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Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular, and almost every major automaker now has an EV model on the market. In 2021, sales of electric vehicles nearly doubled. Electric vehicles are an excellent means of lowering fuel expenses and pollution.

Of course, if you own an EV like a Chevy Volt, Tesla Model S, or Nissan Leaf, you’re probably interested in other ways to decrease your dependence on nonrenewable energy sources, save money on powering your vehicle, and use green energy. Have you thought about your charging options?

Presently, around 80% of EV drivers charge their vehicles at home. And while electric cars are fantastic for cutting down on gas consumption, charging them can put a strain on the power infrastructure. And, if the grid powers your home, your EV will use the very fossil fuels you were hoping to escape.

The best way to run your EV completely free of fossil fuels is to draw power from the sun. When you drive an EV, if you charge it using solar panels, you can fight grid dependence and fossil fuel dependence on two fronts. By powering your electric car with solar panels, you double your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar energy and EVs are a natural combination.

Of course, to ensure you get those benefits, working with a reputable solar installer who knows the best way to harness the power of the sun to charge your EV is essential.

How much energy does an EV need to charge fully?

EVs powered by solar energy are literally “running on sunlight,” but how much energy from the sun will you need? Let’s consider some numbers.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, the typical American drives 14,000 miles annually. The typical EV’s range is 3 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Thus, it takes approximately 4,666 kWh (14,000/3 = 4,666) each year to keep you rolling down the road.

How many solar panels are needed to generate that much energy?

On average, a 4 kilowatt (kW) solar panel makes 4 kWh of electricity daily, which is about 1,500 kWh per year. (Of course, this amount of energy will change depending on the weather, location, and time of year.) To generate 4,666 kWh of energy (enough to power your EV for a year), you’ll need eight to 12 solar panels to truly operate your EV on clean energy.

What’s next?

Combining these two leading emission-reduction technologies can save money and reduce greenhouse gasses. Naturally, if you want to use the sun to power your home in addition to your vehicle, you’ll need more solar panels. And with the passing of the recent Inflation Reduction Act creating substantial incentives for EVs, solar, and battery backup, now’s the time to set up a solar power charging station right in your own home.

Whether you already have an Electric Vehicle, solar panels, or neither, our experts will discuss all your options for solar panels. Reach out today for a free quote.