March 26, 2024

Maximizing Your EV Savings With a Solar Powered EV Charging Station

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6 Min. Read

EV adoption is a key component of building a sustainable transportation infrastructure, but the growing need for EV charging could have significant environmental consequences.

More energy is needed to power this next wave of transportation, but as we shift away from harmful oil and gas fuels, alternative fuel supplies must be created.

Relying on solar energy for EV charging is a possible answer, and this approach is accessible at the residential and commercial level—allowing greater access and energy resilience for all members of a community. Solar energy offers affordable at-home charging with a limited environmental impact.

Here’s why a solar powered EV charging station could be the key to a successful electrification transition for your household, helping you to save money, boost your energy independence, and power your future without relying on increasingly expensive traditional energy sources.

Solar-Powered Independence

Weather-related power outages have increased by 80% over the past decade and the rise in inclement weather shows a pattern that this trend will continue on into the future.

As the economy increasingly embraces electrification across all industries and technologies, this is a concerning trend if no steps are taken to strengthen our grid resilience and bolster our energy resilience to avoid power outages in the future as more bad weather events occur.

EV and hybrid sales could represent 24% of new vehicle sales by 2025, and experts predict that the total EV load from charging could grow by 1,850% before 2040. Renewables will play a key role in increasing energy production capacity to meet the growing demand for EV charging and utilities and governments are already actively working on deploying clean energy resources.

However, change also needs to happen at the local level with the adoption of residential solar panels for a renewable energy source.

Residential solar is a well-established industry that makes communities more independent from the grid, allowing for self-sufficient EV charging and even whole-home energy when paired with other energy transition technologies such as battery storage or bidirectional capable EVs.

Cost-Efficiency Through Solar Energy

Installing a solar powered EV charging station at home comes with an upfront cost, but savings will quickly add up and cover the initial investment.

Charging an EV is considerably cheaper than filling a gas-powered vehicle, but you can unlock further savings by prioritizing affordable ways to charge. With utility providers charging an average rate of $0.16 per kWh, charging an EV costs around $60 a month if you’re driving 1,100 miles on average.

This amount can be lowered with solar energy and having residential solar will also insulate you from fluctuating energy prices, which could impact the cost of EV charging.

The cost of charging an EV with solar energy is minimal once the solar array is paid for. Your savings will compound when you are able to apply the energy from the panels to additional EVs and modern electrical replacements for your gas-powered appliances.

Eco-Friendly Driving

Beyond cost savings, driving an EV charged with solar power has some significant environmental benefits.

Even though modern ICE vehicles have significantly improved fuel efficiency and leverage technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transportation remains a significant source of emissions. In fact, burning a gallon of fuel results in around 20 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions.

A solar powered EV charging station eliminates any potential greenhouse gas emissions that result from producing electricity with fossil fuels. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, combining EV adoption with solar charging is one of the most effective ways of doing so.

Maximize Savings With Net Metering

Net metering programs are another strategy to further reduce the cost of going solar. These programs are offered through your utility provider and allow you to sell the surplus of energy you produce with your solar panels against energy credits, helping to lower your energy bills.

With small-scale solar installations representing a third of the total U.S. solar capacity, net metering programs are playing an important role in incorporating residential solar arrays into the grid and building a more resilient energy infrastructure.

This approach also gives you the flexibility to generate power during the day, upload it to the grid, and benefit from a reduced rate when you charge your EV at night.

Take Advantage of Tax Rebates and Other Programs

You can reduce the upfront cost of installing a solar powered EV charging station by taking advantage of and combining government incentives and other rebate programs to maximize your savings. Many states, local governments, and utilities offer cost savings for electrification projects, in addition to federal incentives.

You can save up to 30% on your solar panels, labor, and energy storage solution thanks to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit is a similar program that allows you to claim up to 30% with a limit of $1,000 as a nonrefundable tax credit for installing an EV charger.

Keep in mind that many of these programs have set requirements for qualification, so work with your licensed electrician to ensure every measure is met to receive the full benefit of these savings.

Additional programs are available at the state and utility levels, ranging from rebates on equipment, state tax credits, and preferred TOU rates. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency compiles solar incentives at the state level, and you can explore EV charging incentives via the Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Solar Power Creates Energy-Resilient Communities

A solar powered EV charging station at your home allows you to generate electricity independently from the grid without relying on fossil fuels.

This kind of renewable resource is vital for creating energy-resilient communities in case of natural disasters or power outages. Small-scale solar can power homes and businesses, and net metering programs mean these resources can alleviate the pressure on the grid.

As utilities increasingly adopt smart solutions such as virtual power plants and distributed energy resources (DER), residential solar projects will play a crucial role in supporting community energy security.

Working With the Right Electrification Professional

Installing a solar powered EV charging station is more accessible than you think—if you get help from the right professional.

An expert can plan an installation project that involves mounting solar panels on your roof and connecting these panels to a battery system or directly to the grid so you can take part in a net metering program.

A professional installer can also wire an EV charging station to your panel and update your home’s electrical infrastructure with a smart power management system to safely support greater electrification in your home and provide you with greater control over your energy usage. This approach allows you to switch between power sources and automatically adjust where solar power goes with little manual adjustment required, ensuring your most critical devices can receive power even during an outage.

Leveraging the right technology, maintaining your equipment, and working with a qualified electrification professional will result in a hassle-free experience that you can trust to keep your lights on and your EV charging safely for years to come.

Upgrade Your Home With a Solar Powered EV Charging Station

Solar-powered EV charging significantly reduces the cost of EV charging while reducing your carbon footprint. This holistic approach increases your energy resiliency and contributes to building more independent communities.

If you’re considering EV ownership or are interested in residential solar solutions, Qmerit can help.

Our mission is to support electrification by offering reliable installation and maintenance services through a nationwide network of certified professionals. Our experts specialize in developing personalized electrification solutions and have already installed over 269,000 EV charging stations and delivered more than 53,000 solar panel system integrations across North America.

With the largest and most experienced network of certified electrical contractors in the U.S. and Canada, no one is more trusted than Qmerit when it comes to EV charger installations and other energy transition services.

Contact Qmerit today to learn more about our network of experts and how we can help with your electrification projects as you plan to upgrade your home with a solar-powered EV charging station!

Author: Greg Sowder Greg Sowder President, Qmerit Network