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Can Solar Panels Charge an Electric Car. Ev charging solar panels

Can Solar Panels Charge an Electric Car. Ev charging solar panels

    Can Solar Panels Charge an Electric Car?

    Your solar panels do not only have to power your home. If you have an electric car, your solar panels can also fill up the batteries, saving you money and time that you would otherwise spend at a supercharger station. Solar power can indeed power even vehicles larger than your electric car, but how many panels do you need to have a reasonable mileage every day?

    You may start to wonder about this, especially as gas keep going up. Although the US has very low gas prices, the sheer amount of gas an average American spends in a year presents a big expense and is likely to keep going up. With this in mind, many Americans keep turning to electric vehicles for their daily trips.

    Indeed, owning an electric car can save a lot of money. This way, you are not as dependent on the price of gas. However, the price of electricity is closely tied to the price of gas, and you may even end up not saving much at all. Luckily, an electric car offers you a number of places, times, and ways that you can charge it, and save money in the process.

    What is an Electric Car?

    With this in mind, it is easy to understand why you should consider different ways of powering your electric vehicle. After all, an electric vehicle is just a car with an electric motor instead of a gas engine (ICE – Internal Combustion Engine) and a battery pack instead of a gas tank.

    This battery pack can store a lot of electricity. Some of the earliest models of Tesla car could store around 65 kWh of electricity in their battery pack. Today, that can be as high as 130 kWh. Considering that this is the amount of electricity an average US household spends in four days (at a rate of 30 kWh per day), charging your electric vehicle through your own solar panels can reduce electricity costs for you.


    Over its lifetime, your Tesla should be able to save thousands of dollars for you. The solar charging option should boost this as well. Using solar panels to charge your electric car is one of the best ways to boost these savings as much as possible. In addition to this, you can also look for other incentives that can help you save on your car and the higher initial cost of an EV.

    solar, panels, charge, electric, charging

    Considering that EVs are now manufactured by most car manufacturers, you may want to check out a few models. Although TESLA is the most popular electric car out there, it may happen that another electric vehicle is better suited for your needs. In any case, any electric vehicle will help reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and will ensure that the solar panels installed on your rooftop can power both your home and your EV.

    On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Under this act, US citizens can apply for incentives for purchasing their electric vehicles. There are some limits and eligibility criteria to take into consideration. Under this act, Americans can get up to 7,500 back when purchasing an EV.

    The incentive gives back up to 7,500 when you purchase a new EV, and up to 4,000 or 30% of the vehicle purchase price for a used EV. You can use these credits on your own, or you can transfer them to the car dealership. The latter option may be the best, as you will immediately see a drop in the price of your new car.

    The IRA ct has been designed to reduce pollution, and the inflation rate, and to help boost the US economy. At the same time, the act is aimed at those who may not be able to afford an EV as it is. The upper-income limit, to be eligible for the incentive, is set at 150,000 yearly income for single applicants and 300,000 for joint applications.

    To protect the people who may need financial help to purchase an EV, and since the funds are limited, there is also a cap on how much your electric vehicle can cost. These limits include:

    • Limits for SUVs, vans, and pickups – 80,000,
    • Limits for sedans – 55,000, and
    • Limits for used EVs – up to 25,000.

    The cars should also be assembled in the US, and at least 50% of battery materials have to come from the US. The battery material limits will increase by 10% yearly, and will finally reach 100% in 2029. To make things simpler, here is an incomplete list of eligible vehicles.

    Please beware that the list changes over time, as new models come out and as certain manufacturers reach their limits. For this reason, once you know which EV you would like to purchase, make an application right away. The funds are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis.

    Electric Vehicle Charging Methods

    Once you have your electric vehicle, you can charge them using several methods. As electricity is the only type of “fuel” they take (with the exception of plug-in hybrid models), it is necessary to have a good overview of all charging options and their pricing. Only this way will you be able to save over time.

    • Charging your EV over solar – the cheapest option, especially in states with a lot of sunshine,
    • Charging your EV over the grid – the next best option, moderately priced, but depends on the electricity price in your state,
    • Charging your EV using public chargers – the most expensive option, comparable to gas cost-per-mile.
    Home Solar Charging 0.07 7 280 1,497 7,485
    Grid Charging 0.166 16.60 664 1,113 5,565
    Public Charging Stations 0.40 40 1,600 177 855

    1,777 – Assumed Average Costs of US Gasoline Powered Cars Per Year

    Grid Power

    Charging your electric vehicle over the grid is a great way to save money. However, how much you will be able to save depends on where you are in the US. For example, Hawaii has very expensive electricity, so you may not save as much. The savings outlined in the table above are for the US average electricity price per kWh of 0.166.

    Charging Cost

    However, if you are in a state where electricity is really affordable, you could save even more. Being Smart about how and when you charge your car can also help boost those savings. Some US energy providers offer free electricity on nights and weekends, so charging your car during these times is the sanest option. Here is how much it will cost you to charge and run your car in different US areas:

    East North Central 0.1641 16.41 656 1,121 5,603
    East South Central 0.1378 13.78 551 1,226 6,129
    Middle Atlantic 0.1993 19.93 797 980 4,899
    Mountain 0.1336 13.36 534 1,243 6,213
    New England 0.2749 27.49 1,100 677 3,387
    Pacific Contiguous 0.224 22.40 896 881 4,405
    Pacific Noncontiguous 0.3728 37.28 1,491 286 1,429
    South Atlantic 0.1453 14.53 581 1,196 5,979
    West North Central 0.1423 14.23 569 1,208 6,039
    West South Central 0.143 14.30 572 1,205 6,025

    1,777 – Assumed Average Costs of US Gasoline Powered Cars Per Year

    Public Charging Station

    Charging your vehicle over a public charging station is the most expensive option out there. It still costs less than fossil fuels, especially considering how volatile the can be, but you can still save some money. These public stations are usually connected to the grid and will provide you with fast charge time.

    You should bear in mind that the type of charger that is here will also determine the price of electricity you pay. AS grid power always costs the same, it is the cost of the charger itself that will influence the price a lot. Level 1 and Level 2 chargers usually cost less than 2,000, but a Level 3 charger (Turbocharger), costs around 50,000 to purchase and install. This is why the fluctuate so much.

    Charging Cost

    In general, a kWh of electricity in these charging stations costs between 0.40 and 0.70. These can be different in different states, depending on the initial price of a kWh in the grid. The only exception here is solar public charging stations, which have a large solar panel array on their rooftop. As using solar panels to charge your EV is always cheaper than grid electricity, these public chargers may cost less but are very few in the US.

    Solar Power

    Finally, using a solar system to charge your electric vehicle will cost you the least. It will be much cheaper than using public charging stations, so the extra savings should offset a large portion of the cost. If you have a solar system, you can use it to power your home as well.

