery will need 75 panels that produce 1 kWh per day to fuel the car to full capacity. If you do not drive regularly or use highly efficient 1.5 kWh panels, the number will reduce. Most solar panel systems have around 30 panels and can charge your car and power the electrical appliances in your house even in winter.


What Do You Need to Charge an EV With a Solar System?

You can only charge your EV from home when you have set up a charging station in your driveway or garage to plug in your car. Level 2 chargers are the best since they offer faster charging. You can also install Wi-Fi compatible options that will provide an estimated charge time and provide notifications when the car reaches a full charge.

Apart from a charging station, you also need battery storage to store energy from your panels. If you charge during the day, the battery may not be necessary since you can charge the car with energy from the sun. However, since you use your car during the day to run errands, you can only charge it at night to maximum capacity. That means you need to charge the battery during the day when the sun is up and charge your car at night. Unfortunately, home battery storage has an average capacity of 14kWh. Although this capacity may not charge your car fully at night, you can meet your daily mileage requirements.


What Is the Cost of Installing a Solar Charging System for EVs?

The price of a solar PV system depends on the cost of the solar panels, battery and home charging points. You can find multiple options that suit your budget and match the battery power of your electric vehicle.

With the ongoing research and development, many companies are producing large-capacity batteries and high-efficiency solar panels. Soon, we will have batteries that can charge electric cars to full capacity and efficient panels that can generate more electric energy to power your car.


If you need guidance on solar installation for EVs, Solar Us Shop can help you get what you need, from solar batteries to charging points and solar panels. You will also find powerful solar inverters to enable you to generate more electricity. Solar Us experts will also help you install the systems and charging points.


Author bio:

John Keohane is the owner of JK Services, an expert in solar panels and EV chargers. JKS install both in homes and businesses through Ireland.

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