Electric Vehicle

Charging Electric Vehicles

If you drive an electric vehicle (EV) or want to buy one, you’ll clearly be charging that car at home.  Nothing special here, the power for at-home charging stations come from the same electrical grid as an ordinary household appliance, just on a much larger scale.  Add in the fact these cars have such a large battery capacity, you should be aware of the potential costs involved to charge them.

So, Just Add a Solar System, Right?

Naturally, adding solar system is an excellent option for EV owners.  But is it that simple?  Can a solar system completely offset the cost of charging an electric vehicle? No.  In reality, the number of panels needed will greatly exceed the space available on your roof or property.  But that doesn’t mean solar can’t provide you with some offset of the electricity consumption.

There are numerous factors to consider when determining how many solar panels are required to power an electric vehicle at home, including the size of the vehicle’s battery and the efficiency of the panels on the property.

How Many Panels Do You Need?

The sheer number of panels needed to charge a car battery is quite high.  The chart below outlines how much energy can be produced by a set number of solar panels.  Keep this information in mind as you observe how large of a capacity comes with the electric vehicle’s battery.

Panels needed for EV

Just how big are these EV batteries?

First and foremost, the amount of electricity required to charge your electric car is determined by its battery capacity. The battery capacity of an electric vehicle is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), and can range from the low 70s to 130 kWh or more.

The table below outlines popular EV make and models and their battery size.  By comparing the two charts you can see that your brand new Tesla requires over 60 panels to fully charge.  This assumes that all the consumption from the solar system goes 100% to the car, which also isn’t realistic.

EV Battery Size

As the government increases restrictions on gas vehicles (see California’s ban on gas-powered cars), the popularity of electric cars will only continue to gain momentum. Homeowners should plan their solar projects with this in mind because it will affect the type of inverter and number of panels required.  A homeowner will need to purchase enough panels for their current use and the potential increase of adding and EV to their garage.  Contact Palomar Solar and Roofing today!