    This kind of arrangement would mean that your solar system has to be bigger to support your electric vehicle as well. But again, investing in a good solar panel array will pay off within 8-12 years in most US states. Powering the EV with solar is also nature-friendly and will help reduce your carbon footprint by leaps and bounds.

    Charging Cost

    This brings us to the cost of a kWh of electricity. An average kWh of electricity produced after installing solar panels is around 0.06 to 0.08. You will agree that this is much cheaper than a kWh purchased from the grid and much cheaper than the average 0.40-0.70 per kWh you pay in public charging stations. You should understand that you do not need the most efficient solar panels to do this, you just need a larger solar panel system.

    Solar EV Charging

    So far, we have seen that solar EV charging is the most affordable charging option there is. Compared to a gas-powered car, you will be able to save upwards of 5,000 in a 5-year period. As most solar panels in the US are certified to last for 25 years, these panels will keep their energy production for way longer than your EV will last. Your electricity bill will also be cut down, especially in areas with net metering.

    However,if you live in an off-grid setting, you should understand that the price of installing solar panels here may increase the initial cost. Namely, in off-grid applications, you will need to start all the renewable energy production for your home. You may also want to charge your EV mostly during the day, as doing so during the night would draw too much power from the solar battery.

    At a cost of 7,000 for a simple 10 kWh solar battery, and with a battery capacity of 100 kWh for an average EV, the math simply does not add up. For this reason, you should plan ahead and always check others’ experience in solar EV charging in your area. It is still a great option to reduce your carbon footprint, but there is a threshold where it may not pay off to give up on your gas-powered car.

    How Does it Work?

    If you want to install solar panels and use solar power for EV charging, you’re on a good way to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. A solar system like this will cost more upfront, but will pay off in a much shorter period of time and will be much more eco-friendly. To do this, you need to:

    • Understand your energy use – owning an EV for a while before purchasing a home solar energy system will give you a good idea of how much energy you need,
    • Calculate the energy needed on a yearly basis,
    • Check if your area has a net-metering policy,
    • If YES – you are good to go and can charge your EV whenever you want,
    • If NO – you may have to charge your car only during the day, which is still a good option – charging only during weekends will leave you with a decent charge, especially with type 2 chargers (up to 35 miles of range per hour of charge time),

    Benefits of Using Solar Panels

    There is a good reason that so many US households turn to solar power to power their home. As rooftop solar panels spring up in the area around you, you should know that powering an electric car with solar power is not the only use you can have. Indeed, adding home electricity to the solar system will mean you need a larger solar system, but there are many ways to save.

    The most obvious way to save on a solar system is to install one large solar system in one go. This way, you will have a single company do the work in a fixed period of time. You will not need to stay home for two periods, but rather a single one. Furthermore, if you plan on purchasing an electric vehicle, the costs for labor, wiring, and the inverter will be much lower, as you will only pay them once. With this in mind, let’s consider what other benefits you can get from charging EVs with solar:

    Lower Charging Costs

    The biggest benefit that comes with owning an EV and solar panels to charge it with is the cost-benefit. Namely, when you have solar panels, they will generate electricity at a price of 0.06 to 0.08. This is much cheaper than even the best electric rates that you can find in the US. With a setup like this, very affordable energy can power both your home and your car.

    Most Tesla cars have a battery of around 100 kWh and give you a range of more than 350 miles. This means that you could travel 350 miles at an average cost of 6 to 8 (the price of fully charging your battery). These are significant savings and can put around 1,000 of extra money in your every year.

    Additionally, powering your home with those same panels will save you even more. At an average US electric rate of 0.166 per kWh and an average solar panel kWh price of 0.07, you will be able to save 0.096 per kWh you use. As an average US household spends around 11,000 kWh per year, you will be able to save 1,056 per year extra.

    That’s over 2,000 a month of savings by investing money. You can even opt for a solar loan, incentives, and solar rebates to ensure you get the shortest possible payback period on the investment. So, you kill two (financial) birds with one stone.

    Zero Carbon Emissions

    Reduced carbon emissions are another big benefit of owning a solar panel system. The thing is that each kWh of electricity you use generates around 2 lbs of CO2 emissions. As every state has a different percentage of renewable energy in its grid, you should check out CO2 emissions per kWh per US state. By relying on solar energy, you will be able to reduce your carbon footprint, as all those tiny solar cells work hard to provide you with solar electricity.


    The convenience of owning a solar energy system is another big benefit. Not having to worry about fluctuating gas and electricity prices, as well as a much higher independence from the grid and all the services offered by your utility company is the simplest way to enjoy the convenience of a solar energy system. If you have net metering in your area, or even a solar battery, you can save even more, as utility companies usually keep around 10% of the energy you generate to cover grid losses.

    No. of Solar Panels Required

    The number of solar panels that you may need for EV charging depends on how much you drive every day. As an average American who drives 40 miles a day, we can do some calculations on our own. Never forget to call a professional solar installer to evaluate your roof, shading, sun angles, and more to ensure that the system you are purchasing is right for you.

    As an average American who drives 40 miles per day, we will need solar panels that can produce at least this much electricity. Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus needs 9.6 kWh of energy to deliver 40 miles of range. A Volkswagen ID.4 needs 14 kWh of electricity to deliver the same range. If you decide to go with Tesla, for EV charging, you will need solar panels that can produce at least 12 kWh of energy per day.

    We added 20% of the power here. Why? Because 9.6 kWh may not be enough electricity. You need your solar array to produce electricity for both the electric car and losses that happen – 10% in the inverter and an additional 10% for possible losses on the road – due to traffic jams and inaccuracies in measurement. Then, we calculate yearly energy needs.

    12 kWh 365 Days = 4,380 kWh per Year

    An average solar array produces around 850 kWh per year for every Wh of installed solar panels. We will divide the yearly energy needs (4,380 kWh) by 850 kWh to get the number of kWs you need to install:

    4,380 kWh per Year / 850 kWh/kW = 5.15 kW ~ 5 kW (5,000 Watts)

    As solar panels typically produce between 250 and 400 Watts of energy each, you will need:

    A minimum of: 5,000 / 400 = ~ 13 X 400 Watt solar panels, and

    A maximum of: 5,000 / 250 = ~ 20 X 250 Watt solar panels.

    Are Solar Batteries Necessary?

    No, you do not need solar batteries when you want to charge an EV with solar. In fact, it is the grid that will act as your battery, especially if you live in an area that has net-metering policies in place. In this case, charging EVs with solar energy can take place at any time of the day. If your area does not have net metering, you may want to purchase a solution for stored solar energy, but be careful that this will significantly increase the entire cost.

