What do you think about being paid for helping our environment? Installing solar-powered EV (electric vehicle) chargers into your facility will allow doing both. The renewable form of solar energy help switch the electricity sector towards creating a more sustainable future. More automotive companies are focusing on manufacturing EVs for daily use because EVs are gradually becoming compulsory around the world for creating a positive environmental impact.
What is solar EV charging?
A solar EV charging system uses panels to transform the free solar energy into usable power to be used by an electric vehicle. A solar electric vehicle or EV charging stations are spots that are open for the public domain for charging their EVs.
Compared to diesel/petrol/CNG refueling pumps, these stations exist in larger spaces to harness more amount of solar energy and provide maximum charging. Solar charging stations can be installed at gas stations, parking lots, and other areas where EVs are parked. With solar EV charging station installation, thousands of kW (kilowatts) of power can be saved every year by charging the batteries of electric vehicles with a free source of energy.
Types of solar charging stations
Solar charging stations are of 2 types –
These systems are connected to the main power grid and are primarily used for real-time electricity consumption. They store a little amount of solar energy for backup and supply the remaining one to the grid when the system is not in use.
These solar systems are not linked to the grid and have large size of battery for energy storage. They are primarily used for commercial power applications.
Process of solar EV charging
Solar panels convert PV (photovoltaic) cells into DC (direct current) electricity. This electricity is then transformed into AC (alternating current) for most applications. This AC power can be used instantly or stored in a power bank to enhance the value of solar charging. You can use the stored energy when you find grid charging has to struggle with higher demand and other parameters.
Be sure that your panels are in good condition and produce enough energy. Once your battery is fully charged, disconnect the cable immediately to save more energy and enjoy driving your electric vehicle powered by pollution-free clean energy. Compared to charging an EV using a standard outlet, solar panels take longer time.
Benefits of solar EV charging
Here we have listed the ways charging your electric vehicle with your own solar-generated power can benefit you.
- Cost-effective solutions for energy
The biggest advantage of shifting to solar EV charging is huge savings on energy costs. The cost to use grid power to charge a vehicle is believed to rise constantly in the coming years. Owning an electric car and charging it with household electricity can possibly increase the power consumption between 50 and 100%.
Installing a solar EV charger can help you easily offset your monthly power bills by more than half. Although the initial installation cost may seem a bit expensive, the long-term savings will outweigh that investment.
- Reduced carbon footprint
As we all know that solar energy helps with zero carbon footprints, switching to solar EV charging can significantly decrease the environmental impacts caused due to gasoline use. By charging your EV using your electricity, you might be reducing carbon footprints but by only less percent. About 40-60% of domestic grid power is produced from fossil fuels and other non-renewable source of energy that emits some harmful gases. So, if you wish for a 100% carbon-neutral footprint, a home solar EV charging station is worth considering.
- Tax credit and government incentives
The government provides a federal investment tax credit for commercial solar panel installation. In 2023, a 22% credit will be given, however, a 10% credit will be given for people who are commencing construction in 2023. The different types of incentives for solar energy and electric vehicle ownership assure that these technologies are more likely to grow in the coming time.
To get ahead of the competitors, more installers will start providing EV charging with solar to emerge as the best solar system installation provider. You must check on the state-specific incentives and tax credits based on the state you are living. Either you are getting tax credits or incentives, you can save more on the installation cost by going solar earlier.
- Net metering
Not just for your residential power needs, but you can profit from a net metering method for charging your electric vehicle. This method will help you to pump the excess solar power generated by your charging station or panels during the day into the grid for an equal amount of energy credits off-grid when you require it. Your electric vehicle can access the power from the grid in the night or evening.
If completely generated power is not pulled back, you can sell the extra supplied or produced energy to the electricity supply companies for earning additional profit. The amount you will be paid for net metering by the electric companies can vary from state to state. Thus, check your state regulations.
- Great convenience
When it comes to solar EV charging stations, users enjoy great convenience in multiple ways. You can conveniently install charging systems without requiring any permit, electrical work, utility bill, or construction. Also, there is no need to set up multiple systems for charging multiple vehicles as they can be charged with one solar panel at once.
One area where solar EV charging systems prove highly convenient is that there is no loss of parking area because electric vehicles can be parked underneath the solar unit. Not just during the day, but you can charge your EV during blackouts or power outages as well.
- Improve property value
In case you want to sell your solar-powered property in the future, you will get the increasing rates for it. Many studies have found that solar-equipped residential or commercial property has more market value and price than non-solar ones. Also, they sell more quickly as more customers are now getting well-informed about shifting to solar energy for different applications. Buyers will prefer a home equipped with solar EV charging stations.
Considering the rapidly increasing global warming, no one can ignore the role of solar power in protecting the environment by reducing carbon footprints and other harmful gas emissions. They are an environment-friendly and affordable way of charging electric vehicles along with saving money on electric bills. Before you go with solar EV charging stations or solar panels, there are certain things you must keep into consideration. It includes the panel size, availability of sunlight, types of chargers being used, average miles you drive every day, and how many panels you need to power your home charging station.