Can solar produce enough power to charge my Electric Vehicle?
Can solar panels on the roof of your home produce enough energy to power your Electric Vehicle?
How awesome would it be to harness the power of the sun to power your EV all year round? As solar panels continue to reduce in cost (reducing 10% per year) and electric vehicles increase in efficiency it might currently be a very viable option for many EV owners.
If you already have solar installed on your home, it could be as simple as purchasing an electric vehicle charger with solar management capability. In addition, if you are currently in the market for a home charging unit it would be a great idea to buy one with solar input to future proof your purchase.
Charging your car with solar power would further reduce the running cost of your vehicle while making an additional contribution to reducing greenhouse emissions. The Australian Government have planned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26–28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Solar energy is picked to be one of more viable options for green power generation and the economics are very compelling.
So let’s find out… are common residential solar solutions enough to fuel your Electric Vehicle? The first step is to determine how much energy you require on an annual basis. The most popular Electric Vehicle in Australia is the Tesla Model 3, with reports suggesting about 4200 sales over the first half of 2021. Tesla reports that the M3 Standard Range Plus needs on average .119kWh for every 1km traveled.
Let’s assume you travel the national average of 13,300 km per year. Multiplying your annual km traveled by your vehicles average power consumption gives us a requirement for 1,582KWh per year. Now we know how much power we need, lets take a look at how much energy a common residential solar setup generates.
1kW of solar panels generates roughly 4kWh of electricity produced per day. Assuming you already have or decide to purchase 3kW of solar panels they would produce 12kWh. Throughout the year the 2592 days of beautiful sunshine in NSW would generate roughly 4300kWh of power. As you can see from some quick math it is completely feasible to power multiple Electric Vehicles with a relatively small solar installation.
Naturally, there are many more factors that will affect power generation from solar and your ability to harness its power to fuel your weekend trips. If you are in the position to afford the upfront payment for solar (A 3kW solar system will run roughly $6000) there is undoubtedly long term saving.
Another factor that requires potential consideration is energy storage. As the majority of vehicle charging is done during the darker hours of the day you might need to explore energy storage solutions. Storing the energy acquired during the day in a Tesla PowerWall can give you the ability to control power delivery at a later date.
Solar EV charging is compelling for the environment and in the long run your back pocket. Initially though you will need an EV charger with solar input compatibility. Luckily, many of the charging units we supply are the most technologically advanced and have such functionality.
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