    If this is the case in your area and you cannot charge your EV during the day, when there is plenty of sunshine, you can also go for an electricity plan with TOU – Time Of Use. This way, you can enjoy a very low charge on your electric bill even when charging your vehicle. Be mindful that your electricity bill will still be higher, even if your solar panels produce enough solar electricity to satisfy most of your needs.

    Another thing that EV owners should keep in mind is the total energy used in a month. Namely, it does not make economic sense to just give energy away for free or at significantly reduced prices. For this reason, most TOU plans will not allow you to use more energy during the free period than you use otherwise. If this is the case with you, you may have to pay even for the electricity used during this period. Always check the fine print on your contract.

    EV Charging Station

    We said already that you may not need battery storage to charge an electric car’s battery. However, what you will need is a charging station. There are generally three levels or three types of EV charging stations:

    • Level 1 — uses a 120 V plug, and can deliver around 60 miles of range per every 10 hours of charge time. This is the most affordable option out there and is preferred by most car owners,
    • Level 2 – uses a 240 V plug, can deliver 350 miles of range overnight (10-hour charge time),
    • Level 3 – uses a 480 V plug – this is the turbocharger, but this solution for EV charging is too much for most homeowners – it can fully charge your battery in less than 2 hours. These chargers are also very expensive.


    When installing home solar panels for producing electricity from both your home and EV battery, you may be saving money, but the upfront investment can be really high as well. On top of this, to use your own energy to “fuel” or charge your car, EV drivers will also need to install an EV charger. The most common types include Level 1 and Level 2 chargers and they cost up to 2,000 to install. Level 3 chargers cost 50,000 and upwards and are much better installed in commercial applications, as the upfront cost is simply too much for most households.

    Adding Solar Panels

    If you already have home solar panels, adding panels is the only way to increase the power generated and supply your EV charger with power without upping the energy bill in your home. All the power generated on top of the regular production can be used for the EV vehicle. This way, you know that all the energy you use is clean energy. Even with this extra investment, EV charging costs will still be very competitive with other forms of charging.

    The Most Efficient Electric Vehicle Models in the US 2023

    The most efficient electric cars that you can charge with home solar panels will be those that have sufficient mileage so that you do not need to fill up a significant portion of their battery (energy storage) in a single day. This will reduce the cost of your panels, charging station, inverter. This way, your actual EV charging costs will be kept at bay.

    The best models for home solar charging stations and those with decent mileage are:

    • Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus – needs 9.6 kWh of electricity for a 40-mile range,
    • Hyundai Ioniq – needs 10 kWh of electricity for the same range,
    • Tesla Model Y Standard Range – 10.4 kWh of energy use per 40 miles traveled,
    • Chevy Bolt – 11.6 kWh for the same range, and
    • BMW i3 – 12 kWh of energy needed to travel 40 miles.


    What Size Solar Panel Do I Need to Charge my Electric Car?

    To charge your Electric car and make significant cost savings, you will need to have a 5 kW solar system that can produce around 10-12 kWh of energy in an average day. Considering how efficient your panels are, this translates to 13-25 solar panels. You will need to have a profess

    Why don’t Electric Cars use Solar Panels?

    Some EV models have in-built solar panels. However, considering that panels have an efficiency of around 20% and that the rooftop space on a car is very limited, these panels are never sufficient enough to provide you with all the power you need to travel in a day. They will give you a few more miles down the road, but the added weight may easily decrease your mileage per kWh of energy.

    What are 3 Disadvantages to an Electric Car?

    The major disadvantages of owning electric cars include: Being dependent on your EV charging station, Not getting the same range as you would with a regular car, Not being able to quickly refuel your vehicle.

    Can you Run Solar Panel Straight to Battery?

    Running your solar panel straight to the battery can damage the battery beyond repair, especially on a very sunny day. What you should do instead is run both the battery and the solar panel to a solar charge controller. This device will be able to deliver a steady supply of power to your battery and will be able to secure its longevity and safety.


    Your solar panel system can easily power an electric vehicle. With an extension to the system you will also keep your energy bill very low. This is the best way to reduce your environmental impact and to secure that your car runs on 100% renewable electricity. With this in mind, you should plan a solar system that can generate enough energy for both your home and your EV.

    How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel: EV Solar

    Have you ever wondered, how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel?

    than a century ago in Des Moine, Iowa, a chemist, William Morrison, built an electric six-passenger wagon that had a maximum speed of 14 miles per hour, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy. 1

    With the help of Mr. Morrison’s invention and several that came after him, the early 20th-century electrical vehicles were in high demand.

    From urban households to electric taxi cabs in New York, electric vehicles had the primary market share compared to gas-engine vehicles in the U.S. But, of course that dynamic changed with the development of the assembly line.

    Plus, after the invention of the electric starter by Charles Kettering, the bothersome cranking of the gas engine was no longer an issue for the automobile owner, and by 1935, the electrical vehicle was no longer being made.

    Some may argue this electrical starter invention is where petroleum dependency truly began. The result? Air pollution and the increase in carbon emissions that plagues our planet today. 11

    Yet, today the electric vehicle is making a comeback, and many people wonder how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel?

    The answer may impress you. This guide provides everything you need to know about charging an electric car with solar panels.

    How To Use Your Solar Panels To Charge Electric Car: How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel?

    Charging from home can be easy or require a small solar panel project.

    The complexities are dependent on where you are in your solar panel journey.

    (Image: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine 16 )

    If you’ve had your solar panels installed on your roof prior to purchasing your EV, how to use your solar panel to charge an electric car is a valid question.

    Depending on how your solar panel functions, you can add the following:

    • Additional panels to your solar array
    • Add an inverter for more power
    • A supplement solar energy system

    The above-mentioned additional remedies to consider when moving into an eco-friendly lifestyle is possible.

    I know you’re wondering, “How long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel?” Your solar panels can power your home appliances and EV with the same reusable energy the sun has provided for 3-7 peak hours per day.

    Being knowledgeable of your average daily or weekly driving miles will help you or your solar installations specialist to determine if you need additional solar panels, an inverter, or a supplement solar energy system.

    However, if you have not started the process of building your solar panel system, be sure to tell your solar installation specialist about your EV plans.

    The 3 Types of Solar EV Chargers for Home

    As technology keeps getting more innovative. Automakers are coming up with home superchargers such as Tesla to make your EV charging needs better.

    According to Clean Energy Reviews, solar energy companies are creating EV charger solar inverters to charge your electric vehicle at home comfortably. 5

    To find the best EV charging options for you, it is recommended to consult with a solar installation expert and conduct your own research.

    However, you can accomplish a fully charged EV by using one of The 3 types of solar EV chargers below

    Level 1 Charger-Plug-in

    This standard 120-volt home-manufactured provided plug-in is the slowest charge. How long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel at Level 1? Approximately up to 5 miles per hour with no installation needed.

