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Solar and EV charging: Key facts

Solar and EV charging: Key facts

Getting the right solar set-up to charge your electric car at home is important. The good news is that most solar households can produce enough free solar electricity to charge an electric car to cover the typical daily commute. Better still, it is highly cost-effective. This blog explains the key facts you need to know to drive your electric car for free on solar.

 

  1. Think “partial charging”

Partially charging your electric vehicle, or EV, with your own solar electricity is realistic. Fully charging your EV every day with your solar is not realistic, in most cases.  That’s because the size solar panel system you’d need is way too big.

Here’s why:

  • To fully charge a Tesla Model X (100kWh battery) – you need a 25kW solar panel system (approx. 64 panels)
  • To fully charge a Nissan Leaf (40kWh battery) – you need a 10kW solar panel system (approx. 26 panels)

In each case, this wouldn’t leave any extra solar to cover your household’s electricity requirements.

Whilst a 15kW system may be just enough tofully charge a Nissan Leaf and cover your household electricity needs, it’s probably still not quite big enough.  And it certainly wouldn’t provide enough power to charge a battery for overnight EV charging.

Rather than try to install enough solar to fully charge your EV – or even two EVs – every day, it’s more viable to focus on partial daily charging.

That way you don’t need a mega mansion with masses of roof space for all those solar panels!

 

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  1. How much extra solar will I need?

This depends on the battery capacity of your EV, its range, and your daily commute.  The maths formulae you need to calculate the size solar panel system is explained on this post.

To cut to the chase, the amount of solar you need to cover a 100km daily commute is approximately:

  • 2kWh – for a Nissan Leaf
  • 6kW – for a Tesla Model X

Adding an extra 2kW or even 6kW to the size solar panel system you get installed is feasible. It is also much more cost-effective than attempting to install enough solar to fully charge your EV every day.

 

  1. How quickly can I charge my EV at home?

This depends on the power source, the charging connector, and the car.  The key metric is the number of kilometers of driving range you can add in an hour. (Kilometers of range refers to far you can drive using the charge in your battery).

With Tesla EVs using the Tesla Wall Connector Charger, you can add between 11km and 80km of range with one hour of home charging depending on the EV model and your power source.

You’ll get more range per hour if you have a three-phase power connection to your property.

You can use a normal 230V outlet to charge your EV, with a suitable connector, but it will only provide around 10km of range per hour.

 

  1. How much can I save?

This depends on the power source, the charging connector, and the car.  The key metric is the number of kilometers of driving range you can add in an hour. (Kilometers of range refers to far you can drive using the charge in your battery).

With Tesla EVs using the Tesla Wall Connector Charger, you can add between 11km and 80km of range with one hour of home charging depending on the EV model and your power source.

You’ll get more range per hour if you have a three-phase power connection to your property.

You can use a normal 230V outlet to charge your EV, with a suitable connector, but it will only provide around 10km of range per hour.

 

Get ready for EV charging

If you’ve got questions on the best size solar system to charge your EV and meet your household energy needs, get in touch.  We can crunch the numbers for you, for your EV and your home energy usage.  We will then recommend the best size solar system to meet your needs and fit your budget.

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