How Can I Charge My Electric Car With Solar Panels?

Solar panels and electric vehicles go together (ironically!) like a horse and carriage. Lots of people who get solar panels installed then go on to buy an electric vehicle (EV) and similarly it is well known that about a third of EV owners have solar on their homes. Of course they go together well – once you have an EV you want to power it for free, and if you have the solar panels first you are likely looking for something to use up your spare solar power.

If you have solar panels then just charging your car while the sun shines means that some of the car’s battery will be filled with your solar energy. However, we supply special charging points that are designed to only charge the car with free solar energy if you wish. We offer the Zappi, made by myEnergi, which is the most popular solar charging point on the market.

There are two main models of Zappi, a ‘tethered’ one with its own charging cable and an ‘untethered’ one that you use with the cable that came with the EV. Each of these models is available in black or white (they are also available in 1 phase and 3 phase models but the majority of locations in the UK are 1 phase anyway).

Zappi Models, white and black, tethered and untethered (Image: myEnergi)

Zappi Models: white and black, untethered and tethered (Image: myEnergi)

Rather than just charging at full power when you plug in, the Zappi provides a clever choice between 3 Charging Modes as follows:

  1. ECO+: Charge power is continuously adjusted in response to changes in generation or power consumption elsewhere in the home. Charging will pause if there is too much imported power, continuing only when there is surplus free power available. This mode guarantees to charge your EV only with solar.
  2. ECO: Charge power is continuously adjusted in response to changes in generation or power consumption elsewhere in the home. Charging will continue until the vehicle is fully charged, even if power is drawn from the grid. This mode guarantees to fully charge the car while maximising the use of spare solar.
  3. FAST: In this mode, the vehicle will be charged at maximum power. This is just like standard charging point, and guarantees to fully charge the car as fast as possible.

The Zappi also has a lot of other clever features, like a built-in RCD, a screen where you can see how much electricity you’re generating and using, clever earthing so you don’t need a buried earth rod, and the ability to work co-operatively with an Eddi immersion heater to heat your water with spare solar.

Some of the Zappis we have installed (Image: Tanjent)

Some of the Zappis we have installed (Image: Tanjent)

So if you like the idea of solar charging your EV just get in touch and we’ll give you a quote for solar panels with a Zappi charge point. We’ll even do the paperwork to get you a £350 government grant off the cost of the Zappi.

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