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Introduction:

Whether it’s because of petrol prices or a greener future, the idea of investing in an electric vehicle (EV) has probably crossed your mind, especially if you already have a solar PV system installed. To understand what sort of EV charging solution you may need within a solar household, we’ve spoken to local specialists Bright Spark Power who have given us a rundown.  

‍You will mostly charge your EV at home:

First up, let’s note that charging your EV is going to be just like charging your mobile phone. Sure, the battery is much bigger, but unless you don't have a car space, it just makes sense to charge your car at home. The cost of charging will be the cost per kWh of your electricity plan. Bright Spark Power has provided us with a complete guide to charging an electric car at home.

‍Solar-powered EV charging works like any other appliance

Your EV can be plugged into a regular power outlet just like any other appliance in your home. When you use a regular powerpoint, your system will charge much slower than a dedicated EV charge point, but if you have solar, the system will use your available energy first before switching to the grid's power. That means so long as your car is plugged in while your system harvests solar – you will use that free electricity to charge your car.

5 advantages of solar EV charging:

Although your company may be a pioneer in solar installation, understanding how EV charging The extensive list of advantages that come with solar-powered EV charging makes this environmentally friendly cooperation well worth consideration. Let's examine how this technology helps installers and clients alike. 

1) Cost:

The best selling point of a prospective purchase is that it will save you money. Solar installers can provide data-driven proof that installing solar is ultimately less expensive than buying electricity from the grid almost everywhere in Australia. Solar EV charging becomes such an apparent answer when you consider that owning an electric car might raise household energy consumption by 50% to 100%. Installers may provide consumers with a value-added solution service bundle that is cost-effective.

2) Services for packaging:

Customers are constantly looking for methods to bundle their purchases to simplify and save money, which is a fantastic factor for installers to take into account. When people understand how much money they can save by combining solar with best EV charging, they'll probably want to make the installation process simpler. This is advantageous for solar installers as well because teams can be deployed just once to finish the entire procedure rather than making numerous visits back to homes and businesses. The value to the customer can be increased through the overlap of infrastructure work, and the installer's profit margin can also be increased. 

3) Rewards:

Both solar energy and EV ownership are anticipated to continue expanding well into the future due to the variety of incentives available. Customers may be more likely to demand both services as a result of upcoming Build Back Better incentives pushing this even further. Installers should think about starting to offer solar-powered EV charging in order to stay ahead of the curve.

4) Advantages During the High Season:

The summer months place a heavy burden on the electrical grid. Customers frequently end up paying more for electricity as a result of this. Demand response is helpful, but what better way to avoid the rising costs than to profit from the very thing driving up the price of electricity? Additionally, the fact that demand response is automated by the state-of-the-art EV Connect software helps streamline the procedure and boost earnings. Installers can persuade consumers to go solar, particularly in warmer climates, by emphasizing the savings they realize during the peak season by using solar energy storage instead of paying for grid services during pricey months. 

5) Sustainability:

We must recognize that using the energy grid still frequently necessitates relying on natural gas and coal power, even while the EV industry continues to advance sustainability by eliminating dependency on oil. These nonrenewable energy requirements are eliminated by solar, which also supports the sustainability initiatives at the core of the EV market. The future of energy and vehicle travel can be positively impacted by both installers and drivers.

Bonus Tip: Grid Independence

While several of these advantages stress how much money grid independence saves, remote charging capabilities is one of those savings. Standalone solar EV chargers can enable electric cars to charge in places where the grid has not yet made it, just like contemporary street lighting and speed signs can run independently of the grid. even if there is electricity in a certain area.

How much power will my solar PV system produce to charge my car?

Initially, you will need to understand:

  •  how much electricity your solar PV system is producing
  •  how much electricity you are using at home, and 
  • the amount of electricity you will need to charge your car. The amount of power your car will use will depend on the charge you set on your car. 

For example, if you have a 5kWh solar PV system, you will produce approximately 20kWh per day – most of that will be generated during peak solar generation times. Depending on your solar panel, you may be able to produce more power than you need at a time if you charge at 7kWh.

How long will it take to charge my EV with solar?

Once you know at what rate your solar PV can charge your car (the kW supply of the electricity), you just need to know the kWh size of the battery you are charging and approximately how full it is. These are the basics. Check out this infographic on how long it takes to charge an EV for more info.

How can I ensure I only use solar to charge my car?

In the first instance, you could put your car on a timer to charge only at the peak of production, say 10am-3pm. Another option is to install a solar harvesting EV charger with a ‘electric harvesting' system. These normally use electronic clips to identify excess solar. Rather than exporting it to the grid, the smart charger diverts electricity to your car. When you need a quick charge, smart chargers can generally be set to charge from the mains.

‍‍Solar chargers with smart features are available on the market in a wide range of models. The cost of these chargers is generally twice that of a regular type 2 EV charger, starting at about $1,700 compared to $800 for a basic charger. In addition to the charger cost, there will be an installation fee.

‍Are there any EV charging solutions that can be installed?

Electric vehicle charging points require a dedicated circuit in your electricity meter box. As such, only a qualified electrician licensed in your state can install an EV home charging point. It is also recommended you enquire as to how many installations of your selected charger, they have completed and look for a guarantee on the workmanship.

Conclusion

The situation at your home and how you use your car will determine the optimum EV charging solution when you have home solar. Installing a solar car charging system may be worthwhile if you have a larger solar system that currently generates more electricity than you need. This is especially true now that solar feed-in tariffs are declining, and it is also preferable to use as much of the electricity you generate as you can. With the knowledge that it will be utilizing your solar power just like any other device in your home, you might feel comfortable using a standard power outlet or non-solar EV charger.

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