How to charge your EV battery with solar panels.

Blog Charging EV with solar

It might be of no surprise, but pairing solar panels up with electric vehicles (EVs) is a match made in eco-heaven. 

How do EV chargers work with solar panels?

We’re sure you’re already aware of the benefits of driving an EV compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle. So how can we take things a step further when it comes to cleaning up our carbon footprint? 

When your EV’s plugged into a charger that’s connected to solar panels, it's tapping into a clean, renewable energy source straight from the Sun. In a nutshell, the solar panels on your roof are soaking up daylight and converting it into electricity to charge your electric vehicle. It sounds like a cheat code, we know. And whether it's sunny or overcast, your EV can still get its juice from the Sun, reducing your carbon footprint and your reliance on the National Grid. 

Why charge electric car batteries with solar panels?

Whilst your solar energy production will naturally fluctuate with the seasons, (and with our often unpredictable weather) the beauty of solar-powered EV charging lies in its versatility. Even on cloudy days or during the winter months when there are fewer daylight hours, solar panels will keep contributing to your EV's energy needs. Sure, you might need a little boost from the grid now and then, but every ray of sunshine counts towards powering your home with renewable energy.

To take it a step further, you could add solar battery storage into your setup. So during daylight hours your solar panels will generate electricity which can be used to power the home, charge the EV, and also store excess energy in batteries for later use. In times of low sunlight, electricity from the grid and energy stored in your battery can help the charging process, ensuring a steady power supply. 

How do I charge my car from solar power? 

It’s quite simple, and it all starts with a reliable home EV charger, and choosing the right solar package for your home. Luckily, we've got you covered with a range of electric vehicle chargers, and two tailored packages designed to suit your unique needs:

Our Energise package.

Solar panels with excellent performance at our lowest price, ideal for setting up your own solar car charger at home. If your roof enjoys interrupted daylight, then this package is for you. 

Our Optimise package.

Solar panels that utilise industry-leading Tier¹ technology and perfect if your roof plays host to one or two shady characters like trees or chimneys. 

Harnessing solar power to drive sustainability and savings.

At a time when we're embracing the transition to EVs, customers are looking for innovative ways to power their cars while reducing their energy use, and their carbon footprint. With the advancements in solar panel tech and their increased affordability, integrating one of our solar panel packages with an EV charger installation offers a sustainable solution. 

Environmental benefits.

By tapping into clean, renewable solar energy, you're doing your bit to help reduce climate change, and protect our planet for future generations. And if you use solar power to charge your car battery, you’re using even less energy from the grid.

Cost savings.

Generating your own electricity means less reliance on the grid, translating to potential cost savings over time, and in some cases even an opportunity to make money by selling back to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee scheme.

Energy independence.

Solar panels enable you to generate your own electricity, reducing your reliance on the grid. If you add battery storage to your package, you can have a reliable power supply for your home and EV, come rain or shine.

Smart solar charging with E.ON Home.

Let’s talk about home energy tech. With the updated E.ON Home app, if you’re an EV driver with E.ON solar panels, you have the power of solar charging right at your fingertips. The app's solar smart-charging prioritises your self-generated solar power to charge your EV, so you can drive to your heart’s content knowing your car’s running off eco-friendly, self-made energy.

What’s more, you can customise when solar charging begins based on your solar power generation, and if needed, the app can schedule grid charging at the most cost-effective time for you. Genius! 

How many solar panels do I need to charge my EV?

Larger electric cars with larger batteries, as you’ve guessed, will need more panels on your roof. But on average, a solar panel system with around 8–12 panels is capable of charging an EV, but it depends on a few factors, including your car model and how much daylight you get.

Each solar panel can typically produce around 355 kW of energy when in lovely sunny conditions. This means when you charge your car battery with solar, you'll get about 30 miles of guilt-free EV driving for each hour you charge with one of our 7.4kW EV chargers

Don’t worry about number crunching, our team of experts will take a virtual look under the bonnet and tailor a solar solution that's just right for you.

