Electric vehicles help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save you money at the gas pump—but electricity rates in California are among the highest. While renewable energy makes up a significant portion of grid electricity in the state, more than 66% is not. So while your electric vehicle might not directly produce any emissions, the grid electricity you use to power it may.
Solar energy solves both these problems. Below we’ll explain how the installation of a solar PV system can help you get the most out of your electric vehicle (EV) charger and how you can find a qualified solar installer using the Clean Energy Connection.
What You Need for Clean, Free Electric Vehicle Charging
To benefit from truly clean and free electric vehicle charging, you’ll need the following:
Using solar panels to power your home allows you to take advantage of clean, renewable energy, which you can use to charge your electric vehicle. All you need to do is plug your car into a standard outlet while your panels produce energy. However:
- A Level 1 charger (110v) allows you to charge your vehicle from a regular outlet, but the charging speed is very slow.
- Unless you have a solar battery system, you can only use solar energy to charge your vehicle during the day when the sun is out, and your panels are producing electricity. If you charge it overnight, you’ll be drawing power from the grid, which may or may not be from a renewable energy source—and you’ll be paying for it as well.
Solar battery installation solves one of these problems. With solar storage, you can save excess electricity generated by your solar panels during the day for use at night or on cloudy days. Installing a solar battery allows you to plug your EV in overnight and use free, clean energy to charge it.
Installing a dedicated Level 2 (240v) EV charger in your home allows you to charge your vehicle much faster, making it more convenient and easier to take advantage of solar energy to run your vehicle.
As you transition away from fossil fuels and use more and more electricity to power your home and your vehicles, you may need to upgrade the electrical panel in your home to make sure it can handle the additional load, especially if you’ll be installing a Level 2 EV charger.
How to Find a Qualified EV Charger + Solar Contractor in California
So how do you find the right company to help you upgrade your home and charge your EV quickly using your solar panels? Do you need different companies for each upgrade? Are there rebates that can reduce your upfront costs?
The Clean Energy Connection is a free, easy-to-use online directory connecting California homeowners with contractors specializing in electrification and energy efficiency services, including everything you need to connect your solar panels to your electric vehicle. We don’t charge contractors to be listed and have no financial stake in who you choose. However, we vet every company listed for proper licensing and conduct ongoing customer satisfaction surveys to ensure that you can find a trustworthy contractor for all your energy efficiency upgrades.
Upgrade your home the right way and charge your electric vehicle with free, clean, renewable energy.