One thing I didn’t realise when I bought my EV

Apr 30, 2024 | Uncategorized

One thing I didn’t realise when I bought my EV is that, if the charger is on ‘excess solar’ mode, where the car only charges from the solar energy being generated from my panels, there needs to be a minimum of 1.5kW of surplus solar energy available before my car starts charging.

This means that if I only have a small inverter and I have other appliances running, like my fridges, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, etc, it’s likely there won’t be sufficient power for the car to start charging until late morning/ lunchtime when there’s more solar energy being produced by my panels. For anyone planning on getting an EV, it’s really important to have a larger inverter (ideally 10kW or bigger), so there’s enough power early in the day for the car to start charging, as well as powering other appliances on the property for free.

I originally had a 5kW inverter with 6.6kW of panels installed. When I got my EV, I actually added a second 5kW inverter with another 5kW of panels to bring my total inverter capacity up to 10kW, because I recognised how much power an electric car requires. This extra inverter capacity has made a huge difference to the time of day that my car starts charging (it starts charging much earlier in the day now, even with other appliances running at the same time; and my car now charges faster, across a longer period of the day) – all for free.

Of course, if I need a faster charge, I can always charge the car from the grid at full power (which is still a lot cheaper than a conventional car), but I love being self-sufficient and having my car powered by the sun whenever possible.

If you’re not in a position to charge your car from your panels during the day and it needs to be charged overnight, there are more and more providers offering EV-friendly electricity plans, where you can charge your car for as little as 8c/kWh. This can equate to $5.60 + GST to fully charge your car in the wee hours of the morning. Check out OVO Energy and AGL if this sort of plan sounds like it might work for you and your family.

If you have an EV (or you’re about to buy one) and you’d like advice on the best solar and/or battery storage set up your property, please get in touch. We service Greater Sydney, the Southern Highlands, the Illawarra, the South Coast, Canberra and the Central Coast.


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