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Two people pose in front of electric vehicle while it charges on solar power

Power Your Electric Car with Solar Energy

Electric Cars and Solar Energy are the perfect pair. They’re both forward thinking technologies. And they’re sparking a revolution among those dedicated to self-reliance and building a better energy future.   

We don’t need to tell you – we know you’ve considered an Electric Car.  

There are some undeniable reasons why it’s a sound investment: fuel for an Electric Car is less expensive than a standard internal combustion engine car. Maintenance is estimated to be about 25% lower than combustion engine vehicles. And lastly, Electric Vehicles don’t burn fossil fuels when you drive them.   

But when you move to invest in an Electric Car – will you fuel it with sunshine?  

Our analysis found that you could save about 30% on your electric savings when you bundle your Electric Vehicle with solar.    

Electric Cars and Solar Energy: Why it Matters

Think about it: you’ll regularly charge your Electric Car from the local electric supply. And, depending on the mix of your local electric supplier, an Electric Vehicle owner could easily charge their vehicle with coal or natural gas. In Ohio, most of our utility energy supply comes from natural gas, followed by coal 

One way to increase your impact when you buy an Electric Car: charge on solar power.   

“More than 50% of the people who I helped go solar in the last half of 2021 got an EV and saw their electric bill increase due to charging at home vs going to the pump. They saw solar as a way to hedge against those rising utility costs. PLUS, they want to get those haters off their backs who give them grief for charging their EV’s with coal.” -- John Wittine Solar Consultant, Cleveland Ohio

John Wittine Solar Consultant, Cleveland Ohio

Hedging Against Rising Utility Costs: The Math 

Assumptions:   

  • 30 miles driven per day  
  • Level 2 electric vehicle charger  
  • Cost of Utility Power: $.14 per kilowatt-hour  
  • Cost of Solar Power: $.10 per kilowatt-hour   

Charging with Utility Power   

The US Department of Transportation estimates that the average US driver drives about 13,500 miles a year, which comes to a little more than 1,000 miles per month.   

We fell back to 900 miles a month for our estimates, knowing that there is a little less driving and traveling happening these days. Assuming you go with a traditional residential Level 2 Electric Vehicle charger – our solar expert in Cleveland, Ohio, John Wittine, calculates a monthly increase of 2,650 kWh of electricity used in a home annually and assuming a .14 cent cost per kWh, this equates to about $371 per year.   

Charging with Solar Power 

When John runs the same math on a solar energy system whose initial cost is finite but broken down by lifetime and including degradation to the panels over time, his estimates find that (and are corroborated by the findings at Elektrik) Solar power comes in at roughly $0.10 – $0.11 per kWh. If you drive your EV 900 miles a month, using 2,650 kWh a year, at $0.10 per kWh, you’ll be paying about $265 per year to charge at home.   

Summary of The Math 

All in, our analysis found that you could save 30% on your electric savings when you bundle your Electric Car with solar.   

Rates vary based on utility provider, and power is cheaper in Ohio. Energy is cheaper in Ohio, and we have no peak hour rates, so the cost savings are not as significant as other states may see. Ultimately, our findings don’t consider the rising rates of electricity that homeowners will experience during the lifetime of their vehicle + solar panels.   

So don’t forget to consider that variable.   

The Environment: Electric Vehicle and Solar Charging 

Our electric grid will need to get a lot cleaner here in Ohio before Electric Car drivers can claim that they’re driving truly emission-free. While we see a clean energy future ahead of us, one way to make sure that your Electric Car is reaping the full benefits of being emission free vehicle now, is by choosing to charge it with home solar power.   

PS – Check out this resource for buying an electric car in Ohio.  

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