08.05.2016 - by Mary Kathryn Campbell
Can I charge a plug-in car with solar or wind power?

The cleaner the power, the cleaner the car. Using solar photovoltaics (PV) at your home or business makes even more sense with a plug-in car. The investment in solar panels pays off faster when the solar power is not only replacing grid electricity but also replacing much more expensive gasoline. EVs typically can’travel 3-4 miles (or more) per kWh of electricity. If you drive 12,000 miles per year, you will need 3,000-4,000 kWh. Depending on where you live, you will need a 1.5kW-3kW PV system to generate that much power using about 150-300 square feet of space on your roof. Utility credits for the energy generated from solar panels during the day can offset the cost of charging the car at night. If solar PV isn’t feasible at your home, find out if your utility offers a green energy option.

  • To find a solar installer in your area to provide a free quote on the cost of going solar, see Find Solar.

To see if you can get green power in your area, check the U.S. Department of Energy’s Buy Green Power locator.

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