As we know it, the world is evolving at a rapid pace. Over the past few decades, we have been entirely relying on fossil fuels, which have negatively impacted our system. Not just that, but they are also limited. As a result, fluctuating energy prices have become commonplace.
The world is presently focused on solar energy as a clean energy source that helps reduce carbon footprints and is environmentally friendly. Another reason for the shift is the decrease in the cost of solar panels.
Electric vehicles are a crucial component of this transition. Their demand is increasing since they do not require gasoline or diesel engines.
Estimating how many solar panels are needed to charge an electric car can be tricky. But, a rough estimate of how much solar power is required to charge an electric vehicle is provided here.
Can Solar Panels Charge Your Electric Car?
The answer to it is – yes, it can.
Electric cars do not require a combustion engine, unlike conventional vehicles. Installing an EV charging port at your home is one of the conventional ways to charge your electric car, whether you want to buy one or already own one.
You won’t have to rely on any public charging stations then. There are not as many EV charging stations as there are gas stations.
This charging port gets power through the grids, adding to your bill, and will continue to rise over time. However, if you have a solar panel system at your place, you may save extra money by connecting your charging port to it.
Check out, Are Electric Car Charging Stations Free?
Why Should You Charge EVs with Solar Panels?
Not only will you save money on car charging, but your entire home system will be powered by a solar panel, which will save you money in the long term.
Because the amount of solar panels required to charge your electric vehicle’s battery varies from battery to battery, you must first calculate the size of your EV battery and the panel’s efficiency.
The capacity of your battery will be measured in kWh (Kilowatt hours). Contacting your energy supplier will give you a better idea of how many panels you need to install.
Remember, the higher the quantity of kWh, the more energy it will need to fully charge your electric vehicle.
There are other options, too, so why a solar panel? What difference will that make?
Let’s discuss the other options first. One of them is to charge through your grid. The cost of your electric car fuel would be the amount you pay for your electric bill for every single kWh. That cost differs from area to area.
If you are paying 0.19$ (estimate) for every single kWh, then if you are utilizing 12-15 miles every single day, it would be around 2.85$ per day. As the electricity rate is always on the rise, it will add up to your electric bill, increasing the bill every year.
Another option is to go with the public charging stations, but they are not in a great number.
Secondly, if there are some, then they are costly, and there’s no way you can save money. But that is not the case with solar panels. It is the safest and the most cost-effective method.
By using solar panels, you are taking part in making the globe clean and green because it’s not only your electric car that is being charged through the solar panel, but the entire system of your home will run through solar energy.
It eliminates emissions of greenhouse gases, putting an end to the usage of fossil fuels like oil, gas, petrol.
Read Are Electric Cars Reliable In Cold Weather?
How Many Solar Panels Do You Need to Charge Your Electric Car?
At this point, I am sure you have no doubts about whether you can charge your EV battery with solar panels. Now, let’s talk about how you can do it using a solar panel.
As we have already discussed above, to find the number of panels needed to charge your electric car, the first thing that you need to be sure of is the kWh of your EV battery.
To do so, you need to keep track of your car’s mileage on an annual basis. If you do not have a record of the mileage, you can estimate an average for that.
Here, we’ll consider the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus RWD as an example to have more clarity. The battery capacity for this Tesla Model is 35-kWh for 146 miles, as an estimate. You can visit your car manufacturer’s website to get the details.
According to the above estimate, you need to produce around 35 kWh. If you do not have a solar panel system, you must calculate the number of panels to add to your system. But if you already have it, you need to check how much energy your panels can produce.
A typical 250 Watts panel can produce around 30-40 kWh power over a month. You need approximately 35-36 panels to power your Tesla Model if a single average panel generates about 1 kWh.
So if you drive approximately 15 miles a day, it will be 3.6 kWh of electricity. You can estimate the number of panels accordingly.
Whether you opt for an average or a top-notch quality panel depends entirely on you. But it’s a good practice if your estimate is according to low quality or average panel.
Once you are done with the calculation part, you need to look for the essentials required to charge your electric car through the panel.
A charging setup will include an array of panels on your roof and inverters to convert your DC (output of the panels) to AC and send it to the main distribution panel.
The next thing that you need is a charger for your electric car. If the model of your car is Tesla, you have two options, including 120V (Level 1 charger) or 240V (Level 2 charger).
In most cases, drivers look for a level 2 charge because it’s faster so, you can opt for the charger according to your need.
After completing these procedures, you’re ready to charge your electric car because you now have everything you need.
Read Best 7-Seater Electric Cars
How to Get Your Hands on the Most Effective Solar Panels?
Once you have decided on the number of panels your electric car needs, the next thing that you should do is search the market to look for different brands.
For some people, the priority could be efficiency, cost, or the brand itself. We’ll make it easy for you by discussing these factors one by one. Let’s look into it!
