Solar EV Chargers:
Here’s Why They’re The Next Big Thing
Solar EV chargers have massively increased in demand over the past few years. In short, these home EV chargers are able to increase the return on investment from your solar system and provide their own return from your EV vehicle.
It’s like a win-win situation, where you are simply getting big returns back. They work by using the energy generated from your solar system and using it to power your car.
We’re a huge fan of these solar EV chargers and I’ve even selected my favourite 4 which I would recommend to Australian homeowners to invest in.
Not only this, but EV solar chargers don’t require a huge investment. Therefore, the payback period is always short. One thing to remember is that home EV chargers also provide large returns because they save you spending money on power from charging stations or the grid.
Therefore, they are a rare, logical investment for homeowners to make. I’ll go into way more details about everything in just a moment.
Now, if you are interested in getting an EV home charger installed please don’t hesitate to contact one of my EV specialist engineers here. We can help you fit and install the system so you can reap the rewards.
Let’s get stuck straight into this. Here’s why home EV chargers are the next big thing and how they can save you thousands of dollars.
Table Of Contents
What Is A Solar EV Charger?
A Solar EV Charger is a way that you can charge your electric vehicle from your home. Essentially this is where you connect your EV home charger to your solar system to allow you to charge your car from the energy you are already generating. This is done by an EV charging cable running from your solar inverter to your car.
Of course we’re moving into the age of electric vehicles. Therefore, you are going to need the convenience of charging your electric car at home. What better than to maximise on the solar energy you are already producing. And if you haven’t got solar, why not start powering your car with free energy.
There Are 2 Common Types Of Home EV Chargers: Type 1 And Type 2
There are a few different types of EV chargers that you can go for. They each play a different role in the charging of your vehicle, mostly in the speed of the charging.
Most commonly used is the type 2 style of ev charger. Let’s jump into some more details about the difference between the two chargers. I recommend going for the type 2 charger, the type 1 charger can be really slow and is only really needed if you don’t use your car often and want to slowly charge your vehicle.
Just as a quick summary: Level 1 is the slowest charging level. It goes up in speed from there. Level 3 and 4 are the fastest and more commercial charging levels.
Type 1 Home EV Charger (Up to 2.4kW)
Type 1 home EV charger is the slowest charging option out of the 3. This is because it plugs into your mains sockets and starts charging at around 1.4kW – 2.4kW output. This uses AC electricity to charge directly from your mains. You may find that a type 2 (faster charger) is better suited for you and your solar system.
Type 2 Home EV Charger (Up to 7.2kW)
Type 2 home EV charger packs a little bit more power and speed when it comes to regenerating the life of your electrical car battery. These awesome EV chargers are definitely the most popular when it comes to charging your car from home or work.
You can charge up to 7.2kW output which is considerably faster than the type 1 charger. Again this uses AC electricity and is installed using a wall box connected to your switchboard.
Type 3 Commercial EV Charger (Up to 50kW)
Typically these are found at roadside charging stations. They use DC current which requires a lot more safety restrictions. You will be able to charge your electric car in no time using these however this type of technology isn’t readily available for homeowners yet. Who knows what the future will bring… This might be a fantastic option for commercial solar properties like apartments with parking lots.
What Can You Charge With Your Home EV Charger?
With a home EV charger you will be able to use the power you are generating from your solar system to charge your electric vehicle. Therefore, instead of spending money buying electricity from the grid and using that to power your car, you can take advantage of the free energy you produce instead.
Therefore, if you have an electric vehicle (or are considering buying an electrical vehicle) you will be able to maximise your profits because your home EV charger will allow you to charge your car.
So, in a short summary. EV chargers allow you to power your vehicle from your home. If you connect it to your solar system, you can charge using the clean energy you produce. You also have the power to pull energy from the grid to charge your vehicle overnight as well.
How Many Panels Do You Need To Charge Your Car?
It’s a fantastic question that we get asked a lot. How many panels will I need to charge my electric car? On average, I would recommend a system that is above 9.9kW+. Now, I know that some of you might be thinking, woah… I have been looking into getting a 6.6kW system.
If you have a 9.9kW+ system with the industry standard 370w panel this will be 27 solar panels. If you use a smaller, higher W panel like the Jinko 440w panels you will only need 22-23 panels. Ok, so let me explain why below.
Here’s why I do not recommend going for such a small system. 5 years ago we were installing systems of around 3-5kW. As technology has advanced, many homeowners are consuming a lot more energy compared to 5 years ago.
