As we move towards greener solutions for everyday living electric vehicles (EV) have become more popular. Since Aotearoa introduced an EV subsidy in mid-2021 we have seen an increase in EVs on the road which will continue to grow. With that in mind, using renewable energy like solar to power an EV is a greener option and can be done at home if you’re generating enough power with your solar system.
Is a home EV charging station suitable on solar?
It is entirely possible to power your EV using the solar system at your home but it depends on the capacity of your system in relation to your car. To ensure you have the capacity for charging an EV, you might choose to install a larger solar system depending on your requirements or opt for an expandable solar system that allows for additional panels if you need them.
To figure out the cost-effectiveness of charging your electric car you need to know your EV’s fuel economy in kilowatt hours per 100 km – this is similar to knowing a conventional car’s litres per 100 km.
On the NZTA’s RightCar website you can compare the ratings for all of the EVs that are currently available in Aotearoa, which is a very handy tool. Next, you estimate your own driving needs based on the kilometres you travel on average and consider your solar system capacity and the power consumption of your home to figure out if charging an EV at home makes sense for you.
Modern EV Charging technology and solar
Many EV chargers, including the brands Lightforce use (such as Evnex solar ev charger) solar export diversion monitoring. This means that the charger regularly measure the amount of power that your home is using or generating at any given time. If your home starts exporting power to the grid above a certain threshold, the charger will automatically divert the power to start your charging session. It then dynamically adjusts the charging speed to match the solar energy you would otherwise be exporting. This feature not only helps you consume more of your self-generated solar power instead of selling it back to the grid at a lower price, but it also means that you can charge your EV from 100% renewable energy.
Solar power and EV technology can be a fantastic combination and a great step forward for a sustainable future.