Can you charge an electric car with solar panels?
As renewable energy sources gain momentum due to the increasing cost of living in the UK, many electric vehicle (EV) owners are exploring the possibility of having a solar electric car charger at home.
Combining the benefits of solar power with the convenience of home EV charging, solar EV charging offers the potential for sustainable and cost-effective transportation.
In this article, we will delve into the concept of having a solar EV charger at home, examining the advantages, considerations and practical steps involved in investing in an EV solar charger.
Can you charge an electric car with solar panels?
Yes, you can charge an electric car with solar panels. In fact, using solar power to charge an electric vehicle is becoming increasingly popular as people look for alternative ways to reduce their energy bills with the increasing cost of living while also reducing their carbon footprint.
How to charge an EV with solar panels:
First and foremost, to be able to charge your EV with solar energy, you need:
1. An electric car
2. A solar photovoltaic system (solar PV system)
3. A solar compatible EV charger
How many solar panels are needed to charge an electric car in the UK?
The size of the solar panel’s array will depend on how much energy you need to charge your EV. And simply put, the larger your EV battery, the more solar panels you will need to substantially charge your electric car.
Ten solar panels are typically the sweet spot for solar EV charging at home, with a minimum of at least 8. That being said, the number of solar panels required depends on a variety of factors, including how large your EV battery is, in addition to how much energy you are/will be using in the house.
Benefits of solar EV charging:
Solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging offers several benefits for drivers and the environment. Here are some of the key advantages of solar EV charging:
Lower carbon emissions
Reduce your carbon footprint by charging your EV with clean, renewable solar energy instead of only using energy from the grid.
Reduce electricity bills
With the cost-of-living crisis in the UK, it’s no wonder people are searching for ways to cut down on bills, especially electricity costs. By investing in an EV solar charger, you’ll have to rely less on your electricity supplier and can top-up with solar-powered energy that you’ve generated for free.
By utilising your solar energy, you can charge ‘off-grid’, meaning you’ll help distribute energy demand and put less strain on the grid.
Increase property value
Not only does installing an electric vehicle charger on your property increase its value (increasing the value by 13%), but installing solar panels will send your property’s value soaring further. In fact, solar panels are said to increase your house’s value by an average of £32,459 in the UK. Of course, this depends on a number of factors, including the size of the PV system and the location of the house. But, with both a solar EV charger and a solar PV system, your property value will rise substantially.
What is the best EV charger for solar panels?
Indra Smart PRO
Available in both tethered and untethered, the Indra SMART PRO is one of the most feature-rich home EV chargers on the market.
With tariff integration, load balancing and an industry-leading five-year warranty as standard, it comes as no surprise that the Indra is solar-ready.
Another home EV charger packed full of the latest and greatest smart features, the VCHRGD comes solar-ready for no additional cost.
While the solar features aren’t as advanced as the Zappi solar EV charger or the Indra Smart PRO, if you’re looking for a sleek solar EV charger at an excellent price point, the VCHRGD Seven is for you.
The first of its kind, the Zappi was the original ‘solar compatible’ home EV charger.
With programmable settings and different charging modes, such as ‘Eco’, ‘Eco+’ and ‘Fast’ charging, you can decide whether you want to charge purely with solar, electricity from the grid, or a combination of both.
Not only that, but the Zappi can charge your electric car with energy created by the wind too.
Key considerations for solar electric car charging
Despite the fact that your solar PV system will still take energy during grey or cloudy weather, you’re more likely to generate electricity when the sun is at its brightest. And, of course, you’ll need to take into consideration that your EV won’t charge overnight with solar unless you invest in a battery storage system. So, manage your expectations, as you won’t be able to charge your EV with solar energy whenever you want.
High upfront cost of a solar PV system:
The initial cost of a solar PV system is in the thousands. The exact cost depends on a number of factors, including what kW system you go for, but a 4kW solar PV system costs somewhere between £6,000-8,000. In terms of solar EV chargers, they typically have a similar cost to their non-solar counterparts, so it’s only the high cost of the solar PV system that you need to think about.
Solar PV systems need to be generating a minimum of 1.4kW above that required to power your home in order to charge your EV. Be mindful that if you are wanting to charge frequently with solar energy, you need to have a sufficient number of solar panels. In our opinion, we’d recommend supplementing the rest of your EV charge with power from the grid on the days when your solar generated energy is lacking, especially in the winter months.
|Model||Solar compatible?||Learn more|
|Indra Smart PRO||Yes||Find Out More|
|VCHRGD Seven||Yes||Find Out More|
|Zappi V2||Yes||Find Out More|
Interested in a home EV charger?
View our range of home EV chargers, including our solar units.