Solar Panels to Charge an Electric Car

If you are an electric vehicle (EV) owner or are interested in becoming one, there is also a good chance that you will look into installing an EV charging port at your home. Home charging ports provide a convenient way for EV owners to fuel their electric car.

At-home charging stations draw energy from the existing electrical grid. The cost for using this electricity is the same as other household electricity use, and considering the fact that an electric car can store a significant amount of energy, it may be somewhat costly.

This is why pairing a charging station with a solar panel system is a great solution for EV owners and solar panel owners alike.

To figure out how many solar panels it takes to fuel your electric car, you have to account for a several factors such as the size of your EV battery, the efficiency of your panels, type of hardware, etc.

Solar Panel And EV Charging System

The combination of a solar panel system and EV charging station brings several benefits and provides a cost-effective way to produce and make use of your solar energy. If you are trying to set up a solar panel system that can provide enough energy to fuel your electric car, you will need this type of setup.

Solar inverters are an important piece of this puzzle. Before your generated solar energy can be used by most of your devices and appliances, it must be converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). This is also the case for fueling your electric car with solar energy.

Lastly, the actual charging port will be installed and connected to the inverter so that it can draw the electricity and send it into the electric car’s battery.

How Big Is Your EV’s Battery?

Now that we understand exactly how you can use a solar panel system to fuel your electric car, we can get into the details that determine how much electricity is required.

First and foremost, the quantity of electricity needed to fuel your electric car is dependent on the capacity of its battery. An EV’s battery capacity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and can range from the the low 20s or up to 100 kWh or more.

For example, the upgraded Tesla Model S has a 100 kWh battery, whereas the BMW i3 only has a 33 kWh battery.

How Many Panels Do You Need?

As mentioned above, the specific number of panels needed will depend on the size of your electric car’s battery. For this case however, let’s take the standard Tesla Model S that has a 75 kWh battery.

First, we need to consider the amount of energy that an individual solar panel is producing. The energy production of a solar panel is dependent on its material, size, efficiency, and a few other factors.

A typical, 450 watt solar panel will produce around 49-52.5 kWh of AC per month. To be safe, let’s take the minimum to give us a conservative estimate.