    A 24-hour charging duration is not unusual for a level 1 charge.

    Level 2 Charger

    A 240 Volt requires professional installation in your home. This plug, often called a dryer plug, provides a speedier charge.

    The 240-volt setup and electrical power are similar to public charging stations.

    Depending on the make of the electric car, the EV can charge 25 to 80 miles per hour. With the benefit 240 Volt charge allowing a full charge overnight, this option is often the popular choice.

    Level 3 Charge-Supercharge/DC Fast Charge

    Acquiring a Supercharge system for your Tesla or DC fast charge system from other makers, this an investment. Being able to charge your Tesla or others makes efficiently fast is not a budgetary option.

    But the opportunity to charge your EV up to 20 miles in 1 minute is the best time saver. The high voltage of up to 1,000 will require several changes to your solar-powered and electrical grid setup.

    EV Solar and the EV Battery Controversy

    The pursuit of an eco-friendly lifestyle is also accompanied by spirited debates. Several governments are paying attention to EV solar and the EV battery controversy. 3

    The U.S. Department of Energy encourages companies and entrepreneurs to create simpler ways to recycle 90% of discarded lithium batteries with the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize. 6

    Because EV battery mining processes are made of cobalt, lithium, graphite, manganese, and nickel, they are often cited for having a high carbon footprint during manufacturing.

    With several countries declaring more EV production to reduce greenhouse gasses, EV battery manufacturers are in the process of making the batteries more environmentally responsible.

    But until the new technology is greenlighted, urging recycling of EV batteries is the current solution. Recycling EV batteries are not easy to disassemble.

    However, minimizing the toxic waste and introducing the EV battery to be used once again in a supply chain will prevent it from being in a landfill.

    How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel at Night?

    Most solar panel owners who charge their EVs at home have a Level 1 charging setup. In order to have a fully charged EV battery, overnight charging is necessary.

    J.D. Power reports most Level 2 charging with 240-volt power requires a nightly 10-hour duration to have a fully charged EV that can drive up to 200 miles. 7

    Public Charging Station vs. Home EV Solar Charging Cost

    A solar EV charging station for home is very convenient. However, if you decide to travel with your EV, mapping out where a public charging station on your route is recommended.

    Public Charging Station

    Before your road trip, you may know how far you can travel before needing your next charge.

    The driving range on how many miles your can travel is dependent on your make and model. There are free public charging stations available.

    Related Reading: How Many Miles Can Electric Cars Go Before Charging (See Map)

    According to U.S. News, the largest EV charging stations are Evgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America. 8 Each EV charging network provides charging station maps, prices, and app options to make your charging process simple.

    If you have an opportunity to charge for free at parking lots, local entertainment ensues, and shopping locations, go for it! It will definitely help your budget.

    These free locations are usually Level 2 charging and may charge your EV to 80% quickly.

    The cost to charge at a public charging station depends on your location, charging speed, and time of day. if you are a member of one the largest EV charging networks, you will find that hourly rates are available and special pricing for members.

    Currently, electric vary and will affect your EV charging rates. USA Today reports that the Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Vehicle Testing charts the national average electricity cost is 0.10 per kWh. 9

    Home EV Solar

    With the help of your solar panels and solar system setup, your EV charging bill will be more economical than a public charging station. Regardless of your location, gas-powered cars are more expensive to fuel.

    Your solar EV charging station for home is in your hands. You are in total control of your solar budget and can revise your solar plan to fit your driving needs.

    Be sure to review your utility bill to get an idea of how much kWH you use per month to assist with your EV solar budget plan. The U.S. Department of Energy has a vehicle cost calculator to help you determine your electric vehicle monthly costs. 10

    If you want a better understanding of how much greenhouse emission you will avoid with your EV, use a carbon footprint calculator. Being ecologically responsible and having a solid plan to help avoid fossil fuels is a good idea.

    How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel at a Public Station vs. A Home Charging Station?

    Most public charging stations are Level 2.

    This charge is faster at 240 volts of power.

    (Image: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) 19 )

    Depending on the home charging setup, if an EV owner only has a Level 1 charging at home, the public charging station will take less time for Level 2 and Level 3 charging.

    solar, panels, charge, electric, charging

    But how long would it take to charge an electric with a solar panel at a public station vs. a home charging station depends on the make and the plugs required. If the EV is not a Tesla and cannot charge at a Level 3, a Level 2 is necessary.

    Level 2 charging can charge 25-80 miles per hour. Level 3 for supercharging or DC Fast Chargers can get your EV charged 20 miles per minute.

    If you can avoid charging at Level 1 at a public charging station, do so. The slow charge may be a waste of your time.

    How long it will take to charge depends greatly on the make of your car and the quality of your plugs.

    However, Level 1 and Level 2 require SAE J1772 EV plugs to charge properly. Level 3 required connectors are Combo Charging System (CCS) or a CHAdeMO connector depending on the manufacturer.

    What Is an Off-Grid Solar EV Charger?

    An off-grid solar EV charger is completely charged with reusable energy. An off-grid solar EV charge of your vehicle will be without the help of the local electricity grid.

    Although the many solar panel public charging canopies we see at local public parking lots, many are not off-grid. Solar panel public charging spaces are still primarily reliant on the local utility grid.

    There are several companies presenting ideas, batteries, and other devices to promote complete off-grid solar EV charging.

    Do You Have To Pay To Charge a Tesla?

    Yes, Tesla has four tiers for billing their Tesla owners. But here is the trick, you can opt to charge your Tesla with your solar panels at home. It may not be the quickest charge but definitely an eco-friendly option.

    How Much To Charge a Tesla

    It’s up to you if you prefer to be billed per charging minute or per kWh (kilowatt). When you go into your app and choose a charging station, the Telsa app will provide the cost per the supercharging location.

    If you decide to go to one of the many available public supercharging stations for Tesla vehicles only, make sure you don’t leave the Tesla plugged up after being fully charged. Telsa charges idle fees.

    Be sure to pay attention to your Tesla app, which will let you know promptly that your Tesla is fully charged.

    How Many kWh To Charge a Tesla

    Tesla currently has four models to choose from. Each standard model needs a minimum of 50 kWh of electricity to charge a Tesla.

    The followings are the Telsa models and kWh battery breakdown:

    • Tier 1: Charge up to 60 kWh
    • Tier 2: Charge up to 100 kWh
    • Tier 3: Chare between 100 kWh and 180 kWh
    • Tier 4: Charge a minimum of 180 kWh

    Tesla Model S

    The Tesla Model S model has an EPA estimate of 396 miles. The Tesla Model S comes with a 100 kWh battery pack.

    If you are a Tesla Model S owner or plan to be one, the battery can charge up to 100 kWh and only use 34 kWh per 100 miles.

