Over the last decade, hybrid and now fully electric vehicles have increased in popularity as many people seek to reduce their carbon footprint. Charging networks like EVgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America are making it simpler to top off on the go, but they’re often slow and expensive. Home charging stations can use the solar energy from your roof during the day to charge your electric car overnight at a fraction of the cost.

Charging Speeds and Standards

There are a number of different charging connectors for electric vehicles, although the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has done an amazing job of standardizing the industry with time. The J1772 was the first connector to be used on a wide number of vehicles, but only allowed for single phase alternating current (AC) power at 120V, just enough power to fill a standard EV battery overnight.

Most electric vehicles (EVs) have an on-board charger that uses a rectifier circuit to transform the AC power from the electrical grid to direct current (DC) suitable for recharging the battery pack. Cost and thermal issues limit how much power the rectifier can handle, so beyond 240V AC and 75A it is better for an external charging station to deliver DC power to the battery. AC chargers with higher limits have been specified, but only a limited number of EV’s have a matching rectifier to invert the current without overheating.

For most vehicles to “Fast Charge” at an effective speed, a DC fast charger can provide power directly to the battery in one of two ways. Home DC chargers are often equipped with an inverter to convert the AC power to DC within the charging station, bypassing the vehicle’s limitations. Pulling DC power from the grid through permanent high-current connections provides an effectively limitless output, but is much more power than necessary for a home with 1 or 2 electrical vehicles.

Installation Incentives are an Added Advantage

In addition to the Federal Tax Credit available for purchasing an Electric Vehicle, some utility companies like PSEG in Long Island have further incentivized EV adoption through grants and rebates for purchasing and installing an EV charger. You can find out more about which rebates are available to you by contacting your Solanta expert.

Smarter EV Chargers

All of the EV chargers that Solanta installs provide mobile app and remote connectivity monitoring the power usage of your charger, among other features. Some models can integrate directly with smart home management systems so you can actively monitor the grid, utilize energy at the cheapest times, track your charging habits, and act on the insight over time.

Integrating Electric Vehicles

Driving an electric vehicle won’t solve the climate crisis if the power you use for it comes from the energy grid and energy producers are still producing power from coal, oil and natural gas. Electric Vehicles require lots of power, which means if we do nothing, they can add up to massive levels of carbon emissions. Installing solar panels can offset this issue by powering your vehicle without using more power than you were before.

A solar installation from Solanta can ensure that you’re only powering your electric vehicle with clean energy. We have always been able to install solar on rooftops, but Solanta’s custom solar canopies now make it possible to protect your vehicle and power it at the same time! Consider the benefits and set up a consultation to learn more.