Charging EVs with solar energy

Posted by Marketing on May 05, 2020 07:00 AM

solar panels Solar panel installation is an environmentally-conscious investment that lowers your expenses on EV charging and home electricity bills

There are many benefits to installing a home solar energy system, from saving money on electricity bills to protecting the environment. While the number of EVs on the road has steadily increased, the average cost of installing solar panels has decreased. Now, many electric car owners are making solar energy their primary source for charging.

If you own an electric car and charge it at home, then you’re already saving more time and money than those who drive gas-powered cars. However, by deriving electricity from solar panels, you can dramatically increase the efficiency of your residential charging system. This, of course, is contingent upon a variety of factors, from how much you drive your EV to the architecture of your home.

If you’re considering using solar energy to charge your electric car, you’re probably curious about the following:

How do residential solar energy systems work?

Solar panels are generally installed on the roof of a building or house, but they can also be set up on the ground. These are the basic steps for how a home solar energy system supplies electricity:

  1. The solar panels take in sunlight and convert it to DC electricity.
  2. That DC power is transferred through wires to an inverter.
  3. The inverter converts the DC power into AC power.
  4. That AC power is sent into the home and is used to power all kinds of appliances, such as refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, and coffee makers.

If your panels don’t produce enough energy to power your car on top of all the other appliances in your house, your system will simply take electricity from the grid instead. This means you won’t have to worry about losing power when there’s little or no sunlight.

How can switching to solar help you save money?

As soon as your solar energy system is up and running, you’ll immediately notice a reduction to your monthly utility bill.  

By creating your own energy instead of getting it from the grid, you can potentially bring the cost of your electricity bills all the way down to zero. This means that charging your EV at home could be absolutely free, so long as your panels produce enough electricity for both your home and car. EV owners who charge at home using power provided by their utility company usually see a spike in their monthly bill. 

Switching to solar can be a huge money-saver, especially if you live in states like California, Connecticut, and Hawaii, where the price of electricity is constantly climbing.

How expensive is solar panel installation?

The cost of installing an average-sized solar panel system in the U.S. ranges from $11,411 to $14,874. This price range may turn you off, since purchasing an electric car with a residential charging station was already a big investment on its own. However, it’s important to keep in mind all the money you’ll be saving once the panels are installed. Eventually, the cost of installation will pay for itself and then some. Here’s a quick example:

Let’s say you purchase a home solar energy system that costs $12,000 to install. Every year moving forward, you save $1,500 on electricity. After eight years, you will break even on your solar investment.

Still, the initial price of installation can be too high for some, which is why many companies offer solar financing options to their customers. Similar to purchasing a home or a car, you can take out a loan for your solar installation and pay it off over the course of several months or years.

There is also a federal tax credit that will allow you to deduct 26% of your solar installation costs from your taxes.

How big of a solar power system will you need?

In order to keep your EV charged while spending as little money as possible on electricity, you’ll need a solar energy system that’s the correct size. If you drive your electric car every day and charge it in your garage every night, your system will need to be big enough to support that, as well as any other appliances it’s powering. Remember, you can also charge your EV faster by purchasing a more advanced residential charging station.

Most residential systems have between 28 and 34 panels. A professional solar installer will be able to tell you exactly how many panels you need, depending on how much electricity your house consumes monthly.

Does your home qualify?

Unfortunately, not all homes are qualified for solar panel installation. Here are some instances where installing a solar power system would not be practical:

  • Your roof is too small or has too many obstructions.
  • Your house is constantly shaded by surrounding trees or buildings.
  • The electrical wiring in your home is outdated.

Interested in learning more about charging EVs with solar power? Connect with us at Webasto today!

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Topics: Level 1 Charging, Level 2 Charging, EV Charging, Sustainability