The shift away from fossil fuels has required ingenuity, patience, and an unwillingness to settle by both consumers and scientists. A next-step, if you will, in the movement towards a 100% renewable-powered society is on the cusp of becoming mainstream: utilizing solar power at home to charge electric vehicles (EVs).
It’s clear that protecting the environment and our natural resources isn’t enough of a draw, on it’s own, to get people to move away from fossil fuels. The move must be convenient, cost-effective and provide similar production as what the consumer is used to experiencing. EVs have slowly but surely made a dent in the car market because they are now becoming more affordable and they perform and “feel” more like “normal” cars. Cities and communities, like Raleigh, have partnered in the growth of EV popularity and planning EV charging and parking zones throughout downtown and heavily-trafficked areas.
Next Step: Solar to EV
Did you know it only takes nine (9!) solar panels to provide power to drive an EV 12,000 miles each year? And did you know that a level or mode 2 charging station – which can be installed in your home – can provide a full charge of 4-to-8 driving hours?
Take a deep breath for the next fact: If you drove an EV that you charged via solar power at your home for 20 years, your power consumption would come out to “paying” $0.32 per gallon of gasoline. Your solar panels would pay for themselves in approximately two years.
When How and Why
One of the main reasons people drive EVs instead of gasoline-consuming cars is to move away from fossil fuels. So, then, why would we plug them into our homes that are still powered by coal or other fossil fuels?
Solar power solutions and options are offered commercially for residential owners interested in just learning more about solar power and for those ready to make the jump to solar power. Once your home is equipped for solar power, install (yourself or you can hire a professional) a level 2 EV charger. A level 2 electric vehicle charger consists of a wall-mounted, hard-wired EV charging station that delivers up to a 24 kWh charge in 4-8 hours. This is roughly half the time it will take to charge an electric vehicle with a 120V plug-in outlet charger.
A grid-tied solar electric system is the best way to put solar to work for your electric car. A grid-tied system will produce power whenever the sun is out, regardless of whether your house needs it that moment or not. So, if you’re at work, thus not using power at home, the power generated at your home will be sold to the grid. You get that power back in the form of a credit, which you can use at night while re-charging your EV.