There’s Mr. Grid who lives down the street from you. Skeptical, nosy, and chained to the electric company since he moved into his home in 1970. Back when electric companies ruled it all.
Down the street, a hot new couple moves in. Him: an EV. Her: Solar Panels. Mr. & Mrs. Voltaic. Together, they make the perfect power couple. They are lean, they are green, and they are the talk of the entire neighborhood.
Rumors spread: negative electric bills, no fuel charges, and to top it off, their lights stay on when that nasty storm rolls in.
Everyone joins the new power couple, Mr. & Mrs. Voltaic, for dinner until the storm passes. Mr. Grid refuses, and glares out his window, holding his flashlight in the dark. He starts to wonder what it would be like to have… solar installed.
Even Mr. Grid is thinking about taking control of his energy, don’t be the last one on your block! In addition, coupling a solar panel system with an electric vehicle is the next evolution in energy independence. Let’s get the scoop on the new couple.
It’s a Match! Why Solar and EVs Work So Well Together
Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, the cars of the future, the cars that can be charged instead of using old news oil to fuel them.
Solar is also all the rage right now. In fact, “the U.S. solar industry grew 43% and installed a record 19.2 gigawatts (GWdc) of capacity in 2020, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2020 Year-in-Review report, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie”.
In addition, they expect the U.S. will install more than 324 GW of solar capacity over the next 10 years. This will essentially quadruple the current amount of installed capacity.
It’s clear solar isn’t going away, and for good reason. Going solar helps the environment as well as get closer to our renewable energy goals as a nation. Switching to an electric vehicle also helps the environment by reducing the amount of gas consumed and harmful emissions released into the environment. However, the issue with electric vehicles is unless your home runs on solar energy, you’re still consuming electricity to charge it.
If you’re looking for the most sustainable living which also gives you independence from your utility company, EVs and a solar panel system (along with a battery) are the perfect match.
Charging EV with Solar Panels
Can you charge your EV with your solar panel system? Absolutely.
However, there are a few things to consider. When designing your solar panel system, you’ll want to factor in the extra energy you’ll need to charge your EV each year. Then you’ll have enough energy for both your home and your EV. Make sure to discuss this with a solar specialist, or if you have plans to purchase one in the future.
Here’s an easy way to figure out how much extra energy you’ll need. Go to this website to compare all the EVs currently on the market in the U.S. They will be rated on how many kWh they take to run for 100 miles (kWh/100 miles). Use this number to calculate how much extra energy you’ll need each year.
It’s simple: if your car is the Tesla 3, it would take 26 kWh to power it for 100 miles.
Let’s say you drive 25 miles each day.
100 miles / 25 miles = 4
Use this number to find how much energy you’re using each day.
26 kWh / 4 = 6.5 kWh
6.6 kWh is the amount per day you’d need to power your EV.
Multiply this by 365 = 2,372 kWh
This is the amount of extra energy you’ll need for your EV each year and should account for during your solar panel installation. (If you already have an installation, you can also add more panels to your system if you’re considering en EV.)
Complete Energy Independence: Electric Vehicles and Solar Panels, plus Solar Batteries
For the most energy independence you can get from the grid, you’ll want to add a solar battery to the mix. Why? Because solar energy is abundant during the day and will produce more energy than your home needs. But say you want to charge your EV at night, you’ll have to draw energy from the grid, which is not giving you the energy independence you’re seeking. The solution is a solar battery backup like the Tesla Powerwall or Enphase Encharge.
Read all about solar batteries.
A Brighter Future
So there you have it. Solar plus EVs equal a brighter, cleaner world in addition to saving you money. Better yet, most of these future-forward technologies have great incentives available to you, just for helping make the environment cleaner. Time is running out for the federal incentive, so it’s better not to wait to get solar installed if you’re considering the purchase of an electric vehicle at any point in the future.
Ready to charge your EV with sunshine?