Getting an Electric Car for Your Solar System

Ashleigh AngellOctober 26, 2018 1592 0

Getting an Electric Car for Your Solar System

While rooftop solar panels aren’t a requirement for adding an EV, if a homeowner or business already has solar or is considering making the investment, adding a car charging station to the system is a practical and straightforward option. Combining an Electric Vehicle with a solar system is the best way to keep both your recharging costs and your EV’s carbon footprint to a minimum. Ideally, when going solar, you’ll want to install the components to charge the EV. By combining these two systems, you’ll not only be able to keep your car charged easier, but the energy you’ll get from the sun is absolutely free.

Getting an EV Charging Station for Your Home is Much Cheaper than a Paid Station

Hooking up an electric car charging station to a solar system is much more convenient than having to take your car to a paid station. Not only is charging an EV from home more convenient, but it also costs less than charging at most paid stations. And it saves you money in general on your electric bill.

Generally, people will use a standard 110V AC wall socket to charge their electric cars at home, which can be very time-consuming. Charging in this way may take up to 20 hours, so you’d only be able to drive every other day. To charge faster, you’ll want two parts: a 240V outlet and a charger.

Connecting Your Outlet to the Service Panel

You will need to hire an electrician to connect an outlet to the main service panel. The most common outlets for Level 2 charging (what most EVs use) are NEMA 14-50 (240V, 50A) or NEMA 14-30 (240V, 30A). These outlets can cut down your charging time to under 8 hours. If you’re going solar or already have a rooftop solar system, the electrician can connect the outlet directly to the system.

Installing an EV charger.

EV chargers are not especially exotic and can be found at your local hardware store, with prices anywhere from $400 to $3,000. Your EV dealer and/or installer will suggest a range of choices for your vehicle’s brand and model. Once the outlet is installed, you can plug the charger right into power your EV. If you want to move or change your charging equipment, you just disconnect the plug.

Even more charging options with solar batteries.

If you have an energy storage unit (battery) like a Tesla Powerwall or LG Chem RESU 10 installed, you’ll have even more options for charging your EV. You can use it to time-shift your power consumption since many utilities charge more for grid-supplied electricity in the middle of the day, when air conditioners are on and demand is high. If you have residential energy storage, you can use the battery to charge your EV whenever you like. Batteries combined with solar means you’ll always have power, storing energy away for when the sun isn’t shining. A battery can also be useful for charging your EV in case of an electrical grid outage.

Get rebates and other incentives.

Many utilities have special rates for EV owners to make charging more economically viable. Sometimes they’ll install a meter just for the EV outlet, and if you only charge your EV during off-peak hours, they’ll charge you a discounted rate for that power. You may also be eligible for rebates and other incentives.

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