Is solar + home charging right for you?
Combining an Electric Vehicle with a solar system is the best way to keep both your recharging costs and your EV’s carbon footprint to a minimum. Ideally, when going solar you’ll want to install the components to charge the EV.
While rooftop solar panels aren’t a requirement for adding an EV charger, if a homeowner already has solar or is considering making the investment, adding a car charging station to the system is a practical and straightforward option.
Cost to fill your EV tank at home
So, what does it cost to drive electric? As in, real cash money, day in and day out? Well, if you have residential solar panels on your home, you can charge your car nearly for free.
Let’s break it down: compare the average AZ cost of one kilowatt-hour at approximately at $0.11/kWh to a full tank of gas. According to the US Department of Energy, if your EV needs 34 kWh to travel 100 miles, it will cost approximately $2.60 for a full charge. Or if you have a long range EV that requires a level 2 charger and gets around 400 miles per charge, that cost is roughly $12.00.
What type of charger do you need?
EV chargers are not especially exotic and can be found at your local hardware store, with prices anywhere from $400 to $3,000. Your EV dealer and/or installer will suggest a range of choices for your vehicle’s brand and model. Once the outlet is installed, you can plug the charger right in to power your EV. If you want to move or change your charging equipment, you just disconnect the plug.
What type of outlet do you need?
Typically, people will use a standard 120V AC wall socket to charge their electric cars at home – which can be very time consuming. Charging in this way may take up to 20 hours, so you’d only be able to drive every other day.
To charge faster, you’ll want two parts: a 240V outlet and a charger. You will need to hire an electrician to connect an outlet to the main service panel. The most common outlets for Level 2 charging (what most EVs use) are NEMA 14-50 (240V, 50A) or NEMA 14-30 (240V, 30A). These outlets can cut down your charging time to under 8 hours. If you’re going solar or already have a rooftop solar system, the electrician can connect the outlet directly to the system.