Powering Your Electric Car With Solar – The Ins and Outs

It seems like electric vehicles (EV) are producing a lot of buzz lately! From President Obama visiting an electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan to Nissan reporting it has over 16,000 reservations for its new plug-in vehicle, there is no stopping this new electric car! According to the Department of Energy’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Energy will help deploy 13,000 new, grid-connected vehicles and put 20,000 charging stations in residential, commercial and public locations nationwide during the next few years 1. What will the era of the electric car bring? While the electric automobile could indeed free us from dependence on foreign oil and save us a few bucks at the pump, it could also represent the dawn of a cleaner, greener source of transportation. One of the main ways electric cars can be truly green is to have them be solar-powered.

Here at Cool Green Solar, we have specifically designed some of our customers’ solar electric systems to suit the needs of an electric vehicle. That might seem a little premature, but according to Douglas Greenhaus of the National Automobile Association, most electric car owners will rely primarily on home charging stations. Electric vehicles either require a slow charge which takes 4-6 hours or a fast charge at a charging station which takes 15 minutes. While the infrastructure for these fast-charging stations is developing rapidly, home charging will still be the focus of the electric vehicle owner. That means that owners of the electric vehicle may need to upgrade their residential electric systems.

What better and more affordable way to do that than with solar? The utility company charges more for larger amounts of consumption, but a solar system drastically offsets the electric usage, thereby reducing one’s bill. In addition, the payback period for an investment in solar is usually between 4-9 years. Imagine the benefits of having a solar electric system that is not only powering your house but your vehicle as well! You can eliminate two major bills in your household with the application of solar energy.

1 Department of Energy, The Recovery Act: Transforming America’s Transportation Sector, Batteries and Electric Vehicles, July, 14, 2010.