Can you use your solar panel system to charge your electric car without causing disruption to the usage in your favorite appliances, like your TV, washer, dryer, computer, phone charger, and so on?
The quick answer is “yes.”
1. How Much Electricity Does an Electric Car Need Anyway?
Well, not much. It costs $2.75 to charge an electric car so it will run 100 miles. A typical electric car might use 34 kWh to go 100 miles. So, that comes to 3.74 cents per mile, assuming a cost of 11 cents per kWh.
The average American drives 13,476 miles per year. Divide that by 100 and then multiply the result by 34 to get the number of kWh used by an electric car in a year (about 4,582 kWh).
Now, compare that 4,582 kWh to the average amount of electricity used by a Texan in a month, which is around 1,171 kWh.
So, a typical electric car might require about 4 months of electric use to power for use for an entire year.
Practically speaking, that’s not a huge deal for the typical solar system to handle.
And even if it did become an issue, you’d only need to install a single extra panel at most.
2. More Practical Points to Consider
You wouldn’t need to charge your car in the evening when you use your other electric appliances and technology gadgets.
Instead, realistically, you would charge your car overnight, when you’re either using almost no electricity at all, or just the HVAC system.
The typical electric car battery takes 8-10 hours to charge to full. Most electric cars go about 100 miles on a full charge, but the Tesla Model S can go 250 miles.
So, given the length of time to charge based on the distance you need to travel, you’ll be just fine with an overnight charge during your sleep when you don’t need to use electricity around your home.
And remember, this assumes charging from a nearly empty battery. Your electric car’s battery may be nowhere near empty when charging.
Finally, you can also equip your solar energy system with a battery to store the power it generates.
That means you can use the energy gathered to charge your car, while your solar panels power your active use of electricity around your home.
So in other words, if you have an electric car and a solar panel system, you won’t have any problems with disruption to the appliances you need for daily life.