    Tesla Model 3

    The Tesla Model 3 has an EPA estimate of 325 miles. The Telsa Model 3 comes with a 100 kWh battery pack.

    Although the Tesla Model 3 has a lower EPA estimate of miles compared to the Tesla S, it will only use 34 kWh per 100 miles.

    Tesla Model X

    The Tesla Model X has the same battery pack of 100 kWh and uses 34 kWh per 100 miles while in motion.

    However, this model has an EPA estimate of 333 miles.

    Tesla Model Y

    With very similar features to the above Tesla models. However, the Tesla Model Y is a hatchback SUV.

    The EPA estimate of 330 miles. The battery size is 82 kWh.

    But as a new battery pack, Tesla introduced called 4860 battery cells. This new technology is made with fewer raw materials and promises a faster charge for less.

    The 4680 battery is the reason for longer road trips without needing a charge.

    How Long Does It Take To Fully Charge a Tesla?

    It is estimated that a Telsa Model 3 would need approximately ten days to charge fully by a solar panel home system. Each Tesla model if charged using the Tesla Supercharger, can charge 162-200 miles in 15 minutes.

    (Image: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine 20 )

    You may be wondering, “How many solar panels to charge a Tesla”? Use a calculator to not only measure your carbon footprint but also get an accurate amount of solar panels needed to charge your Tesla.

    However, if you invest in the Powerwall that Tesla has available for Tesla owners if a power outage occurs, the powerwall will charge your Tesla with saved energy.

    The Powerwall is a compact home reusable energy battery for your home and eventually for your Tesla vehicle. The Powerwall calculator will give you the best estimate to design your solar needs with Powerwall capabilities.

    Drive on Sunshine App Opportunity To Existing Charging Tesla With Solar Panels

    The Drive on Sunshine App feature on the Tesla app is on its way. This feature will allow existing Tesla owners with home solar panels to use the excess energy to charge their Tesla vehicles.

    The Drive on Sunshine app can be programmed to suit your Telsa Charging needs with the following options:

    • Reserve a portion of the EV battery to be charged by excess solar energy only
    • Schedule the date, time, and location of the EV battery charge
    • Set charging limits

    Drive on Sunshine app the opportunity to existing charging Tesla with solar panels is a great benefit. This option eliminates any excess reusable solar energy from going back to the electrical grid.

    The excess solar panel energy now has better usage while minimizing fossil fuels from the local electrical grid. Tesla owners with a home solar panel system are excited to use this valuable feature on the Tesla app when available.

    Comparing the Carbon Footprint of Electric Cars vs. Gasoline

    Lately, Tesla has been an example of a worthy brand for electric vehicles.

    As reported by Kelley Blue Book, the consumer will have electric vehicle options from Bently, Apple, the Dodge charger, and more by the year 2025. 2

    Electric cars’ carbon footprints have everything to do with their production and maintenance, such as:

    • Large fulfillment centers that make the lithium batteries
    • Shipping of the parts and batteries for EVs
    • Manufacturing of lithium batteries12
    • Charging the EV solar from the electrical grid

    In order to make this environmentally friendly electric vehicle, fossil fuels are used from large factories, along with the shipping and manufacturing of the lithium battery. It’s not the electrical vehicle itself that causes greenhouse emissions.

    If you’re on your way to being a new owner of an electric car or currently have one, releasing your reliance on your local electrical grid is key.

    Using your home solar panels that are powered solely by the energy of the sun is the best remedy. Electric car manufacturers are working to reduce carbon emissions in the manufacturing of lithium batteries to power electric cars.

    Cars fueled by gas engines have been proven that it’s part of the problem. But comparing the carbon footprint of electric cars vs gasoline is not easy and is more of an estimate.

    However, the numbers consistently point to electric vehicles as the best option. Purchasing an EV helps the reduction of carbon emissions over time compared to cars that rely on fossil fuels in spite of the carbon footprint of EV battery production.

    According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, over a lifespan of an EV compared to a gas vehicle with a 300-mile range, EV greenhouse emissions are lower than gas vehicles. 3

    Why You Should Charge Your Electric Car With Solar Panels?

    Using reusable energies to power your electric vehicle (EV) over time can make up for all the carbon footprint your EV made prior to your possession.

    Why you should charge your Tesla, Nissan Leaf, or Hyundai Ioniq with solar panels starts with the goal of going all green. Going green by saving the planet and saving some of the green in your wallet is always worthwhile.

    How long it would take to charge an electric car with a solar panel will not be your first concern. But most importantly, a zero-emission car being charged by your home solar panels is your most crucial concern to decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

    solar, panels, charge, electric, charging

    The numbers may vary depending on the state you live in and if you drive 2 hours a day or 5 hours a day. But charging your EV from home has proven to be the most cost-effective option besides walking or running to your destination.

    To help you do the math, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reports the national gas price average for 2022 was a whopping 4.42 per gallon. 4

    Whether you decide to use your 120-Volt three-prong plug-up option or install a Level 2 EV charging system, you will notice drastic savings compared to the daily gas for gas-engine automobiles.

    If you do the math according to your monthly renewable energy bill and how often you need to drive daily or week to week, the cost to charge your EV with your home solar panels will still be much lower than having a gas-engine automobile.

    For example, a 2023 Toyota Corolla 4-cylinder has a combined trip of 35 MPG. The national average gas price for 2022 was 4.42 per gallon.

    A single charge from your home solar system of an electric vehicle ranges from 100 to 400 miles.

    Besides being cost-efficient, charging your EV with your home solar panels not only reduces greenhouse gas, but when you’re on the road, you are riding in a zero-emission car.

    What Affects the EV Solar Charging Rate?

    Tesla is a popular brand that is dedicated to zero emissions and a quality driving experience. However, if a Tesla is not in your style or in your budget, there are several EVs to choose from in the market.

    Remember that your driving lifestyle, make, and model will determine the charging rate. Here are some factors that also affect EV solar charging rates:

    • An EV that doesn’t have enough range or battery capacity for your driving needs.
    • The amount of daily or weekly drive time.
    • The speed of charging affects your charge rate.

    Solar charging rates for EVs vary and can be steep. With the help of the Federal government and state rebate incentives, the rate can be curved to benefit EV owners and those who will purchase EVs in the near future.

    California Electric Car Rebate provides a rebate between 1,000-7,000 to new EV owners. Whether purchased or leased, California residents have state rebates and possibly local county rebates for going green.

    These tax incentives can be combined with federal government incentives as directed by a tax professional. 13 There are unique EV incentives in each state.

    The California Electric Car Rebate has additional perks, such as freeway lanes for EVs.

    Some states have incentives that include credits for installing a solar system at your home, discounted parking rates, and offset credits from your local utility company.

    With the newly developed faster home solar setups and government incentives, how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel will be the least of your worries.

