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Why solar PV is the perfect partner for EV charging

As advocates for green energy, we are happy that more and more homeowners are considering electric vehicles (EVs). 

There has been a change of attitude globally as governments have implemented policies to help accelerate the growth of EVs. The policy which has gained most publicity in the UK, since the Paris Climate Change agreement, is that the UK government plan to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040.

With these public pressures, some of the largest carmakers in the world are committing to manufacturing more electrified models. For example, Ford has stated they will have 40 different electrified cars and vans available by 2022.

EVs have become a much more viable option for homeowners, especially when combined with solar PV, you can reduce your carbon footprint and financially benefit from making a positive change.

Already, an EV owner is saving on the cost of fuel. Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign which aims to inform the public about the benefits of EVs, asked some of their members how much they’re already saving on fuel. For instance, a Renault Zoe owner said they were saving £200 per month by making a change from petrol to electric. A BMW i8 owner said they were saving £2,500 annually on fuel, plus an additional £500 saving on VED.

With solar PV, these savings would be even more. Currently, the average unit (kWh) price for electricity is ~15p. Depending on a number of factors, an EV will cover a different amount of miles per kWh. For example, The Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron charged at home would have a cost of 4.3p per mile.

If the car were to travel 10,000 miles each year then this would require 3,103.45 kWh. This is an annual cost of £465.52 to charge the car. Typically, a home will have a 4 kW solar PV system installed and can expect to produce between 3,600 – 3,800 kWh per year of free energy. To summarise, this would cover the entire charging costs of the EV and still have some power to help power your home for free.

It is very rare for a car to have a return on investment as its value depreciates with time. As well as this, many electrified models have a higher price than other available vehicles. With the ability to charge your car or van for free, you can actually recoup a significant amount of your initial outlay.

In addition to this, we are all aware that energy prices are rising. Since 2005, energy prices have doubled. It is difficult to predict what the unit price of both gas and electric will be in the short and long term, but it is guaranteed that they will rise with government commitments to projects like Hinkley Point C.

This year, 21 of the main energy suppliers raised energy prices by 5.4%.

If we were to use this as a forecast to predict how much it may cost you to charge your EV then the figures can become unaffordable for certain households. In 2020, the unit price would be 16.66p meaning an annual cost of £517.03 to charge your electric car at home. In 2025, the unit price would increase significantly to 21.67p meaning an annual cost of £672.52 to charge your electric car at home.

Year Unit Price (5.4% Increase) Annual charging costs of EV

YearUnit Price (5.4% Increase)Annual charging costs of EV
201815p£465.52
201915.81p£490.66
202016.66p£517.03
202117.56p£544.97
202218.51p£574.45
202319.51p£605.48
202420.56p£638.07
202521.67p£672.52

As well as this continued steady increase, it doesn’t take into account the demand on the grid that the increase of EVs will cause. For homeowners, the most convenient time to charge their vehicle will be in the evening at home. However, the demand during this peak time will cause a strain on the grid and suppliers, as well as the government. It’s possible that during these peak times, suppliers’ tariffs would rise to offset the increased cost to supply energy.

Even though there is a shift in attitudes and energy suppliers are being pressured to generate energy from renewable sources, the majority produced is created by fossil fuels. As well as the financial benefit of producing your own energy, you also reduce your reliance on dirty energy that causes issues like climate change and global warming. Especially because the transport and energy sectors account for over 50% of the UK’s greenhouse emissions.

solar battery storage

As home battery storage and EV batteries share the same chemical composition (lithium-ion), both have decreased in price significantly and is continuing to do so with investment. With battery storage, you can store any surplus energy produced by your solar system and then use this free energy to charge your electric car and protect yourself from these energy price rises.

As well as possible savings, solar PV owners are still entitled to earnings from the government incentives until March 2019. The tariffs are decreasing each quarter but once invested, owners are entitled to 20 years of tax-free and index-linked earnings from the Feed-In Tariff, as well as earnings from the export tariff for as long as the system is operating.

Green energy has become a much more viable option sooner than most people have expected. The combination of solar PV, electric vehicles and more have allowed homeowners to be self-sufficient and financially recoup the rewards for making a change.

Why not have a free no obligation site survey? Our advisers can design a bespoke solar PV system for your home that will generate the best savings for you and your family. They offer expert advice on the latest technology and leave you with a free personalised report to look over in your own time.

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