Maximising your solar investment with an electric vehicle (EV)

Maximising your solar investment with an electric vehicle (EV)

Australia’s transition towards sustainable energy solutions has seen a significant rise in the adoption of solar energy systems. One of the best ways homeowners can further amplify the benefits of their solar installations is by pairing them with an Electric Vehicle (EV).

Let’s dive into how these two green innovations can complement each other.

How coupling an EV with your solar investment can help save money

By having both a solar system and an EV, you can use the electricity generated from your solar panels to charge your vehicle instead of costly petrol or diesel. The long-term cost of this electricity is typically less than buying fuel. This approach not only reduces your environmental impact but also offers considerable savings over the vehicle’s lifespan and helps maximise the investment you have made in solar.

Beyond the direct financial and environmental benefits, driving an EV powered by solar energy also showcases a commitment to sustainability. It sets a positive example in communities, influencing others to consider greener solutions for their transportation and energy needs.

Does the Maths for EVs Add Up in Australia?

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are gaining traction worldwide, but how do they stack up financially in Australia? Let’s dive into the numbers and see if going green with your vehicle is also kind on your pocket.

  • Fuel Costs: Traditionally, one of the most significant expenses for car owners is fuel. Petrol prices in Australia hover around $1.40 to $1.60 per litre. Now, if we crunch numbers for EVs, the solar-powered electricity for homeowners is estimated at about 5 to 10 cents per kWh. With an EV consuming roughly 15 kWh for 100 km, the cost boils down to $0.75 to $1.50 for the same distance. This is considerably cheaper when compared to a petrol-driven ride which might set you back $11.20 to $12.80 for 100 km.
  • Government Incentives: Australia’s push for EV adoption has led to incentives like reduced registration fees, stamp duty concessions, and even purchase rebates in some states. These perks can substantially trim down the EV’s initial cost.
  • Maintenance Costs: Fewer parts in EVs compared to combustion engines typically mean lower maintenance expenses. Fewer oil changes, reduced brake wear due to regenerative braking, and overall less wear and tear can translate to considerable long-term savings.
  • Resale Value: As the EV movement strengthens, these vehicles are retaining their value impressively in Australia, backed by increasing infrastructure and a societal tilt towards eco-conscious transportation.

Why it makes sense to get an EV now

In a combined effort to accelerate the shift towards sustainable transportation, many Australian banks and government bodies are stepping up with attractive financial incentives. Banks, recognising the environmental merits of EVs, offer low-interest green loans tailored for eco-friendly purchases like EVs. These loans come with reduced interest rates and favourable terms, making EV ownership more achievable for many.
At the same time, both federal and state governments are rolling out significant incentives such as decreased registration fees, stamp duty concessions, and purchase rebates. These measures effectively reduce the initial costs of an EV, presenting it as a sustainable and financially smart option for homeowners.

Furthermore, to bolster the transition to green transportation, numerous progressive businesses in Australia have introduced complimentary EV charging stations. A notable number of these stations utilise solar energy and by tapping into these complimentary charging stations, homeowners can further enhance the value and benefits of their EV investment.

Tips to make the most of your EV + solar combo

To help you optimise the synergy between your solar system and EV and that you’re extracting the maximum benefit from this dynamic pairing here are some essential tips:

  1. Solar-Ready EV Chargers: Invest in a solar-ready EV charger. These chargers are designed specifically to integrate with solar installations. They adjust the charging power based on real-time solar production, ensuring your EV is charged primarily with excess solar energy when available.
  2. Scheduling Charging Times: One of the key strategies to maximise solar energy usage with an EV is timing your vehicle’s charging sessions. Solar panels generate the most electricity around midday when the sun is at its peak. By scheduling your EV to charge during these peak hours, you ensure that most, if not all, of the energy used comes directly from your solar installation.
  3. Using Your Car As A Battery: Some modern EVs support Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, allowing them to send stored energy back to the grid or your home. On days when there’s excess solar energy, homeowners can store this energy in their EV’s battery. Conversely, during periods when solar generation is low, some EVs offer the capability to feed stored energy back into the home to offset peak-energy prices, or feed stored energy back to the grid to take advantage of dynamic/peak feed-in tariff rates. EV cars can even be use during power-cuts and blackouts as a backup energy source.
  4. Review Energy Provider Plans: Some energy providers offer special rates or incentives for EV owners, especially if they’re using solar energy. Ensure you’re on a plan that recognises and rewards the combination of solar and EV.
  5. Educate Yourself on Battery Health: Continual charging and discharging can have effects on battery longevity. Familiarise yourself with best practices regarding EV battery health to strike a balance between making the most of your solar energy and ensuring the longevity of your EV’s battery.
  6. Optimise Solar Panel Placement: If you’ve not yet installed your solar panels or are considering an upgrade, ensure they’re positioned to capture maximum sunlight during the times you typically charge your EV. This might mean a different orientation or tilt than a standard installation.

See if adding a solar-ready EV charger to your system makes sense

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In conclusion

Pairing solar installations with an Electric Vehicle is a strategic move for Australian homeowners. It’s a synergy that maximises the return on investment from solar panels while simultaneously offering a green, cost-effective solution for transportation. With the right knowledge and practices, homeowners can optimise this pairing to achieve the utmost value along with supporting a more sustainable approach to energy and transportation. To find out more about installing a specialised solar-ready EV charger, get in touch with Arkana.