    Are Portable Solar Charger for Electric Car a Good Choice?

    Yes and no, there is a debate about whether a portable solar charge is viable. Some EV users only use portable solar chargers for emergencies that will get them up to 40 miles.

    Are Cars With Lowest CO2 Emissions EV Solar?

    Yes, hybrids have lower greenhouse emissions and all EVs are zero emission cars. The electric vehicle produces no tailpipe emissions making them as the cars with lowest CO2 emissions.

    How Many Miles Can Electric Cars Go?

    To those wondering, how many miles can electric cars go? The amount of miles an EV travels is determined by its make and model.

    solar, panels, charge, electric, charging

    How Many Electric Cars in the US?

    If you’re wondering, how many electric cars in the US? There are more than 2 million electric vehicles on the road in the United States and still counting.

    How Many Electric Cars in the World?

    Wondering, how many electric cars in the world? Globally in 2023, an estimated 14 million electric vehicles have been sold and counting.

    Can a Solar Charging Electric Car Battery Overheat?

    Yes, inquire with your manufacturer about how to prevent overheating for the make and model of your electric car. However, it is recommended to charge your battery at 50% to 60% to help prevent overheating.

    What Is the Best Time To Charge EV With Solar Panels?

    The best time to charge your EV is at the peak hours of the sun’s rays. This may vary per your location so If you have a Level 1 home charging system, the best time is overnight.

    Do All Electric Vehicles Charge at the Same Speed?

    No! Check with the EV dealership before purchasing. Remember to also check with a solar installation specialist and ask, “How long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel”?

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    1 Department of Energy. (2014, September 15). The History of the Electric Car. U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved May 17, 2023, from

    2 Morris, A. (2023, April 14). Electric Car Companies Guide. Kelley Blue Book. Retrieved May 17, 2023, from

    3 United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2023, May 11). Electric Vehicle Myths. EPA. Retrieved May 17, 2023, from

    4 AAA Gas Prices. (2023). NATIONAL AVERAGE GAS PRICES. Gas Prices. Retrieved May 12, 2023, from

    5 Svarc, J. (2021, December 8). SolarEdge Inverter Reviewer-Power Optimisers. Clean Energy Reviews. Retrieved May 17, 2023, from

    6 U.S. Department of Energy. (2023). Batteries for Electric Vehicles. Alternative Fuels Data Center. Retrieved May 13, 2023, from

    7 Lindland, R. (2020, March 26). How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car? J.D. Power. Retrieved May 13, 2023, from

    8 Loveday, S. (2023, April 20). How Do You Charge Your Electric Car at a Public Charging Station. Cars: U.S. News Retrieved May 13, 2023, from

    9 Mulroy, C. (2023, April 26). How much does it cost to charge an electric vehicle? Here’s what you can expect. USA Today. Retrieved May 14, 2023, from

    10 U.S. Department of Energy. (2023). Vehicle Cost Calculator. Alternative Fuels Data Center. Retrieved May 14, 2023, from

    11 U.S. Department of Energy. (2023). Emissions from Electric Vehicles. Alternative Fuels Data Center. Retrieved May 14, 2023, from

    12 Crawford, I. (2022, March 1). How much co2 is emitted by manufacturing batteries? Mitmeche. Retrieved May 14, 2023, from

    13 Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2023). Federal Tax Credits for Plug-in Electric and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Purchased in 2023 or After. Fuel Economy. Retrieved May 14, 2023, from

    15 eCars Charging Station’ by Éloïse Ruby is released under CC0. Flickr. Retrieved from

    16 Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine. Flickr. Retrieved from

    20 Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from

    How many panels do you need for your EV?

    One of the primary benefits of purchasing an electric vehicle is that it allows you to transition from paying for gasoline to lower-cost electricity. But why not take that one step further and power your car with clean, solar power you produce on your own property? Here’s a quick breakdown to help determine how many solar panels you need to power your electric vehicle (EV) with solar.

    How much electricity do leading EVs require per charge?

    There are a couple of different ways to think about the electricity that an EV requires. The first is to consider the charge required per miles driven, typically expressed in kilowatt-hours per 100 miles driven (kWh/100 Mi). The other way to think about the electricity required to run an EV is to consider the electricity required to fully charge the car. This metric is closer to how we currently think about how much it costs to fill up a tank of gas on internal combustion engine cars.

    CompanyModelBattery size (kWh)Range (miles)
    Tesla Model S 100 370
    Audi e-tron 95 204
    Hyundai Kona 64 258
    Kia Soul EV 64 243
    Chevy Bolt EV 60 238
    BMW i3 42 153
    Nissan LEAF 40 150
    Volkswagon e-Golf 36 125
    Honda Clarity 26 89

    How much electricity will an EV use per year?

    How much electricity an EV consumes per day, month or year depends primarily upon how far you drive. If you live in an urban area and own a car but drive it infrequently, the electricity required to power your EV will be relatively small over the course of the year. On the other hand, if you live in a suburban or rural area and commute in your car every day, then the electricity required to power your car could represent a sizeable portion of your annual electricity usage.

    According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American travels nearly 13,500 vehicle miles per year. At that level of driving, most EVs will require around 4,000 kWh of electricity per year to operate.

    CompanyModelkWh/100 miAnnual electricity usage (kWh)
    Tesla Model S 27 3,600
    Audi e-tron 47 6,300
    Hyundai Kona 25 3,300
    Kia Soul EV 26 3,600
    Chevy Bolt EV 25 3,400
    BMW i3 28 3,700
    Nissan LEAF 27 3,600
    Volkswagon e-Golf 29 3,900
    Honda Clarity 29 3,900

    How many solar panels do you need for your EV?

    To calculate the number of solar panels required to power your EV, you’ll need to know three key data points: 1) how much electricity your car will use annually, 2) the wattage of the solar panels you are planning to install, and 3) how well solar panels produce electricity where you live.

    As outlined above, for an average American driver, a typical EV will require about 4,000 kWh of electricity per year. According to the most recent EnergySage Solar Marketplace Intel report, the most frequently offered solar panels on EnergySage are in the 320 to 330 Watt range. Finally, the production from your solar panels will vary from region to region, with each panel producing more electricity in sunnier climates–such as the Southwest–than they will in the Northeast.

    Pulling all of these data points together creates a range of solar panels required to power different types of EVs each year in different regions. Depending upon where you live, charging an electric vehicle typically requires 7 or 9 solar panels.

    CompanyModelNo. of panels required: NortheastNo. of panels required: Southwest
    Tesla Model S 8 6
    Audi e-tron 15 11
    Hyundai Kona 8 6
    Kia Soul EV 8 6
    Chevy Bolt EV 8 6
    BMW i3 9 6
    Nissan LEAF 8 6
    Volkswagon e-Golf 9 7
    Honda Clarity 9 7

    Again, it’s worth noting that these calculations are based heavily upon the assumption that you drive the same amount per year as the average American driver. If, however, you drive less than 1,000 miles per month, then you would need fewer panels to power your EV.

