Powering Your EV With Solar
Electric vehicles go well with another piece of green technology, solar panels. Powering your EV with solar energy is a smart investment to make. While you may not be able to invest in solar and an electric vehicle at the same time, there are ways to make sure that your solar system can cover the extra energy needed to power your future EV. Also, the cost savings of both a solar system and electric vehicle will be well worth it.
If you decide to go solar before you purchase your EV you will want to determine how much electricity your future EV will consume. First you will need to decide which EV you will be purchasing and from there you can find the mileage rating. Based on the mileage rating, and your average daily miles driven you can determine how much electricity it would take to charge it for your daily needs and then for the year. Below is an example provided by Mother Earth News using an EV with a 30 kWh/100 miles fuel economy rating:
“If you drive 25 miles on an average day, that means you’re using approximately 7.5 kWh of electricity per day – or just over 2,700 kWh of electricity in a given year. This is the “extra” amount of electricity you’ll need your solar energy system to produce.”
We can also help you determine the coverage of future electricity use of your EV when sizing your solar system. All you would have to provide us with is the EV you are planning on buying and your average daily mileage and we can do the rest of the work for you. Then powering your EV with solar will be in your reach!
There are a few different ways you can prepare your solar system for future needs. You can install an inverter that can handle more power, utilize microinverters, install a smaller solar system, or build a bigger system from the start.
If you decide to install an inverter that can handle more power, you will want to know the number of panels that you plan on adding. String inverters are the most common with solar systems. The solar panels are arranged into strings which feed into the inverter. The inverter is then sized for the output of those solar panels only. Therefore, if you want to go this route you will need to make sure that the inverter can handle your current solar panels and the ones you plan on adding in the future.
Another option is to install microinverters with your solar panels. This would mean that each of your solar panels has its own inverter. Therefore, adding extra panels in the future is easily done without having to have an inverter that can handle more power than what you originally install.
Installing an additional, smaller, solar system is also an option but only if you have the room for it. You could install a smaller roof or ground mount to meet the energy needs of your EV. The good news is that you can claim the federal tax credit for solar more than once so you can save even more!
You can also initially build a bigger system that will accommodate your future needs. However, some utilities won’t approve a system that is significantly bigger than your current needs. This is something that we could work with you on to see if it is an option where you live.
Lastly, there are other ways that you can make your home more efficient. This will in turn make more room for your future EV energy needs. You can switch out light bulbs for energy efficient ones, use a programmable thermostat, upgrade your appliances, and improve your home’s insulation.
Powering your EV with solar energy is a fantastic idea with many benefits. You get to reduce your carbon footprint and save even more money. Remember, you don’t need to wait to go solar until you have your EV. There are many ways to adjust your system to fit your future energy needs. Plus, you want to claim the federal and state incentives that are available and stop paying those high energy bills. Solar and EV make a great team!
Do you already drive an electric vehicle? Are you looking to add a charging station to your home or business? Do you want to power it with solar? We can help! You can reach out to us here and we would be happy to help you with any of these projects.