How long will a conventional solar energy system last? Credit: kincuri/Flickr

Yes, you can.

Using clean, renewable solar energy to charge an electric car is a very good idea.

Installing a solar energy system when you own an electric car furthers the positive impact of solar on the environment.

Before installing a solar energy system on the home of an electric car owner, specific measurements have to be made and taken into consideration should the homeowner decide to use the solar energy system to charge the electric car.

The system would have to be properly sized to accommodate for the extra energy sink.

Vikram Aggarwal of EnergySage recommends the homeowner starts by looking up the EPA’s fuel economy rating for the electric vehicle. This information will help easily calculate how much extra solar electricity that will be needed to charge the car.

He cites the 2014 Nissan Leaf, as an example, an all-electric vehicle, has a combined fuel economy rating of 30 kWh/100 miles – this means the Leaf requires 30 kWh of electricity to drive 100 miles.

If you drive 25 miles on an average day, that means you’re using approximately 7.5 kWh of electricity per day – or just over 2,700 kWh of electricity in a given year. This is the “extra” amount of electricity you’ll need your solar energy system to produce.

This information is highly essential for the solar consultant or installer which will help drive the design process of the solar energy system to generate sufficient power that will cover both the home and electric car needs.

Keep in mind that installed solar rooftop arrays aren’t easy to upgrade. That is because each inverter is sized for a specific number of panels, so you may have to replace it in the event of an upgrade.

It is generally recommended that homeowners plan ahead and account for an electric car when they are in the process of shopping for a solar energy system type so that the design includes the provision for a future ownership of an electric car.

That way there are no issues if they decide to purchase an electric car in the future.

It’s much cheaper to get it right the first time. It’s also important to know that expanding your system to accommodate an electric car, increases the payback period.

Please let your solar consultant or installer know ahead of time about your plans to purchase an electric car in the future.

Editorial Team
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