In recent years, Australia has experienced continuous growth in electric car sales, resulting in an increase of 65% in EV market share. Currently, approximately 3.39% of new cars are electric vehicles. This number is likely to increase as the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recently decided to put a stop to fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2035.
While it may appear like an attractive alternative, EVs still rely on grid electricity, which puts a strain on the environment and your wallet. But if you have solar panels on your property, it can make EV buying easier.
We have prepared this comprehensive guide to solar energy for electric cars to help you understand more about them.
Is it possible to fully charge an electric car with solar energy?
Charging EVs with solar panels is cheaper and more effective. However, to fully charge your electric car, you need to consider various factors such as:
- Solar System Size: Rooftop Residential Solar Panels varies between the 5kW-15kW range.
- Type of Charger: EV chargers come in speeds between 2 kWh-22kWh.
- Battery Level: Every electric car differs in battery level, helping to determine how much you need to charge your EV.
- Travelling fluency: Do you drive daily or weekly, and how much distance do you travel? The answer to these questions will help you to determine the power requirement.
So if you want to charge your EV with solar in less time, you need to install heavier solar panels and a faster solar EV charger.
How is solar charging more effective than grid electricity?
- Environment Friendly
Solar energy is a cleaner solution than traditional electricity sources, making it an environment-friendly way of charging your electric vehicles.
- 50% Cheaper
Solar panels generated power costs are cheaper than grid electricity, letting you enjoy your ride at a 50% lower price.
- More Savings
When you opt for solar panels, you become eligible for rebates and tariffs from the Federal Government. It makes solar installation cost-effective.
How many solar panels are needed to charge an electric car?
When we talk about petrol-driven cars, we often compare them in terms of fuel efficiency, measured in L(litres)/100km. It indicates the average amount of fuel a car uses to cover 100km.
Similarly, electric cars have the measurement of kWh (Kilowatt hours) per km. Every electric vehicle has a different battery package, resulting in variations in efficiency level.
Generally, 1kW of solar panels (usually 3 panels) installed in Australia produce 4 kWh of electricity/day throughout the year. It can increase in summer and decrease in winter. Also, it varies from state to state, as Queensland has an average of around 5kWh, while Melbourne has a 3.7kWh average.
Most electric cars have an average of 6 km/1 kWh. So if an average Australian driver covers 50km/day, the electric car battery will require around 8kWh of electricity. For getting
the required amount, you need to add an extra 2 kW of solar panels to your rooftop.
However, the number of solar panels also depends on the size of the panels.
Solar Panel Size (in kilowatts)
|Electricity produced per day (in kilowatt-hours)
|Approx. Number of Solar Panels
How long would it take to charge an electric car with solar panels?
The time required to charge an electric car relies on your solar panels and the type of EV charger. Usually, with the standard rooftop solar panels of 6.5kW, you can charge an average electric car up to 80% on a sunny day in around 7 hours. But with heavier 10kW solar panels set up and a 15kW level 2 three-phase EV charger, you can recharge from 20% to 80% in 5 hours.
Charging time using different EV chargers:
They have the slowest charging rate and can charge an average electric car in 24 to 36 hours. The actual time can vary with battery size and charging rate. So you can add around 10 to 14 km in an EV with a 10A at a rate of 1.7kW to 2.2kW and approximately 18 km (at a 3kW rate) in one hour using the 15A plug-in.
These are wall mounted and offer a 7kW charging rate in a single-phase system, enabling a range of 40km for an EV in an hour. So you can fully recharge your Electric Car with a 7kW single-phase system in 8-10 hours.
Moreover, a three-phase system can charge at a rate of 22kW, adding 130km in an EV with one hour of charging. With this rate, you can fully recharge your electric car in less than 3 hours.
These are rapid chargers available at roadside charging stations. It enables you to cover a long distance by adding around 720 km in an hour.
Electric cars with solar energy are a perfect way to reduce costs and ensure sustainable living. While it’s still a long way to get electric cars with solar panels on the roof, you can save on EVs by using residential solar panels. We hope this guide will help you to understand everything about charging electric cars with solar energy.