Going green can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For some – it’s simple changes like eliminating plastic from their homes. For others – they want to go all the way – becoming more sustainable with everything they use from cups and straws to cars.
Thankfully, as we all look for ways to reduce our carbon emissions and help our planet thrive, there are an increasing number of options and ways for us do so, including with one of the biggest carbon causers – vehicles. A growing number of manufacturers are producing beautiful and capable electric vehicles. Switching from gas to solar comes with many questions and considerations – some of the most critical of which center around the charging of your vehicle. Where will I charge my car? What kind of charger do I want or need? How fast do I want to charge my car for the distances I need to be able to travel?
There are three primary charger types to consider when looking to install one at your home:
A Level 1 Charger is the easiest and most inexpensive option, as it does not use much of your current home electricity needs. It provides approximately 8km of driving for each hour that it charges, making it the slowest option which could impact your day-to-day life and experience of the vehicle.
A Level 2 Charger is more expensive than a Level 1 Charger, however it has the capability to charge your car approximately three to seven times faster than a Level 1 Charger. Important to note is that in order to provide faster charger capacity, these chargers use considerably more power, which can come with additional cost. With the increased electrical usage, your home may not have enough capacity to handle the chargers needs, which in turn means you may have to upgrade your service, which can be pricey.
However, if you don’t want to go through the process or cost to upgrade your service, or are unable to in your location, there is a third alternative: a Solar PV Charger.
Solar PV Chargers give you the opportunity to use the suns energy to power your green vehicle by using a portion of your grid power and a portion of solar power to charge it. Going with this option means that you don’t have to go through the work or expense of upgrading your electrical service – a good choice if you don’t plan on adding anything else to your home that would require added electricity in the future; plus you get to have the rewarding feeling of using the suns energy to power your car.
Installing one of these chargers is the same as if you were installing a Solar Grid-tied System (see our previous post for more information on that if you missed it). Panels are installed just like with a normal Grid-tied Solar System, the only difference being an inverter that can charge a car or one that could power up a car charger. And when the vehicle is not being charged, this system puts the power back into the grid, allowing you to receive an electrical credit with BC Hydro, just like you would with a normal Grid-tied Solar System.
As you can see, the type of charger you chose is another important piece in your consideration of an electric vehicle. Before you make your new green purchase, give us a call and we can go over all your options with you so that you can pick the best fit for your lifestyle needs and home. No matter whether you choose to install an EV charger on your existing service, if you need an upgrade to your current service to compensate for the new car charger, or if you choose to power your car with the sun by adding a Solar EV Charging System – we can help. We look forward to joining you in this important transition to lowering your carbon footprint and going green in a new way!