Can Solar Power Charge an Electric Car?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are a very environmentally friendly invention. Their lack of a combustion engine and exhaust means zero toxic emissions and switching to electric can help reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Unfortunately, the same can't often be said for the source of electricity used to charge your EV.

Many energy systems today are still reliant on fossil fuels. So, while your car may be climate-conscious, its energy may not be. If you're looking to further reduce your emissions by switching to a clean and renewable energy source, solar is one possibility.

It is possible to install your own EV charging station that is completely dependent on solar energy.

Using Solar Panels to Power your EV

Most people are aware that you can install solar panels on your roof to power your household, but many may not know that those same panels can also be used to charge an electric car. The number of panels required to fully charge an EV will often differ because of the wide variety of battery sizes used in them, but it is possible. In general, 10 solar panels should be able to generate enough energy to fully charge an average-sized EV battery.

However, if you're considering making the switch to solar power for your EV's energy source, you need to remember that the solar panels themselves can't store energy. Since most people tend to charge their car overnight when the sun isn't out, this can present a problem.

Thankfully, there's a solution.

When considering a solar power energy source to charge your EV, also consider a solar power storage system. This will help you maintain a steady supply of energy that can be used to power your car either day or night. There are several products available to remedy this problem and Tesla even makes one called the Powerwall battery for this exact purpose.

In addition to the panels and storage system, you'll need a home charging kit and a PV inverter. The charging kit is a fairly standard purchase for any EV owner, as it allows them to charge their car in the comfort of their home instead of using public ones. The PV inverter, however, is specific to solar power users. This device will convert your solar energy into a DC current that can be used to charge the car. However, if your home already uses solar power, you should already have one.