Using Residential Solar Panels to Power Electric Cars
People are buying more electric cars than ever. According to the newsletter ARS Technica, in 2018 – the most-recent full year for which records are available – some 200,000 electric cars were sold in the United States. Tesla sold the most, accounting for about 10-percent of the total.
In all, electric vehicles account for roughly eight-percent of the total number of automobiles sold in America. As impressive as this might be, the number still is dwarfed by the total sales of gas and diesel cars each year.
But as more car buyers go electric, as a solar panel installation company we are receiving a growing number of calls from people asking whether their solar panel system will be able to charge their electric car without draining power from the electricity needed to run appliances, the air conditioning, computers and other energy-consuming products that are a part of everyday living.
The simple answer in nearly every instance is “Yes.”
Not a Drain or Major Expense
To fully charge an electric vehicle to drive 100 miles using power from an electric utility will cost approximately $2.75. This is what it costs to run a central air conditioning system for roughly six hours.
The efficiency of all-electric cars and trucks is measured in Kilowatt hours per 100 miles. If your energy source is a utility company, the cost is probably around 11-cents per Kilowatt hour. If the vehicle consumers 34 Kilowatt hours to travel 100 miles, the cost per mile is around four cents.
If your home has a solar energy system like the ones that Cedar Creek Energy installs and maintains for customers, the cost per mile is considerably less in most cases. If it is a new solar energy system, the company designing and installing it can take this use into account as it determines how many panels are needed and whether a storage battery is a good idea.
For an existing system, a simple analysis can determine if an additional panel may be required.
But for most homes using a normal amount of power, there is no reason why the solar energy system cannot also be used to keep the auto charged.
There are two levels for charging stations installed in the home.
A basic Level 2 charger has standard safety features along with status lights. But the more sophisticated “smart” chargers include features such as data collection, a user interface system, additional displays, timers for charging and keypads.
Most people with an all-electric automobile charge it overnight when there is less demand in the home for power. Plug in the car before you get into bed and by morning it will be fully charged to run the kids to school, take you to work, or make it through your errand list.
Most home charging stations are located in the garage. As an approved installer of Tesla home charging stations, frequently we are asked to install a charger for the owner of a new model. But Tesla charging stations can be used for many other makes and models, as well. Adapters are available online and at many retail outlets.
As a result, it’s easy to have plenty of juice in the car for the next day.
About the author:
Rob Appelhof is President and CEO at Cedar Creek Energy. Cedar Creek Energy is a solar system company in Minnesota for turnkey Commercial and Residential solar solutions, EPC services, LED-lighting and retrofitting operation and maintenance (O & M) of existing systems, and other renewable energy solutions.
Enter your comments in the box below:
(Please note that all blog entries and comments are subject to review prior to posting.)
While we will do our best to monitor all comments and blog posts for accuracy and relevancy, Home Energy is not responsible for content posted by our readers or third parties. Home Energy reserves the right to edit or remove comments or blog posts that do not meet our community guidelines.
People are buying more electric cars than ever. According to the newsletter ARS Technica, in 2018 – the most-recent full year for which records are available – some 200,000 electric cars were sold in the United States. Tesla sold the most, accounting for about 10-percent of the total. [continue reading]
EERE Success Story ó Reducing the Energy Burden for Elderly and Homes that Previously Could Not Receive Weatherization Services
Minnesota's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has made strides in reducing the energy burden and providing a healthier home environment for low-income households in the state. Between July 2017 and June 2018, the agency provided weatherization services for more than 2,000 homes across the state. The state's WAP is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce which receives annual funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) Weatherization ... [continue reading]
The HVAC industry is not known for its quick rate of change, but when change comes, it shifts the industry dramatically. The introduction of scroll technology, SEER requirements that transformed system efficiency, smart Wi-Fi thermostats that changed how we interact with our systems, and the looming technician shortage that is helping us talk up our profession in new ways have all been industry-changers. [continue reading]
Improving your landscape can be an expensive investment. For those looking to spend less money on their yards while maintaining a great cosmetic look, consider a low maintenance design. These designs minimize upkeep and establish simplicity in your landscape that will, in turn, increase your property value.† [continue reading]
The Building Performance Association and Elevate Energy are excited to announce the release of Making the Value Visible: A Blueprint for Transforming the High-Performing Homes Market by Showcasing Clean and Efficient Energy Improvements.†This paper presents strategies for valuing clean and efficient energy upgrades in the real estate market. [continue reading]
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that households can save up to 25% (or up to $2,000) on their annual utility bills by taking energy efficiency measures. For that reason, more and more homeowners are investing in improving their home performance – from minor repairs to major installations and upgrades. [continue reading]
Both chambers of Congress are now in recess, but we do have a few updates to share! Workforce Bill Our workforce bill has officially been introduced in the Senate! It is largely similar to its House counterpart - Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Act (HR1315) – which was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and now has a number of Republican co-sponsors. The Senate version, dubbed “The Clean Energy Jobs Act ... [continue reading]
On August 20, 2019, the Building Performance Association (BPA) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) filed joint comments before the West Virginia Public Service Commission highlighting the value of energy efficiency and demand response (EE/DR) programs and common-sense cost-effectiveness testing approaches in support of proposed Appalachian Power Company EE/DR programs. BPA and ACEEE worked closely with Energy Efficient West Virginia to emphasize what we witness in states across the country: that properly ... [continue reading]
Bridging the Solar/Energy Efficiency Gap: Letís Connect the Best Experts With Homeowners Who Need Help Now!
It has never been easier and more affordable for America’s homeowners to go solar and put in place energy efficiency measures to cut home bills. †So, why haven’t more of us taken the plunge?† In 2019, the number of residential homes in the U.S. that currently take advantage of renewables is dismally low. Even with the population’s clear interest in a clean energy future – and increased accessibility of ... [continue reading]
The following is a guest post by Green Coast, a renewable energy and green living blog focused on helping you live a more sustainable life [continue reading]