Solar-powered vehicles have grown in popularity over the years, and for good reason—they are environmentally friendly and can save you a ton of money on fuel costs. As car manufacturers continue to increase their electric vehicle offerings, homeowners are looking for sustainable ways to power those vehicles. That’s where an at-home solar-powered charging station comes in! 

Here’s what you should know if you plan to power your EV from solar power at home! 

How Much Power Does an Electric Vehicle Use? 

The amount of power that you will need for your EV depends on several variables including:

  • The type of EV you drive
  • How often and how far you drive
  • The battery system that you incorporate into your solar system 

Since electric vehicles don’t rely on gasoline to drive, they are rated by the EPA on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) that it takes for them to drive 100 miles. So, if you have a 2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range EV, it requires 26 kWh to drive 100 miles. The EPA converts this rating into miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) to help drivers determine the most energy-efficient option for them. 

Keep Reading> How Electric Vehicle Owners Are Saving with Solar 

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need to Power an Electric Vehicle? 

The number of solar panels that you will need to power your EV will vary and depends on how much you drive on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. If you have a long commute to work, you will need a much larger solar panel installation than someone with a short commute or limited mileage requirements. 

To calculate the number of solar panels that you may need, the first step is to figure out how much energy your electric vehicle requires per day. 

Consider this equation: 

Electric vehicle MPGe (kWh/100 miles) x Daily mileage / 100 

So based on this equation, let’s imagine that a family drives about 600 miles a month, or around 20 miles a day. The Tesla Model 3 requires about 26 kWh for every 100 miles. So based on this equation:

26 kWh /100 miles x 20 miles/ day /100 = 5.2 kWh a day 

If your solar system receives around 5 hours of direct sunlight a day, you could produce around 1.5 kWh per day. So, you would need a least four 290-watt solar panels to produce the power that you need to power your EV from home. But remember, the more you drive, the more you’ll need!

What Equipment Do You Need to Charge an EV?

It’s wise to remember that the solar panels that are needed to power your EV are in addition to the ones that are used for your home’s energy requirements. So, you will likely need to increase your solar PV array to accommodate your EV. 

To power your EV, you will need: 

Battery Storage 

Besides your solar panels, you will need a way to store the power that is produced by your panels. This is necessary because most people rely on charging their EV overnight when the sun isn’t shining. The good news is that there are plenty of home battery storage options on the market today that can store as much energy to meet your daily mileage requirements and more. 

Charging Station 

You will also need a charging station, which will usually be in your garage or driveway, where you will plug in your EV to get a charge. We like to recommend level 2 chargers as they offer faster charging times. 

Learn More> Benefits of Adding Solar to Your Home Remodel 

Get Powered with SolarMates

Easily power your electric vehicle at home by installing an EV charging station in your carport or garage! Our team at Solar Bear can help you decide how many panels you need and how to harness the optimal amount of sun to power your EV! Ready to get started? Call our team at SolarMates today for a no-hassle quote 727-316-6000!