1. Warranty Offered By the Panel
The warranty is the most major factor for most of us. Because we’ll have a backup in case something goes wrong with our product.
If you look for a guarantee on every product, why not on something your entire house and automobile system depends on?
The solar panel comes with two different types of warranty; the first is the quality, which safeguards your panel against any manufacturing defaults.
This type of warranty lasts for a short period, and the standard for this is about ten years. In some cases, they offer 20 years.
Another one indicates the effectiveness of your panel, which ensures that your panel will operate at their rated efficiency or above during the warranty period.
The industry standards for this one is usually 25 years which in some cases may rise to 30 years.
2. Efficiency Offered By the Panel
The efficiency of a panel is the next key factor to consider. However, before you can do that, you must first learn how to assess a panel’s efficiency.
It is a panel’s capacity to convert a given amount of sunlight into electricity. The more sunlight a panel can catch, the more efficient it is.
Make sure you do not miss this important key element while purchasing a solar panel. Manufacturers usually consider 14-22% to be an acceptable range.
3. Brand Image
What is the significance of a brand in our lives? If the company is well-known, you can buy anything without hesitation. That is how a brand should ideally function.
If a company gives you a good warranty but is not available to help you with your problems, what will you do with that warranty? It would be a waste, wouldn’t it?
To avoid this, search for verified suppliers that have ratings on their websites so that you can go through the reviews before making a purchase.
Read Can You Jumpstart an Electric Car?
Most Cost-Effective Solar Panel Brands in the Market
The factors that have been discussed above are very important, and every company gives a different benefit that may differ from another company. Here, we’ll help you find the most cost-effective solar panel brands in the market!
We have listed some cost-effective solar panels companies, including LONGi, Q Cells, Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, and Silfab Solar. These firms offer quality solar panels because they blend longevity and dependability with reasonable rates.
Before discussing them, you have to remember that something affordable today might not be tomorrow because technology changes rapidly.
LONGi is one of the most well-known solar panel manufacturers. They use mono-crystalline technology and offer competitive prices while maintaining excellent quality solar panels.
LR6-60-HPB-350M Model is available for 0.60$ per watt, has a power rating of up to 350W, and is extremely efficient without compromising its warranty of 25 years.
Not just that, you’ll find another model, LR4-60-HPH-360M, for 0.72$ per watt, which offers a power rating of up to 360W with an efficiency of 19.8% along. It comes with 25 years of warranty, making your life easier.
2. Q CELLs
Q Cells, a Hanwa, Germany-based firm, is another well-known name in the solar sector.
The company is renowned for its high-quality goods as well as its efficiency. If a brand name is important to you, Q Cells is where you need to buy your solar panels from.
With a power rating of up to 340W, Q.PEAK DUO offers the most reasonable pricing at 0.7$ per watt. With an efficiency of around 19%, it fits within the range that most excellent manufacturers retain, along with a 25-year warranty, which is great for you.
Q CELLS and LONGi are two brands with a variety of items that provide the most affordable prices along with other advantages.
3. Canadian Solar
Canadian Solar, a firm formed in Canada, is on the mission to generate clean and safe energy for your benefit.
The company has created a brand image by working on some large solar projects, which is why it can be a go-to option for you.
You may get their model CS1H-315MS for 0.71$ per watt with a power rating of up to 315W, high efficiency of roughly 18.6%, and a 25-year guarantee.
4. Trina Solar
A Chinese firm named Trina Solar is another great brand to buy your solar panels from. The company has delivered almost 77GW of solar modules globally.
They can provide you with the most cost-effective solution for your solar panel installation.
After all, the company has a good brand image in the market. Their model TSM-PA05 is available for you at the rate of 0.78$ per watt with a power supply of up to 270W.
5. Silfab Solar
Last but not least, Silfab Solar is another name in the list with a high degree of industry qualifications. They manufacture their solar panels in the United States, ensuring top-notch quality.
With a power wattage of up to 250W, their product model SIL-330 NL offers economical pricing of 0.76$ per watt. They come with a 12-year warranty and a 17.3% efficiency rating.
The list does not end here; we have tried to add the most affordable ones for you, but you can also look for other manufacturers, as there are various options out there.
Related electric car articles:
- Electric Car with Solar Panels
- Do Electric Cars Need Oil Changes?
- Where Can I Charge My Electric Car for Free?
- Can You Recycle Electric Car Batteries?
- How Do Electric Car Batteries Work?
- How to Wash an Electric Car
- How Are Electric Car Charging Stations Powered
- How to Select Battery for Electric Car?
Whether you are upgrading your vehicle to an electric car or a current user, installing a solar panel with correct planning and calculation will ultimately benefit you in the long term.
It’s better to consider all the factors discussed above because this will provide you with the most cost-effective solar panels with minimal or no compromise on other features. If the solar panels offer great power and efficiency, you won’t need many to meet your household and EV energy needs.
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.