Is it Worth it to Charge my Electric Vehicle with Solar?

EV charging and Tesla system courtesy of Tesla

We know that one of the best environmental practices is to get yourself an electric vehicle, but wouldn’t it be much cleaner for the environment if you were able to charge it with the solar energy that you produce? Just like saving money on that pesky trip to the gas station, you can also save money by reducing your electricity bill. Charging your electric vehicle with solar may just be a match made in heaven with significant financial savings. In fact, you will be saving 48% just by switching from gas to electric and a whopping 79% by charging that EV with solar! Saying “no” to fossil fuels has never sounded so good!


Benefits of Solar

The world is beginning to shift the way it produces energy in such a positive way. Solar is becoming more and more popular each year, even though it still accounts for a small portion of the energy we produce in the United States today. Fossil fuels are still the leader in energy production, but solar is making its way in creating a cleaner and even cheaper energy source for all! 


State and federal incentives continue to make the switch to solar easier on Americans. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows for a reimbursement of 26% back on the total cost of  your solar installation. State and local incentives can vary. For example, the state of Arizona will give $1,000 towards the total cost. Not only do you get help from the government towards your new investment, but it also provides protection against the ever-rising cost of energy. 


Along with all of the financial benefits, there are also substantial environmental benefits of switching to solar power. Solar is the most abundant and reliable renewable energy source, and the time to start saving is now! To learn more about the environmental impacts of solar, please visit our blog!


“Should I get an electric vehicle as my next car?”

As technology keeps improving, electric vehicles are becoming more popular each year. With the government incentives, drastically reduced “fill-up” rates, and the increasing number of charging stations, EVs are really starting to make sense for everybody. Just like with solar, there are state and federal tax incentives toward the purchase of your new EV. 


The 2021 Build Back Better plan, when passed, will have the effect of increasing the federal tax credit towards electric vehicles from $7,500 to $12,500. Although the full $12,500 is only available to certain American-made vehicles, all brands are rolling out new EVs faster than ever. Vehicles are excluded from the use of this credit after the manufacturer sells over 200,000 vehicles. On top of your Federal incentives, you can also receive extensive savings from your state or local municipality. For example, Arizona will be offering an additional 20% off MSRP while California has various state and local incentives. Be sure to check on your specific region to see what you can qualify for.


Not only are you able to save tons of money right off the bat by purchasing your new electric vehicle, but you can also save quite a bit more money each year on maintenance costs. Because there are fewer moving components, fluids, and simpler brake systems, electric vehicles are much lower maintenance than a traditional combustion-engine vehicle. A study done in New York City reported that the cost to maintain a gas-powered vehicle is around $1,600 per year whereas an electric vehicle can be as little as  $300. This doesn’t even include the savings you’ll get from charging your vehicle with electricity rather than paying for gas at the pump.


The Real Savings from Gas to Electric to Solar-Powered Electric

The average American drives 40 miles each day or roughly 14,000 miles each year. Conservatively speaking, let’s say your vehicle gets on average 30 miles per gallon. If you break this down, 14,000 miles divided by your 30 miles per gallon average will give you 467 gallons of gasoline used each year. Based on national gas prices over the last few years from research done by AAA, the average cost per gallon is roughly $2.80. This number is relatively modest as the cost of gas has gone up everywhere in 2021. Even while driving a relatively fuel-efficient vehicle at 30 miles per gallon, you will be paying about $1,308 per year on gas, quite possibly more! The savings increase as gas prices increase, so this will vary. The more you spend on fuel, the more you can save with an EV.


An EV uses about 0.28 kWh per mile or 36 miles for every 10 kWh. At 14,000 miles per year, with an EV, you’ll be using around 3,889 kWh per year. The average cost for electricity in California is $0.175/kWh. For  3,889 kWh per year, you will be spending $681 for electricity to charge your electric vehicle. In other states with even cheaper electricity costs, that number could decrease to as little as $450 per year. Either way, that is almost a 50% savings just by switching from gas to charging your EV by grid power. This is essentially equivalent to paying only $1.46 per gallon! Wouldn’t that be amazing?  It gets even better recharging with solar!


Here is why you should charge your electric vehicle with solar energy. Currently, the average levelized cost for solar energy is about $0.07/kWh. This “levelized cost” is the average cost of your solar energy produced over the warrantied lifetime of the solar system. Given that 3,889 kWh is driven per year, your cost of getting from point A to point B each year is as little as $272! This means you are only paying one-fifth of what you would with a traditional gas-powered engine.  That’s equivalent to paying only $0.58 per gallon in a similar gas-powered vehicle.! If you are thinking of getting solar to charge your EV, be sure to keep in mind you will only need an additional 5-7 panels depending on how much you drive and how efficient your vehicle is. Schedule your free solar consultation today to see how much solar you need for your home and for your EV!

EV energy cost comparison.


Environmental Savings


Governments are incentivizing clean energy products now more than ever as climate change constitutes the greatest threat to this modern world we live in. There certainly is a reason for this, especially now that the US is back in the Paris Climate Accord. A common myth when people are making the switch to an electric vehicle is that they aren’t that much cleaner for the environment compared to traditional combustion-engine vehicles due to the rare elements required to manufacture the batteries in EVs. In actuality, they are still quite a bit cleaner for the environment, even over the entire lifecycle of the vehicle from the manufacturing process to years of driving and maintenance. The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) did a study to show the true environmental savings behind the switch to an EV. 


By making the switch to an electric vehicle, you will decrease your greenhouse gas emissions by 60-68% (ICCT) just by charging at a public EV charging station or at your home over the lifecycle of your EV! Once you add solar to your home, your environmental savings will increase to a whopping 81% (ICCT) by charging your EV with a home solar system! The environmental savings are as impressive as the financial savings!

EV savings breakdown.

As you can see, you can save a lot of money by purchasing an electric vehicle as your next car and you can save even more money by charging that car with solar! Your wallet and the world will thank you for making the switch. Even more importantly, you will be saving literal tons of CO2 that would have otherwise been emitted into the atmosphere! Why wait to see if a solar-charged electric vehicle makes sense for you. Let’s get you on the schedule for your free solar consultation so we can show you your personalized savings when choosing to go solar.



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