How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

Environmentally clean and energy-efficient, alternative power sources are becoming increasingly popular, with the automobile industry being the global beneficiary. Millions of electric car owners are taking full advantage of solar EV charging stations for homes to charge their cars and satisfy household needs. And why not? Solar charging can save you thousands of dollars in the long run!

Three Main Advantages of Solar Car Charging

  • Incredible cost efficiency. Solar EV charging can save up to 50% of the costs you would otherwise spend on buying electricity from the grid. Not only do home-based solar panels charge your car, but they also provide electricity for personal needs. On top of that, solar panels for car charging are incredibly durable: manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty on these items. A solar car charger can operate unbreakably throughout its life cycle.
  • Emission reduction. Solar panels are generally environmentally friendly, but this may not always be the case. Unfortunately, some local networks and public solar-powered EV charging stations receive energy from fossil fuels, contributing to the global carbon footprint rather than reducing it. On the other hand, you can be sure you’re on the right side of the fence if you choose a home electric vehicle solar charging station.
  • Convenience. Charging your car at home is convenient, preventing you from miserable minutes of waiting in a queue at a solar-powered electric car charging station. With constant access to refueling, you can be sure your battery won’t die during the trip.

That said, solar car charging isn’t deprived of disadvantages, with the key problem being high equipment cost. However, analysts predict solar panel electric car chargers to become cheaper and even more energy-efficient over time.

How to Connect an EV to Solar Power

One of the coolest things about solar panels for electric cars is that they can lower your energy bills dramatically, as per The Inflation Reduction Act.

To benefit from portable solar panels for electric cars, you need an electric car (duh), a charging system, and solar panels. While you can buy these items in any order, we recommend purchasing the electric vehicle first. More on that a bit later.

Installing an EV Charging Infrastructure

Portable solar panels for electric cars cannot store the generated energy alone but only in a special battery. Luckily, the market is abundant with manufacturers and product options, so you can easily find and install an electric vehicle solar charger, a battery for energy storage, and other vital equipment.

  • Batteries store energy from solar panels, allowing you to use it whenever needed. Conversely, the absence of energy storage limits you to the daytime only, causing difficulties with solar charging stations for electric cars.

To charge a car with a solar panel, you need a photovoltaic inverter (to convert solar energy into direct current) and a home charger. Above all, though, to select and install a system for charging electric cars with portable solar panels, you need a specialist, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Adding Solar to Charge Your EV

Solar panels are necessary to get an autonomous EV solar charging station, and there may be two options:

  1. You already have panels installed.
  2. You haven’t installed them yet.

The routine will be similar for both scenarios, though, because the power of your batteries will likely not be enough for your car’s needs, which is around 6 to 12 EV solar panels.

But then again, to calculate the right amount, you need an expert. They will take into account the technical characteristics of your car and offer the most effective option for solar EV charging stations for your home.

Finally, remember to take advantage of the solar energy tax credit, which has been increased to 30% until 2032, providing excellent savings when using a solar panel car charger.

Home Solar Panels for Car Charging As the Cheapest Way to Power a Car

Most drivers today continue to fuel their cars instead of installing a solar electric vehicle charging station. They spend a lot of money without realizing how much gasoline their vehicle actually consumes.

A solar EV charging station can save you tons of money and allow you to fully control your spending, which is not always possible with fuel.

According to the US Department of Transportation, an average driver covers 37 miles daily, or 13,476 miles a year. Thirty miles eat around one gallon of gasoline, or $4. Conversely, a solar electric car charging station can charge a vehicle for 3.33 miles per kWh, savings you around $1,500 per year.

The chart below vividly illustrates why charging a car at a solar electric car charging station is efficient.

How many solar panels does it take to charge an electric car - 1

Source: www.solar.com

Solar electric car charging is 80% cheaper than at public charging stations, 51% cheaper than from the network, and 81% cheaper than refueling. However, your actual savings will depend on the car’s model, the gasoline price, and the mileage.

Besides, keep in mind that prices for traditional energy sources are constantly growing. The price of gas is rising at around 3.89% per year; the price of grid power – at around 1.98% per year, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

How many solar panels does it take to charge an electric car - 2

Source: www.solar.com

Over 25 years, the average total savings when using a solar charger for an electric car against gasoline will reach $70,000, assuming the gasoline consumption is one gallon per 30 miles. In the current economic realities, having a solar electric car charger might be your best option.

Should I Use Solar Panel for Electric Car Charging?

Switching to alternative energy and installing an electric car solar charging station is everyone’s choice. But practice shows that this can be a perfect solution.

Home Solar: the Least Expensive Method to Power a Car

Indeed, a home station is the least inexpensive way to charge a solar panel electric car, saving you up to 50% and more. Likewise, a home solar car charging station can provide extra benefits, like a 30% federal tax credit, making charging an EV with solar exceptionally economical.

Home Charging for EVs is Practical

Many electric car owners struggle to find public solar electric car charging stations, spending too much time on the search and then in lines. With a home solar power car charging station, all you have to do is plug your car in before the trip, and soon, you’re ready to go.

What is the Price of an EV Charging Station?

The cost of your solar-powered electric car charging station may vary depending on the type of device, manufacturer, and other factors. For example, the Level 2 charger is currently the most popular, costing around $500-$700. To install a charger, you will need around $ 400-500.

The downside is the cost of a solar-powered car charger, but you may break even before long. Moreover, this might be the most cost-effective way to charge your electric car.

Scenario 1: Purchasing an EV before Installing Solar Power

Chances are you will purchase an EV before a solar-powered EV charger, which is good because then you can choose a device that matches your car’s make and model. Charging will be available via the home mains or household solar panels.

  • To calculate the cost of charging an electric car with solar panels – and how much extra energy you need to produce – ask your home solar charging station installers for the consumption data.

Scenario 2: Getting an EV when You Already Have Solar

If you buy an electric car when you already have a car charging solar panel installed at home, you still have to buy an EV solar car charger. This will allow you to use the power of your home mains to charge your electric vehicle’s battery. However, get ready for bloated electricity bills: electric car solar charging isn’t free.

You can balance your home energy in two ways:

  • First, you can record the additional energy consumption for several months and then calculate how many panels you need to compensate for a solar charging car.
  • Second, you can consult with a specialist, who will calculate how many panels you need to cover the additional cost.

FAQ

  1. What about automobiles with integrated solar panels?

    Currently, there are no vehicles with built-in electric car solar panels, mainly because there is not enough free space for their installation.

  2. Why is it a bad idea to use solar power?

    Despite the benefits of solar charging, there are cases where charging an EV directly from solar is not beneficial. For example, if your supplier has low electricity rates at night or the roof is in the shade for a long time, it does not make sense for you to buy an expensive portable EV solar charger. In this case, you might want to be risk-averse, continuing to charge your car from the mains.

  3. Are home solar batteries required to provide electricity for an EV charging?

    You will need solar panels for electric cars to charge your car with electricity.

  4. How much does it cost to refuel an electric vehicle with and without solar power?

    The cost can vary dramatically depending on multiple factors – for example, state of residence – but here are the ballpark figures:

Solar charging for electric cars at a public station$0.29 – $0.79/kWh
EV charging at home without solar panels$0.21/kWh
EV charging with home solar panels$0.08 – $0.15/kWh LcOE

James Whitham is a respected author, having written numerous articles about the benefits of solar power systems and renewable energy. He is also an innovative technologies specialist at one of the United States' leading manufacturers of equipment for solar farm projects. With a deep knowledge of this field, James has been instrumental in helping to shape the future of sustainable energy solutions.

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