Can You Charge An EV With Solar?

Solar Energy Adelaide

One of the most popular questions asked by homeowners who are considering having a solar system installed into their home is, “Can you charge an EV with solar?” The answer is of course,  yes. As electric vehicles increase in popularity, it’s important to make the right preparations for your home before you go solar to ensure that it’s set up for charging your car in the future. Read on to discover more about using solar panels to charge electric vehicles.

How Much Solar Will I Need to Charge My Electric Vehicle?

This will depend on a number of factors such as how far you will be driving your Electric Vehicle on an average day. For example a Tesla Model 3 uses around 15kWh of battery per 100km driven. If you were to drive on average 33km’s per day you would need 5kwh of charge to cover your average daily drive.

On a sunny day, 3 – 4 solar panels can produce around 1kW of power, This means you would need 3 – 4 panels charging your car for 5 hours to fully re-charge your battery after your daily drive. Most solar systems have far more than 3 -4 panels and with an effective EV charger this 5kw of charge can be achieved in far less time.

Remember that this amount will need to be added onto what you need to run the house. You also lose some energy due to ‘electrical losses’  in the transfer from panel to car so make sure you have more panels than you need!

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What Is The Best Time Of Day To Charge An EV With Solar?

The best time to charge your electric vehicle is when the sun is shining! 

Understanding what directions your panels face will help in achieving fast efficient EV charging. East-facing panels will provide the highest production in the AM hours, while West will produce peak solar production in the afternoon, and of course North facing panels will have all-day solar production that will effectively charge your EV.

If you have a solar battery, you could also charge your EV at night. Batteries store any excess energy collected during the day so that you can use it at night and avoid the cost of purchasing power from the grid.

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How Long Will It Take To Fully Charge My Car Using Solar?

This depends on a number of factors – in particular,  the size of the battery in your vehicle and the type of charger you are using. Battery brands and models vary when it comes to storage, from 17kWh (PHEV) to 100kWh. The smaller the battery, the quicker it will take to recharge it. The downside is that you’ll find yourself having to recharge it more often due to its small size. 

The equipment you use to charge your EV will also have an effect. For example, to charge a battery from flat with a  Level 1 charger for a Tesla Model 3 it will take around 30 hours to fully charge a 60kWh battery, while Level 2 charging should take around 6 – 8 hours. If you are lucky enough to stumble across a Level 3 DC charger, you could have your car charged from flat to near maximum in well under an hour.

Set Yourself Up For Solar Success

Solar Energy Adelaide are experts in going solar and can install the correct amount of solar panels you need to keep your EV charged and your home running smoothly. Give us a call to find out more or to book an appointment.

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