    Install an EV charger at home at home with Qmerit

    EnergySage partners with Qmerit, a home EV charging installation leader who works with a trusted network of certified installers. They can help you quickly and easily install your home EV charger.

    Want to power your EV with solar?

    If you are purchasing an electric vehicle, why not power it with the sun? When you register for a free account on the EnergySage Marketplace. you can indicate that you would like to power an EV with solar panels, and our network of local, pre-screened solar companies will help design a custom system for you that meets your specific needs.

    reading on EnergySage

    Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… Are solar panels worth it in 2023? How to install solar panels Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Is solar still worth it under Net Metering 3?

    About Spencer Fields

    Spencer is the Technology Product Alliance Strategic Lead at EnergySage, where he wears many hats. A 10-year industry veteran (and a solar owner himself!), Spencer spent five years at Synapse Energy Economics before joining EnergySage, providing environmental, economic, and policy analysis for public interest groups. These days, he leads market and consumer intel and research for EnergySage. Spencer has degrees in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies from Brown University.

    Top Questions About Solar EV Charging, Answered

    Everyone knows that solar power is a highly sustainable source of electricity, and the cost advantages can be enormous. Beyond those two facts, however, questions abound. Here are answers to questions frequently asked by EV owners about solar EV charging.

    How do solar charging stations work?

    Solar panels convert sunlight into DC (direct current) electricity. A connected inverter changes the DC electricity received from the solar panels into the AC (alternating current) electricity needed for EV charging. The AC electricity goes to a distribution board to be used by power devices, and any surplus electricity is stored in a battery or fed to the grid for use by others.

    A Smart EV charger takes the solar-generated AC electricity and charges your EV directly from the distribution board or a battery. The charger can use 100% solar power or a combination of solar and grid power to achieve the desired charging speeds. When AC power flows into your EV through the charging cable, your EV’s onboard charger converts it back into DC electricity.

    What are the benefits of having solar EV charging stations?

    Although most people think that the benefits of a solar EV charging station revolve around sustainability and cost savings, there are six primary benefits:

    Energy Costs: Solar-generated electricity is almost universally less expensive to purchase than that obtained from any grid in the U.S. Many people find that their monthly power bills drop by as much as half.

    Net Metering: Electricity generated by solar panels during the day can be pushed to the grid for credit against your power usage. If you can push more power to the grid than you use yourself, you can sell the surplus to the utility provider at a profit.

    Zero Carbon Footprint: Between 40-80% of national grid power in the U.S. is still manufactured from fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy. However, a home solar EV charging station guarantees a 100% carbon-neutral footprint.

    Convenience: Public charging stations can be inconvenient, particularly in areas that don’t have very many. Even a home-based station can be problematic if powered off the grid and there’s an outage. Home solar charging stations are the ultimate convenience and provide insurance against grid outages.

    Tax Credits and Incentives: There are several Federal, State, and Local tax credits and incentives for EVs, EV charging, and solar EV charging. Start your search with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

    Increased Property Value: Studies show that homes with installed solar systems sell more quickly and at a higher price than homes that don’t. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, home values increase by 20 for every 1 that a home solar system saves the homeowner on their electrical bills. The Zillow real estate website calculates that homes with solar panels sell for an average of 4% higher than those without them.

    How can I charge my EV at home using solar panels?

    • Solar panels mounted on your roof in metal racks
    • A central string inverter combining DC output to AC, or micro-inverters that convert each panel’s output to AC and send it to a combiner box
    • A Level 2 EV charger

    Many vendors specialize in installing home solar systems to power households and electric vehicles. Three better known include Freedom Solar (12 locations nationally), Sunpower Solar. and Sunnova (both servicing all 50 states). For DIYers, Electric City outlines a six-step process for installing a solar at-home EV charger.

    How many home solar panels does it take to charge an EV for daily use?

    • How many miles do you drive on an average day
    • How many hours of sun do you get on an average day
    • The wattage of your solar panels
    • Your EV’s fuel efficiency

    You own a Tesla Model Y and drive it about 37 miles on a typical day. The rated fuel efficiency of a Tesla Model Y is 3.82 miles per kWh. The area you live in gets an average of 4.5 hours of sunlight daily. You’ll need to install six solar panels (each 400w) to provide the necessary power to charge your Tesla at home.

    Say that, instead of a Tesla Model Y, you drive a 2014 Toyota RAV4. The Toyota has a rated fuel efficiency of 2.17 miles per kWh. With all other factors matching the Tesla example above, you would need ten 400w solar panels to produce enough power to charge your EV for daily use.

    information on calculating the number of panels needed to handle both home power needs and EV charging requirements is available at

    How long does it take to charge an EV using solar panels?

    Not surprisingly, the answer to this question varies significantly based on solar panel wattage, type of solar panel controller, battery AMPs, battery discharge depth, and more.

    For example, let’s say you are charging a 12V 50Ah lithium battery that’s 80% discharged. You’re using a 100W solar array with an MPPT controller. You need six peak sun hours to charge your battery fully. If your location gets three peak sun hours daily, you’ll need two days to achieve a full charge.

    • A charging time calculator that determines the number of peak sun hours you will need for your specific parameters
    • A peak sun hours calculator that determines the average peak sun hours received by your location

    What’s the best time to charge an EV with solar panels?

    You want to charge your EV at the time of day that maximizes both the financial return and environmental benefit of your solar panels. This time depends on whether you have a time-of-use (TOU) plan with your electric utility company or a Net Metering/Net Billing plan.

    With a TOU plan, the rate homeowners pay for electricity depends on what time they use it. Rates are less during times of lower demand. Net Metering plans give solar homeowners credit for excess power they produce that’s dumped into the grid based on the retail rate. Another option, Net Billing plans, pay the homeowner based on the wholesale rate.

    • Net Metering plan with TOU – Charge during off-peak hours (usually overnight).
    • Net Metering without TOU – Charge at any time of day, but doing so during off-peak hours will minimize carbon intensity.
    • Net Billing with TOU – Charge during off-peak hours if the savings are greater than the difference between your retail and wholesale rate; otherwise, charge when your panels are producing power (while the sun’s out).
    • Net Billing without TOU – Charge when your solar panels are producing power.

    Most late-model EVs can be set to charge automatically at a specific time, making it easier for owners to target lower-cost periods. If your EV doesn’t, you can buy an EV charger with a built-in timer.

    What are portable solar panels for EV charging?

    Portable solar panels for EV charging are small, lightweight options for EV owners who want to charge their vehicles at home without installing a permanent solar panel system.

