Electric cars are being ordered from car companies like Tesla, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and Chevrolet at a faster-than-expected pace. As electric car adoption increases, owners will find it is most convenient to charge their vehicles at home.
This will result in a significant increase in their household electric bills. This increase can be reduced or even eliminated by installing a home Solar PV and backup battery system that will produce all the needed household electricity.
Going Solar Is A No Brainer With An Electric Vehicle
If you are getting an electric car then you should go solar as soon as possible. There are still Federal and state incentives to go solar which include a 26-percent federal tax credit for your total solar and battery installation costs. Work with your solar company to size your system to offset as much of your usage as possible.
When Sizing Your Solar Panel System, Think Bigger Is Better
If your Electric Vehicle is new, you may not completely understand how much electricity you will need to charge your new vehicle. To help ensure you are sizing the system correctly, your Solar Consultant can develop an estimate for you and work with the utility company to provide you with the right system size to best offset your added usage.
How EV Electricity Needs are Calculated
Your Solar Consultant will use an approved utility adder chart or do a manual calculation to properly size your system using past utility usage for your home and an estimate for your new EV. For example, let's assume your new EV will use 300 watt-hours(wh) per mile. For reference, the Tesla Model S averages about 300 wh per mile and a Tesla Model 3 averages over 250 wh per mile. In this example, your new electric car goes about 3.3 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh) which is the unit that all utility companies use to deliver electricity. So, if you drove 15,000 miles annually, you would need 4,545 kWh’s to cover your electric vehicle charging needs. Using this calculation, you know your system will require an additional 4,545 kWh production to cover the new Electric Vehicle.
Your home Solar PV system will operate 365 days a year, minus some days for rain and snow. A Solar PV system will produce electricity for an average of about 8 hours per day, so we can estimate you would need roughly an additional 2.0kW system to cover your new EV. Homes on average need about a 6kW to offset 100% of the average home electrical needs, so adding an EV could require an 8kW solar system to completely offset your electric bill.
Today’s solar panels vary in output from around 320 watts per panel to 425 watts per panel and usually the higher the panel output the higher each panel costs. But it is important to remember the higher watts per panel will deliver you the best system with the maximize size. This is especially important when you do not have the roof space to add a lot of panels, or your home has shading obstacles or does not face south. Estimating you need an 8kW system equates to needing about 20 panels installed. Currently, solar pricing does vary based on the equipment and design of the system, so for budgeting, we would recommend you assume you will pay $3.40/watt which would be around $27,000 for an 8kW system. This is just an estimate and it is important to remember every system is different and pricing can easily vary +/- 15%.
Financial Relief For Your Big Decision
Going solar can be scary especially when presented with the upfront costs. Thankfully, different financing options are available, but we would recommend you stay away from leases and power purchase agreements (PPA). Going the loan route or paying with cash will allow you to fully take advantage of all incentives and lock in low monthly payments with a loan. Leases and PPAs usually have annual price increases and limit you from taking the incentives or even expanding the system in the future.
Savings Over Time
The $27,000 we mentioned early sounds like a big investment, but this is where it becomes a no-brainer.
- First, you will be eligible for a 26% tax credit which reduces the investment to $19,980.
- Secondly, you will save on your utility bill by offsetting your home electricity bill with free solar energy. Solar can offset your home electricity bill which usually averages a little over $100 per month, and when you add an EV, you can expect you will be adding another $20 to $40 in electrical usage per month.
- The third way you save is by offsetting your gasoline charges. Your new EV can be charged for free using your Solar PV system, saving the average driver about $200 per month. Combining your monthly savings you can estimate you will save over $300 each month going forward, meaning your Solar PV system will pay for itself in about 5 years. After that, your system will continue to save you money for decades while you make clean and renewable energy.
Remember, every situation is different, so working with your IPS Solar Consultant will help design and deliver the best system possible.
Getting A Home Car Charger
Most electric vehicles come with a charger, and some have options to purchase higher-end chargers. Either way, you should purchase or install a 240-volt plug with at least a 30AMP circuit with your solar system. The higher the amps of the charger the faster you will be able to charge your car.
Most home chargers require 30-40AMPs but some will require 50-80AMPs. These plugs will give you added flexibility in charging your EV but they do also add to your Solar PV costs and can range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500.
Adding A Home Battery System
Adding a battery to your Solar PV system will add resiliency to your home and allow you to continue to have power even if the grid fails. With this power, you can operate your home and even charge your car in power outages. Batteries are still a significant investment but you are adding significant safety features to your home. Batteries are eligible for the federal tax credit as long as they are charged with your solar system. We recommend customers consider batteries if they lose power often or want to ensure they keep the power on even during a power outage. In cases where you do need to charge your EV with your home battery, we recommend you slowly charge your electric car. This will allow you to conserve your stored energy and give your Solar PV system time to recharge the battery.
Selecting IPS For Your Solar Installation
IPS has been in business for over 25 years and is one of the oldest and most trusted solar installers in our markets. We are consultative in our approach so you have the best information to make the best decisions. We offer only the best equipment, and we stand by our warranty and our top-of-the-line workmanship. Call 1-303-443-0115 or email email@example.com for a free consultation.