Think about it, we now have bigger phones with bigger batteries, smarter TV’s using more power and more devices on charge at one given time. Games, VR, Kitchen appliances all plugged in using power at once. Therefore, people are using double the power compared to 5 years ago.
Now, given the way the world is moving… Think about the next 5 years. Then think about the next 15 years. Technology is becoming bigger. We are currently having older customers ripping off their old systems and putting in place a big 15kW+ that is future proof.
Therefore, my honest recommendation would be to go for a system bigger than 9-10kW if you want to make the most from your EV charger. Due to your car consuming a large amount of your energy, you will need a system big enough to cover this power.
If you already have an existing solar system
On the other hand, of course you will be able to charge your electric car from a 5kW system. It’s just you may not see the biggest ROI as most power will be going to charge your vehicle.
It’s important for you to ensure that when the sun comes out you go ahead and put your vehicle on charge to maximise the charge you are getting from your system. I don’t really think there is a limit on how little your system can be. As long as you are producing kW’s you can charge your electric vehicle.
Just remember, that once you put your car on charge with a small size system, it might begin to consume all of the power you are generating.
Now, although this might be seen as a bad thing… It’s actually a good thing. This is because your electric car is being charged for free so you are actually saving even more money.
Therefore, even with your existing system installing an EV charger is going to increase not only the ROI from your solar system, but also the ROI from your electric car as well. It’s a win-win situation.
The 4 Best Solar EV Chargers You Can Buy In Australia 2021/2022
4. SMA EV Charger
Why I've Picked It...
SMA has created an awesome EV charger for solar homeowners here. With the ability to be installed on both single phase and 3 phase systems. This is a fantastic EV charger for those who have smaller systems with low energy production.
For single phase this home EV can charge up to 7.4kW and boasts an impressive 22kW for 3-Phase solar systems.
This is because SMA’s EV is able to charge at a low 1.3kW of solar power. This is impressive as most 3 phase solar EV chargers require a minimum of at least 3.5kW.
Power Output: 7.4kW (Single Phase) 22kW (3-Phase)
Rapid Charge Option
5 Year Warranty
Integrated 5m Charging Cable
Compact In Size: 460 mm x 357 mm x 122 mm
3. Tesla Gen 3 EV Charger
Why I've Picked It...
Tesla hasn’t seemed to disappoint anyone yet. Their EV solar charger is also top of the range with some super cool features. One that stands out is the ability to loadshare for multiple Tesla EV chargers. This can come super handy for any property owners for apartments etc.
It also comes with a super affordable price tag meaning the return on investment from this home EV charger is going to be fast, and long lasting. Similar to the SMA it provides a 7.4kW maximum charge output for single phase and 16kW for 3 phase homes.
The Gen 3 EV charger comes with a sleek charger holster and very cool looking design. There are also some smart features that can help the performance of this EV charger. It also comes with a solid 4 year warranty.
Power Output: 7.4kW (Single Phase) 16.5kW (3-Phase)
Tempered Glass Faceplate
4 Year Warranty
Integrated 7.3m Charging Cable
Customisable power levels
2. SolarEdge EV Charger
Why I've Picked It...
SolarEdge is offering one of the best EV charger options on the market. It works as a 2 in 1 EV charger being able to pull energy from your solar system and also from the grid at the same time. This is a really cool feature and can maximise the amount of charge you can get.
Of course, one of the huge benefits of SolarEdge is the visibility they give to the owner to be able to see exactly how much energy is produced, where the energy is being used (self consumption, exports, battery etc) all through their monitoring platform. (We’ve got a full review on SolarEdge inverters and panel optimisers here).
Another awesome smart feature is the ability to charge your vehicle on a time schedule meaning you can tailor your charge times around cheaper off-peak energy prices or when you are producing the most energy from your system. You can also turn on and off your charging via the SolarEdge app.
Power Output: 7.4kW (Using solar & grid)
Mobile Monitoring & Smart Controls
12 Year Warranty
Integrated 7.6m charging cable
Scheduled Charging Times
1. Zappi V2 EV Charger
Why I've Picked It...
The Zappi charger is designed by a UK company called MyEnergi. It’s definitely one of the best and the smarter solar EV chargers on the market to this day. So, I know you’re probably thinking why, and I’ll give you a list of all the reasons below.
The Zappi V2 has 3 different charging modes offering eco, eco+ and rapid charging mode. One important feature is that it can charge as low as 1.4kW which is super efficient for homeowners with a smaller system and low energy production.
Myenergi has created a smart charger with lots of options. You can choose between different output levels. For example, single phase can start from 1.4kW up to 7kW and 3-Phase starts from 4.1kW up to 22kW energy output for charging.