Can you use a regular EV charger with solar panel charging?

To charge your EV using solar panels, you'll need a PV inverter unit that converts solar energy into usable electricity. It’s essential to kick-start that charging process. Most solar setups include an inverter, but it’s definitely worth checking.

Let's take a closer look at the upsides and downsides of using solar power to charge your electric car:

The great stuff.

Better for the environment: Using solar power to charge your car helps reduce greenhouse gases, which is good news for the planet and all of us on it.

Potential savings: While it does have an initial cost to set up, using solar power in the long run can potentially help save you money on your energy bills.

Dedicated tariffs: With the E.ON Next Drive tariff you can enjoy lower overnight energy prices² and the satisfaction that you’re using 100% renewable electricity.

Less grid reliance: Using solar power, and with additional battery storage, you have more control of the power you generate, meaning less reliance on fossil fuels. What’s more, if you have a SEG tariff, you can even sell your unused electricity back to the grid!³

The not-as-great stuff.

Daylight dependency: Solar power’s awesome when the Sun's shining, but not as effective at night or on really cloudy days. So, you might need to have a backup plan for when the Sun decides to take a break.

Patience is a virtue: Fully charging up your electric car with solar power can take a bit longer than traditional mains fed EV charging, or when compared to petrol or diesel. It's a bit like waiting for a slow cooker to make your dinner – it's definitely worth it, but you do need to plan ahead.

Why choose E.ON Next?

Solar power, after sunset.

Solar energy doesn't have to stop when the Sun goes down. With our solar battery packages, you can store energy for use throughout the night.

You're in safe hands.

All our work is backed by HIES, the Home Insulation and Energy Systems insurance-backed guarantee, as well as being MCS accredited.

Smart home energy management.

E.ON Next solar panel customers will receive access to our exclusive, award winning E.ON Home app. View and control the energy flow around your home.

Experts in EV.

We’re a trusted EV installer offering:

  • 3 year product and workmanship warranty. 

  • 24/7 support to help you solve any EV charging issues.

  • Online charging guides at your fingertips.

  • Fully trained EV support team.

Explore our home EV chargers.

What’s a solar trickle charger?

The simplest form of solar-powered car charging involves using a trickle charger directly connected to solar panels. This method serves to maintain the health of the vehicle's battery, rather than achieving a full charge. It's like a slow infusion of energy, ensuring a steady supply to make sure your battery has a longer life-span.

If you’re looking for solar panels for EV charging, as soon as your solar panels are fitted, we'll arrange a convenient time to come and install your EV charger. 

Be in the driving seat with your solar energy.

So, if you’re already basking in the benefits of solar, you can easily take it up another gear and add an EV charger to your solar panel system. Speak to one of our experts and we’ll help you continue your journey into sustainable living.

Feel the Community power.

The E.ON Next Community is a space for customers to share experiences and offer advice. Find support or suggest your own energy topics, plus get involved in discussions on the latest energy news.

Join the conversation now.

¹ Price is based on a 6 Panel 'Energise' package (on-roof), fitting to concrete tiles (not slate), single elevation of scaffold, with single-phase electrics, and no complexities, for example installing above a conservatory or digging trenching required for electrics. May 2024.

² Those on the E.ON Next Drive Fixed tariff can charge their EVs at the lower overnight rates between midnight and 7am at 9.5p per kWh. E.ON Next already supplies customers with 100% renewable electricity on fixed tariffs. Electricity backed by 100% renewable sources, E.ON's renewable generation assets, agreements with UK generators and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates. The electricity supplied to your home or business comes from the National Grid and DNOs.

³ Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) payments, are payments for electricity you export to the grid. These savings figures are based on the Next Export Exclusive Premium tariff from E.ON Next of 25.0p per kWh (kilowatt hour) for E.ON Next import-tariff customers who purchase a solar-only solution. For E.ON Next import-tariff customers buying a solar and battery combined package, the Next Exclusive Premium Plus Export rate is 40.0p per kWh.

Published 09/06/2024