Charging Your EV from Solar Power

Charging Your EV from Solar Power
All About Charging

Driving an electric car is much greener than driving a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle. If you want to ensure your EV is covering miles as green as possible, you need to make sure your energy comes from clean, renewable sources. One of the best sources for this is solar power.

Charging from your own solar

If you are lucky enough to have solar panels installed on your property, you can immediately benefit from charging your car directly from the sun. There are some great chargepoints on the market that enable optimised solar charging for your EV.

If like many of us, you have not yet considered solar panels for your property; the purchase of an EV may be a great time to have a think about this. Your EV is a large electrical appliance. If you are able to park your car at home in the day, there may be some serious financial and environmental benefits to producing your own solar power.

Charging from somebody else’s solar – Green tariffs

The majority of us are not fortunate enough to have the space or resources to fit a large solar panel system to our houses. In this case, we go to the next best thing – buying solar (or other renewable) power from our energy supplier.

Why go to the expense of installing your own solar when you can buy clean, renewable power directly from the grid

We recommend that all new EV owners take some time to assess their energy supplier. There is a fantastic selection of completely renewable energy suppliers; often with EV specific tariffs. These tariffs are not only a very green option for charging your EV, they are often the cheapest as well!

A tariff such as Octopus Go, can offer an EV owner power from as little as 5p per kWh overnight. Our EV Cost Savings Guide shows how you can charge on a tariff like this for as little as 1.3p per mile!

Is an EV cleaner even on dirty fuel?

The great joy of an electric car is that it can essentially run on any fuel. If you have solar panels or a wind turbine then it runs on renewables. If you plug it into a diesel generator, then it becomes diesel powered.

One of the great arguments for those opposed to EVs is that an EV is a “coal-powered car” as our electricity normally comes from the grid. Luckily, this argument is easily debunked. Not only is our grid getting cleaner and more renewable every day; an EV is still cleaner than an ICE vehicle when using “dirty” grid power!

Recent studies from the Universities of Exeter and Cambridge have shown that in 95% of the world, an EV is cleaner to run than a conventional vehicle, even when using generic grid power. As grids get cleaner, the average emissions from an EV will drop further and further.

Even so, we think EV owners should do everything they can to help minimise their environmental impact. Being mindful with the source of energy for charging our car is a huge step we can take to help our planet.

Will a self charging solar EV ever exist?

As a total charging solution, we think on-car solar charging is quite unlikely. There simply is not enough surface area on a car to consistently provide enough power to charge your EV.

However, as a measure for topping up your battery, car mounted solar panels may have their place in the future. Concepts such as the Sono Motors Sion prove that on a small scale, on car solar panels can work.

So what should I do about solar charging?

If you already have solar panels on your property, get in touch with one of our EV experts so they can help guide you towards a great charger that works alongside your existing solar panels.

If you do not have solar at the moment and have no plans to install; now is the time to search the best green energy tariff you can find. There are lots of great options out there with many offering EV discounts.


If you want to find out more regarding electric cars please visit our EV Information Hub
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