Sept. 13, 2021
Solar Electric Vehicle Charging
By Hayley Walker
If you own an electric vehicle (EV) or plan on purchasing one, it is a good idea to factor in the anticipated electricity requirement for an EV charger when you are in the design stages for your solar system. Accounting for an EV’s energy usage ensures your solar system is designed optimally to meet all of your energy needs.
Creative Energies provides practical and convenient Electric Vehicle Charging (EV Charging) solutions for your home or business that tie in seamlessly with your solar system. This means you can charge your electric vehicle off of energy from the sun.
Solar Electric Vehicle charging technology has come a long way and now many options exist that charge EVs more efficiently. As automakers continue to expand and diversify the range of electric vehicles available on the market, whether it’s the Tesla Model S, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volvo XC 40 Recharge, Hyundai Kona Electric, or the much anticipated Ford F-150 Lightning, the future of cars certainly appears to be electric. Planning for this electric wave with solar will set you, your home, and your business up for success.
For businesses, investing in solar and electric vehicle charging is a smart, proactive move as we continue to see automakers announcing goals to transition towards fully electric vehicle fleets. Currently, EV charging is a limited convenience, however, it is expected to become the norm. It's time to get ahead of the curve. By choosing to go solar and getting EV charging stations, businesses are setting themselves up to benefit customers, employees, and the environment while offsetting the associated energy costs for the business.
The majority of EV charging today occurs at home presenting the perfect opportunity to go solar. Choosing to go solar for your home allows you to reevaluate and take control of your future energy consumption goals. If an electric vehicle is part of your plan for the future, then investing in solar and EV charging could be the perfect next step towards a fully independent, electric future energized by the sun.
The Basics of Solar EV Charging
If most electric vehicle charging occurs at home, having an effective way to charge your EV from your house is not only convenient but also necessary. A solar energy system paired with an EV charger provides a renewable energy source that is readily available for you to curb your emissions at home and out on the road while offsetting your electricity usage. Together, solar and EV charging grant energy independence from the grid and from the fuel pump while benefiting the environment by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
All EV chargers can be powered by solar, meaning you can run your car off of free energy captured from the sun. There are three different types of EV chargers, each of which provides a different level of charging power and efficiency. For home and personal use, EV chargers at Level 1 and Level 2 are the most common, while public and commercial chargers are usually Level 2 and sometimes Level 3 chargers.
Level 1 Electric Vehicle Chargers
Level 1 EV chargers are the lowest voltage and slowest charging option available. They plug into a regular 110-120 volt wall outlet similar to what you already use to power most things in your home. Roughly speaking, it takes about 40 hours for a Level 1 charger to fully charge an electric vehicle’s battery. While not the most efficient option available, Level 1 chargers are the cheapest and are usually the charger that comes included with your electric vehicle.
Level 2 Electric Vehicle Chargers
Level 2 EV chargers are the most common charging option for residential and commercial use and provide a far more efficient charge than Level 1 chargers. They have to be purchased separately from your electric vehicle and require a 220-240 volt wall outlet, or an outlet similar to the one used for an electric clothes dryer. Level 2 chargers require installation by an electrician, which is a service Creative Energies can provide in conjunction with a solar installation or after. It takes roughly 9 hours to fully charge an EV battery with some variance depending on the charger and the EV. The cost and efficiency of Level 2 chargers make them the ideal choice for home and business EV charging.
Level 3 Electric Vehicle Chargers
Level 3 chargers, or Fast Chargers, provide the quickest way to charge an EV, however they require a 400+ volt outlet and are much more expensive. Level 3 chargers are capable of charging an EV battery within 1.5 hours.
Tesla Electric Vehicle Chargers
Tesla vehicles have their own chargers that are only compatible with Tesla electric vehicles. Some, but not all, Level 2 and Level 3 EV chargers are compatible with Tesla vehicles; however, an adapter is required in order for it to work. There are currently no non-Tesla EV chargers that are compatible with Tesla EVs without the use of an adapter.