February 22, 2024

How to Plan for a Solar-Powered EV Charging Station Installation in Your Home


6 Min. Read

EV adoption is a revolution for the mobility sector and one that’s rapidly gaining momentum. Going electric creates many benefits for EV drivers—for their wallets, ease of travel, and environmental impact.

Electric vehicles offer enhanced safety and fewer emissions and can save drivers thousands of dollars throughout the vehicle’s lifetime with reduced maintenance and lower fuel costs.

Some EV owners are going even further to save money and increase their vehicle’s sustainability by combining EV ownership with solar panels to power their EV charger. Residential solar continues to become increasingly affordable and accessible and charging EVs with renewable energy is an effective way to reduce costs further while mitigating the potential environmental impact linked to increased electricity consumption.

Installing a solar-powered EV charging station at home is more accessible than you think.

Understanding Solar-Powered EV Charging Station Installation

Solar panels produce renewable energy thanks to semiconductors activated by sunlight. When these materials capture light, they release electrons and generate an electrical current.

As solar panels become more cost-effective, residential solar arrays are emerging as a viable solution for powering EV charging and other home electrical needs. The energy produced by solar panels can be captured by a battery storage system, where it will remain available whenever EV charging is needed. Some homeowners are also taking advantage of net metering programs to sell the solar energy they produce against energy credits that lower the cost of charging an EV with power from the grid.

Solar-powered EV charging stations are taking advantage of recent innovations, such as battery storage or smart energy management systems. This creates modern solutions that often require little input or management from homeowners.

Site Assessment and Solar Potential Analysis

Installing a solar-powered EV charging station is a complex electrification project that requires careful planning. Your first step is to have an expert analyze your property’s solar potential and review your EV charging needs.

Understanding Your Solar Potential

Several factors determine how much energy rooftop solar can produce, including solar irradiance in your region, your roof’s size and pitch, shading, and more. Typically, homes located in the Southwest region have the best solar potential, but it’s possible to plan successful projects in other areas as well.

A licensed solar panel installer can perform a solar potential assessment and recommend the best location and angle to maximize the amount of light your solar array can capture.

System Size and Capacity Planning

The next consideration is the size of your solar installation. A rooftop project with more panels will increase the total output of the array, but it will also increase the cost and weight.

Output can range between 250 and 400 watts per panel; most residential systems use around 20 panels.

A professional can perform an EV charger load calculation and assess how EV charging and other applications will impact your needs. They will also consider daily and seasonal variations in energy production. This will help you determine if investing in a battery storage solution is justified.

Keep in mind that while solar panels can produce energy to power appliances, your home, and solar-powered EV charging station, energy must be used immediately or sent back to the grid. Without battery storage or installing bidirectional charging, you will be unable to use this energy at a later time.

Planning for a Solar-Powered EV Charging Station

Once you know how much power a solar array could produce on your property, it’s time to work with an electrification expert to assess your EV charging needs.

A professional licensed electrician with EV charger installation experience and training can discuss the different types of EV charging stations available, how much the cost for EV charger installation in your home will be depending on your needs and current infrastructure, and how much power you’ll need to charge your EV. They will recommend a portable or hardwired installation based on your needs and determine whether an electrical panel upgrade makes sense.

It’s common for EV charging stations to draw 30 amps or 7,200 watts, but this will also depend on the Level 2 EV charger you purchase. In most cases, investing in a battery storage solution is the best way to ensure enough power is available for your solar-powered EV charging station no matter what time you need to charge.

Financial Considerations and Incentives

Residential solar and EV charger installation come with upfront costs, but the benefits and future cost-savings make these wise investments for EV drivers.

Installing an at-home EV charging station can cost less than $1,000 depending on the complexity and distance of the installation, but you should expect to spend more if you want a more powerful station or need electrical upgrades. The cost of residential solar has been dropping, with most homeowners paying $0.90 to $1.50 per watt of capacity. A qualified electrician with the right skills and experience will cost more, but it can help you avoid safety hazards and having to pay more later to repair damages caused from using inadequate materials or cutting corners.

Financing options are available, ranging from HELOCs to lenders offering personal loans with preferred rates for eco-friendly renovation projects.

You can also offset the cost of installing a solar-powered EV charging station by taking advantage of different incentives.

The Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics can cover up to 30% of your residential solar project, while the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit can help you save 30% on the cost of installing an EV charging station.

You can stack these incentives with other programs offered by your state, municipality, or utility provider. Joining a net metering program is another way to get more value out of your solar array.

Maintenance and Operational Aspects

Maintenance costs are minimal, but keeping your solar array and EV charging station in optimal condition is essential for safety and performance.

Solar panel maintenance involves cleaning your panels regularly and having a professional check the system’s electrical connections. Regular home EV charger maintenance will also be required. The charging cable will need to be replaced after a few years of use.

Think about investing in a smart power management solution to monitor energy production and usage precisely. Improved visibility over your solar-powered EV charging station can support preventive maintenance if you notice any changes.

Make Solar-Powered EV Charging a Reality

A solar-powered EV charging station unlocks additional benefits for EV owners, including lower charging costs and maximized environmental benefits. Financial incentives for electrification projects, lower costs, and recent innovations in the technology are making residential solar and EV charging more accessible than ever.

But to maximize the value of your installation and ensure its safety and efficiency for years to come, hiring a licensed electrician with EV charger installation and solar panel integration experience and training is crucial. Not all electricians have the proper training for these newer technologies, and cutting corners to save costs or using the wrong materials can have devastating effects.

Qmerit can help. With the most trusted network of EV charger installers and electrification experts in North America, our dedicated team will make your solar-powered EV charging station project a seamless experience with results you can rely on.

Transform Your House into a PowerHouse by Qmerit™

A licensed installer from Qmerit’s electrification network can help you plan your solar-powered EV charging station from start to finish and with the Qmerit Peace of Mind Guarantee on every installation, we promise to provide the level of safety and quality you deserve for an installation that meets your needs.

With more than 450,000 EV charging station installations and over 81,000 solar integrations completed, our network is a leading force for electrification because we do it right.

Learn about PowerHouse by Qmerit – solar and home electrification solutions that enable you to live more independently, sustainably and cost-effectively.

Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network