In 2023, nearly every major car manufacturer is selling electric vehicles (EVs), with drivers everywhere moving away from traditional gas-powered engines to reduce both their carbon emissions and fuel costs.
To take this one step further, solar power is also playing a huge role alongside the electrification of personal transportation, empowering EV owners to charge their batteries with cheap, clean energy right in their driveway.
In this article, we will look at the relationship between solar and EV chargers to showcase the ways in which you can reduce your charging costs and carbon footprint.
EV Charging and Your Electric Bill
Although public charging stations are slowly popping up everywhere, the majority of EV drivers today choose to charge their vehicles at home. And while driving habits vary, charging your electric vehicle at home can have a serious impact on your property’s utility bills.
For example, let’s say you drive about 37 miles per day (13,476 per year), which is the national average for Americans according to EVBOX.com. To keep your battery charged, this translates to approximately 11.81 kWh per day of electricity consumption, or 353 kWh per month and 4,310 kWh per year.
In April 2023, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average price of residential electricity in Denver was approximately 0.152 per kWh. This means that EV drivers could expect to pay an average of $1.79 per day, $53.66 per month, or $655.12 per year to charge their vehicles in Colorado’s capital.
Although $655 per year is still much less than the annual fuel costs of a gasoline-powered vehicle, hundreds of extra dollars on your electric bills can be shocking, and higher-tiered energy rates for large amounts of electricity consumption can cause these expenses to rise even further.
Luckily, you can do a few things to lower the costs of charging your EV.
Navigating Time of Use Rate Schedules
Now before we dive into the benefits of solar energy (our favorite thing to talk about), let’s first look at how time-of-use rate utility electricity schedules can affect your EV charging costs. Deployed by Xcel Energy and many other utilities around the country, time of use (TOU) rates adjust the price of electricity based on when it is consumed on your property.
Within a typical TOU rate structure, “peak demand hours” cause electricity prices to rise during the periods of the day in which local electricity use is at its highest. Although peak demand hours vary based on the day and season, TOU rates usually mean that electricity users will be paying more during the late afternoon and early evening, between 4 and 9 PM.
So instead of charging your EV immediately when you get home for the day, you can save money by waiting to charge your vehicle until after peak demand hours have passed. Knowing this, plugging in an EV overnight during off-peak (and occasionally “super off-peak” hours) will translate to the lowest possible costs for charging your vehicle at home with utility energy.
Going Solar to Keep EV Charging Costs Low
Finally, by directly reducing the amount of electricity you must purchase from your utility, going solar is one of the best ways to keep the costs of your home EV charging as low as possible.
While it is no secret that your utility bills after going solar will be significantly less than they were previously, adding enough panels to cover the energy consumption of your EV can help keep your monthly electricity costs at a minimum for the lifetime of your system.
Whether you have gone solar already or are interested in a new installation, talk to your solar installer about adding solar panels for EV charging. Unless you are driving a significant distance daily, often, only a handful of solar panels may be required to completely cover your EV charger’s electricity consumption, resulting in decades of clean and cheap transportation.
In summary, driving an EV is a great way to reduce both your carbon footprint and the amount of money you spend fueling your personal vehicle. By switching to solar and intelligently navigating around peak time of use rates, you can save even more on your fuel expenses and charge your EV battery with green, emission-free electricity generated right on your roof.
Serving Colorado and Southern Wyoming, Apollo Energy is here to help with all of your solar energy and EV charging questions. If you are interested in learning more about how to save on your EV charging costs with solar, we can provide a free consultation to help you design the best possible system for your home’s energy needs.
Contact us today to get started.