How Many Solar Panels Does it Take to Charge an Electric Car?


Solar Power and Electric Vehicles (EV): 4 Questions, Answered

Many doors to sustainability have opened today. One of those is the partnering of solar power and electric vehicles.

Although not many households today can get those two simultaneously, the future of them being used together is certainly brighter.

Here are four questions about solar power and electric vehicles (EV).

1. Can Solar Panels Really Power an Electric Vehicle (EV)?

Solar cars, or vehicles that have built-in solar cells, have been around for quite some time. Regardless, there have been issues with their efficiency and aerodynamic factors.

However, nothing represents a “perfect match” better than solar power and electric vehicles.

So, the answer to this question is definitely yes.

Since EVs uses electricity stored in their lithium-ion batteries, solar power can definitely sustain EVs. Lithium-ion batteries are known for being highly efficient energy storage devices for solar power.

So, with your PV system, you can definitely recharge your electric vehicle.

2. How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?

If you would base it on kiloWatts (kW), the most efficient would be a 30kW array, which consists of 140 panels. These 140 panels can already supply energy that will recharge your EV’s battery in just one hour.

Now, buying a 30kW array system be too expensive for the average driver, right?

If you don’t have the budget, a 3kW system would already be enough. 3kW systems contain an average of 12 panels. This will already work since a solar array of 10 panels can already power your EV’s battery.

3. How Much Energy Does an Electric Vehicle Need?

This will depend on the energy usage of your EV. There are many EV brands like Tesla, Nissan, and Chevy, so the energy requirements will also vary.

Energy consumption will also vary on the EV’s range, its battery capacity, and even the user’s driving habits.

On average, most of EVs having 10 kWh of energy will already cover 50-62 miles or 80-100 kilometres.

To compute your annual consumption, here is an example calculation.

  1. Take your annual mileage, for instance, 9,350km/year.

  2. In the US, 1 kWh costs $0.12. You need 10 kWh to cover 62mi. So, with every 62mi, you will consume $1.20 worth of kWh.

  3. Divide your annual mileage by 62mi. (9,350km / 62mi = 151mi)

  4. Multiply it with the price of 10 kWh. ($1.20 x 151mi = $181)

  5. With an annual mileage of 9,350mi/year, you will only pay $180 worth of kWh.

Is It Worth It To Install Solar Panels For An Electric Car?

Definitely. If you’re buying a solar power system because you want an EV in the future, then you’re making a good move.

Looking at it from an environmental perspective, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint significantly. Since both devices are using clean energy, you never have to worry about hurting the environment.

Meanwhile, from a financial perspective, obviously, you’ll reap more benefits. Besides saving on gas, you will also receive incentives and rebates from the government.

In addition, you can also sell your surplus energy back to the grid.

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