    Portal panels are easy to install, needing little more than a connection between the panel and your EV battery. For that reason, you can charge your EV from anywhere you go using cheap, renewable solar energy. Like a permanent solar panel system, portable solar panels use photovoltaic cells to absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity.

    Light Tower Pro lists a variety of the best portable solar panels for EV charging. These include models by well-known manufacturers, including Bluetti, EF Ecoflow, Goal Zero, Jackery, Renology, and Rockpals.

    What are off-grid solar EV chargers?

    Off-grid solar EV chargers store solar-generated power in batteries for use on demand to charge electric vehicles. They do not require plugging into the grid.

    Unlike portable solar panels, which are small and lightweight, off-grid solar EV chargers are usually close to the length and width of a full-size automobile, accompanied by a box-like structure containing the storage batteries.

    The power generated and sold is usually less expensive than power purchased from the grid, especially during peak periods.

    What are the best EV charges for solar panels?

    (Image source: ChargePoint )

    Interested in learning more about EV Charging infrastructure? Join us at the upcoming EV Charging Summit Expo!

    What is the Best Time To Charge EV With Solar Panels?

    Shifting to EVs or Electric Vehicles is a great environment-conscious move you can make. However, just buying an EV isn’t enough, learning the most efficient way to charge an EV is also important. You should definitely learn what is the best time to charge EV with solar panels. This will help you save on energy bills at the same time.

    Can You Charge an Electric Car with Solar Panels?

    Yes, you can charge an electric car with solar panels. Solar panels produce solar power and this power can be utilized as electricity to charge your EV. However, to get the most power out of these solar panels, you should charge your EVs at certain times. Now, let’s learn about the best time to charge EVs with solar panels.

    What is the Best Time To Charge EV With Solar Panels?

    Depending on your financial, environmental, and good citizen goals, the best time to charge your EV with solar panels may vary. This time is totally dependent on what you want to achieve. Do you want to reduce your load on the grid infrastructure, save your planet, or save your money?

    Good Citizen (least stress on the grid)

    Since the US grid is now aging, the best option is to avoid using it. You should charge your electric car during the day directly from your solar panels if your panels produce more power than what your EV needs. However, if the panels don’t produce enough power, it would be best the charge your EVs at night. Typically, the power generated at night comes from a baseload generation facility. So, by charging at night you are part of the baseload and not the peak load during the day when the grid is more stressed.

    a) Time of Use (TOU)

    The Time of Use billing system is used by many utilities. In this system, the price of electricity varies depending on when you consume the power. Typically, the power is cheaper during the night and the most expensive during the day when most businesses and residents are consuming power. The power consumption starts going down in the evening.

    Each utility calculates its TOU rates in different intervals. They set specific rates for specific time periods. The goal of the utility is to change the behavior of their consumer. They want the consumers to use power when it’s the cheapest. This way the utility will be able to avoid building peaker plants.

    Although most utilities don’t allow a TOU setup with solar, if you have such a setup, you would save the most money by pushing your solar power onto the grid during the day. During these hours you get the most money for your power. You can charge your electric vehicle during the night when the power is the cheapest.

    Some utilities don’t allow this setup. They have special utility rates for solar and for EV chargers. However, if you are on an EV billing rate with the utility, you can’t interconnect solar to the grid.

    b) Net Metering

    If you have a one-on-one net metering setup for your panels, then it doesn’t really matter if you push that power you produce onto the grid and use it later on, or if you consume the power right away.

    If you charge your electric vehicle directly from the solar panels during the day, you’ll reduce the amount of power pushed onto the grid. You get charged by the utility on the basis of what you pushed on the grid and what you consumed from it. The charges aren’t related to when you did that.

    Environmental (least amount of pollution)

    You should use clean power to minimize the pollution of charging your car. This will help minimize the production of other power sources that need to get pushed on the grid, transported, and go through transformers which have power losses during each step. By using local clean power sources (your solar panels) you can avoid pollution by avoiding transmission losses. By charging your car when the sun is out, you can minimize your pollution to a considerable level. Now you know the best time to charge EV with solar panels and that too in context with different scenarios. After this, aren’t you curious to know how many solar panels to charge an electric car?

    How Many Solar Panels to Charge an Electric Car?

    Well after learning about the best time to charge EV with solar panels, the next unpopular question that arises is how many solar panels to charge an electric car. Well, the number of solar panels needed to charge an EV varies according to the size of your car. For instance, in a standard Tesla Model S, the battery capacity of the car is 100kWh.

    Apart from the car’s size, the size of the solar panels also decides the number of panels you’ll need. A low-output solar panel generates nearly 1kWh of AC power per month. So, to charge a standard Tesla Model, you’ll need at least 75 such solar panels.

    Can I Use A Portable Solar Panel To Charge My EV?

    Yes and no. Although it is possible to use a portable solar panel to charge an EV it may not be efficient or practical. The amount of power produced by these panels may not be sufficient to charge an EV. You’ll need a special charging cable and adapter to charge an EV with a portable one since you’ll need a DC charging station, which is different from the usual AC charging most EVs use. Lastly, charging an EV with a portable solar panel isn’t practical for day-to-day use as the panel needs constant access to a sunny location. This may not be possible in places with inclement weather or limited sunlight. This should have answered if you can use a portable solar panel to charge your EV.

    What is the Most Efficient Way to Charge an EV?

    Factors like the charging infrastructure, type of battery, and available time for charging determine what is the most efficient way to charge an EV. Here are a few efficient ways to charge an EV-

    Level 1 Charging: In this charging practice, you use a standard household outlet and a Level 1 charging cable to charge the EV. It is the slowest method of charging an EV. It is best for overnight charging or for when you have a lot of time to charge your vehicle.

    Level 2 Charging: In this method, you use a dedicated Level 2 charging station. This station delivers a higher amperage and voltage than the level 1 charging. Through this method, you can fully charge an EV battery in just a few hours. Level 2 charging is clearly more efficient than Level 1.

    Time-of-Use Charging: In this method, you charge your EVs during the off-peak hours as during these time frames the electricity rates are lower. Many utility companies even offer special rates for EV owners who use off-peak hours to charge their vehicles. This can help you save money by reducing your electricity bills.

    DC Fast Charging: It is usually found at public charging stations and is the fastest way of charging an EV. To rapidly charge the battery, this method uses DC instead of AC. It can charge an EV battery to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes or sometimes even less. This method is thus quite ideal for long-distance trips.

    Overall, the most efficient way to charge an EV is to use a DC fast charger or a Level 2 charging station. However, your specific needs and charging infrastructure availability decide what is the most efficient way to charge an EV for you.

    With, this you have learned about the best time to charge EV with solar panels. According to the financial, environmental, and social goals of individuals, the apt time for charging their EVs with solar panels will also vary.

    Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet’s long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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