Another super cool feature is that Zappi monitors your energy consumption and will automatically begin charging when your home starts to export energy to the grid. This maximises your savings from your system and your car. It will then begin to stop if your home begins to pull too much energy from the grid.
Power Output: 1.4kW-7kW single phase and 4.1kW-22kW 3-Phase
Smart Consumption Technology
2 Year Warranty
Integrated 6.5m charging cable (Option for removable cable)
3 Smart Charging Modes
Are Solar EV Chargers Worth It?
In short, yes. They certainly make sense. If you are generating free energy from solar, why not use that to power your vehicle instead of buying energy from the grid or from roadside charging stations?
Not only that, but having the convenience of charging your electric car at home makes a world of difference. It gives you peace of mind knowing you’re at full charge before you leave to make your trip. It also allows you to plan more, knowing that you won’t be needing to stop at charging stations.
Personally, I think it gives you more control over your life as well. More control over your power and of course the biggest and best, more control over your money and savings.
Really, it’s just a very logical move to explore. This is exactly why solar EV chargers have increased in demand over the past year or two because of this logical investment.
Can They Go Off Solar Or From The Grid As Well?
Correct, you will be able to connect your solar EV charger to your switchboard or in other cases to your solar inverter. This means it will pull energy directly from your inverter which is wired to the switchboard. If installed directly to the switchboard it can pull energy from the grid.
As I mentioned above, some smart home EV chargers have the ability to monitor your energy consumption and begin to charge your car once you start exporting power to the grid. This really maximises your savings ensuring that no power is wasted on export limits or going back to the grid.
You will always get bigger savings by using your energy, not exporting it to the grid. Back to point though, yes. You are able to connect your solar EV charger so it can use both energy from your solar system and energy from the grid.
One huge benefit to this, you can always be charging your car even on a rainy or cloudy day. You can also charge your car overnight because you will have power from the grid when your solar system is down.
However, it’s important to know that it’s going to be more expensive as you will have to pay for the energy you consume from the grid.
Do Home EV Chargers Work With Any Electric Car?
Pretty much, it’s worth noting that the type 2 home EV charger is a 5 pin plug, so make sure your electric vehicle has the 5 pin charging point.
I mean, solar EV chargers all depend on the charging cable that is used so, when you are looking into the best one for your home and car make sure it’s suitable for your vehicle.
Overall, I’d say that pretty much all EV chargers will work with all electric vehicles because it saves a lot of time and hassle to create a universal charger.
Are EV Solar Chargers Cost Effective?
Similar to solar and electric cars, home EV chargers provide a return on investment. This is because you will be making back the money you invest with your savings from your EV charger compared to spending that on energy to power your vehicle.
Therefore, not only are EV solar chargers cost effective, but they will also provide you a return on investment. A long return with that as well, meaning you will see savings years after you have paid back your initial investment.
Electric cars are the future because they provide a much better return on investment compared to normal vehicles. Power is much more affordable than fuel or gas. Therefore, investing in your own home EV solar charger would be a wise, and cost effective move.
Solar EV Charger Can Maximise Your Return On Investment
That’s right. Not only will solar EV charger provide you with a great return on your electric vehicle. They will also increase the return on investment from your solar system.
This is because instead of exporting your power back to the grid for next to nothing, or your energy getting wasted on solar export limits you can instead utilise that power by charging your vehicle.
You can almost see your electric car as a battery for storing your unused solar power at home. Of course, many homeowners find that during peak sun hours they don’t use that much energy therefore it gets lost or wasted.
By directing the energy to power your car, you will be generating bigger savings from your solar system and in turn generating a bigger and longer return on investment.
Overall, solar EV chargers are becoming extremely high in demand due to their range of benefits. Mostly speaking, the high return on investment and convenience allows homeowners by being able to charge their car at home, from their solar system.
One thing to remember is ensuring your home is future proof. With the huge jumps we’re making in technology I can only imagine that we will be consuming more power than ever in the future. Utilising your system and cars to maximise on this will benefit you greatly.
Don’t forget, if you are looking for a solar EV installer we can help fit chargers directly from switchboards or into your solar inverter. Whichever is going to work the best for you. To find out, I’d recommend speaking to one of our EV design engineers to get a good estimate of what needs to happen.
To summarise, EV home chargers are going to be the next big thing so it’s best to capture your investment early and reap the rewards which will last years to come.
If you have a solar EV charger, please share with us your thoughts below in the comments. We would all be interested in knowing if you thought it was worth it or not 😁.
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