Electric vehicles or EVs are truly blessings for Mother Nature as they play a significant role in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. They are becoming a popular choice for reducing environmental damage and cost savings on fossil fuels. But, they are not 100% eco-friendly because they are charged using electricity produced from non-renewable sources. The most convenient solution is using solar power for EV charging.
Solar energy can be used to charge or recharge the battery of an electric vehicle without damaging the environment. Combining EVs with solar energy offers multiple benefits. This leads to the rise of solar EV charging stations to meet clean energy goals.
Benefits of Solar-Powered Charging Stations for Your EV
The current benefits of an electrical vehicle increase drastically when charged using renewable solar power. Harnessing the sunlight to power your EV can provide you with an array of delightful benefits including the following –
1. Affordable way of charging EVs
Solar-powered charging stations or rooftop solar panels are cost-effective ways to charge EVs. Unlike conventional charging stations, powering EVs with solar energy doesn’t need any additional energy from the grid, thereby saving on energy costs.
The solar electricity produced from the sun is much cheaper than purchasing electricity from the grid or using fossil fuels. Although the initial installation cost can be a large amount, it can generate huge revenue for many years to come.
Considering electric costs range from 4-7 Indian Rupees per kilowatt-hour, charging an EV completely with solar power can reduce costs by a great difference. Also, homeowners can benefit from available subsidies. AMC (annual maintenance contract) also reduces the cost of repairing and replacement of solar system by providing periodic maintenance and cleaning.
2. Environmental benefits
Around 80-90% of electric vehicle users consider charging their EVs at their homes rather than public charging stations. Thus, installing solar power charging stations or charging EVs using residential rooftop solar panels can reduce carbon emissions and impact on environmental health.
Solar-powered chargers use sustainable solar energy to recharge electric vehicles. Thus, they don’t depend on fossil fuels for electricity and reduce air pollution and other wastes. According to NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), a solar charger can reduce up to 70% carbon emissions than conventional fossil fuel-based chargers.
Not just during their consumption but there is no environmental damage during their manufacturing process. Since no electricity is derived from fossil fuels, there is less greenhouse gas emissions. It decreases dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like natural gas and coal.
3. Decrease reliance on the grid
Installing residential rooftop or onsite solar systems with advanced and efficient battery storage offers immense flexibility in electricity consumption. With a solar plus battery system, extra solar energy produced during peak hours of sunshine can be stored and used later during the night or power failure, or when solar production is less.
This significantly reduces the dependence on the main grid to draw electricity, thereby reducing carbon footprint and cost savings. These systems are extremely beneficial for businesses to optimize their power utilization and decrease dependence on conventional energy sources. Vehicles in residential and commercial areas can be charged even during a power outage or blackout.
Different Ways to Charge Your EV with Solar Power
Your electric vehicle could be solar-powered in the following 5 ways –
1. Public solar-powered charging stations
Whenever you need to charge your EV on the road, make use of public EV charging stations nearby. Some charging stations have onsite solar panel installation. Several apps have been launched to ease the process of searching for the nearest charging stations.
2. Rooftop solar systems
The solar systems installed on your residential or commercial building’s rooftop can also be used to power your electric vehicle. No matter whether or not they are connected with battery storage systems, rooftop solar systems can be used to charge EVs when it is producing more electricity than you need. This helps in increasing solar savings.
Consult the best rooftop solar system installers in Delhi NCR to identify what type and size of solar panel you will need to efficiently power your home and EV. Home solar EV charging is less expensive than public EV charging and grid power. The rooftop solar panels you used for charging your first electric car can be used for charging a second or third EV for up to 30-40 years.
3. Vehicle-integrated photovoltaics
Another option is charging your electric car using vehicle-integrated photovoltaics. Solar modules can be electrically and mechanically combined into a vehicle design.
4. Vehicle-attached or added photovoltaics
You can also get solar modules attached to your existing EV structure and boost the electrical system of your vehicle.
5. Community solar
People in group housing societies or residential flats using community or shared solar arrays can use their share of solar power to charge their electric vehicles. They simply have to plug into the electricity supply of their homes.
How to Charge EVs Using Solar Energy?
Follow the step-by-step process to power your electric vehicle using solar energy.
- Install a premium quality solar panel on your rooftop or on the ground based on the availability of space.
- Pair a solar PV system with an inverter to convert DC power into AC electricity which can be used to charge electric vehicles.
- Install an EV charger sharing complete compatibility with your vehicle. Ensure the charger can be connected to the AC electricity.
- Connect the charger with the inverter to facilitate the flow of AC electricity from the solar system and power the battery of your EV.
- Keep monitoring your EV charger and solar PV system to ensure their efficient working and optimum performance.
Cost of Charging an EV Using Solar Power
The cost of powering an EV with solar power depends on the ways you’re using to get the juice that keeps your EV driving on the road i.e. your solar panel, public charging station, or the grid. The cost can also vary based on the location and time.
Future of Solar-Powered Charging Stations
The future of solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations is full of potential. Multiple benefits are making more EV owners switch to solar power rather than using polluting and costly traditional electricity. Governmental organizations are also taking several initiatives to encourage the expansion and adoption of solar EV charging. In addition, many private enterprises are also developing their resources to widen the EV charging infrastructure.
Pairing solar power and electric vehicles can provide a major shift in how things have been performed for a long time, leading to a healthier and greener future for everyone. As you read above there are multiple ways to charge an EV, it is not necessary and highly practical to bring home an additional solar battery.