How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel: EV Solar

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | April 1, 2024

Man standing by his EV being charged by a solar panel wonders how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel and what are the ev solar charging stats concerning public charging vs. home ev solar charge cost.

Have you ever wondered, how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel?

More than a century ago in Des Moine, Iowa, a chemist, William Morrison, built an electric six-passenger wagon that had a maximum speed of 14 miles per hour, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.1

With the help of Mr. Morrison’s invention and several that came after him, the early 20th-century electrical vehicles were in high demand.

From urban households to electric taxi cabs in New York, electric vehicles had the primary market share compared to gas-engine vehicles in the U.S. But, of course that dynamic changed with the development of the assembly line.

Plus, after the invention of the electric starter by Charles Kettering, the bothersome cranking of the gas engine was no longer an issue for the automobile owner, and by 1935, the electrical vehicle was no longer being made.

Some may argue this electrical starter invention is where petroleum dependency truly began. The result? Air pollution and the increase in carbon emissions that plagues our planet today.11

Yet, today the electric vehicle is making a comeback, and many people wonder how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel?

The answer may impress you. This guide provides everything you need to know about charging an electric car with solar panels.

How To Use Your Solar Panels To Charge Electric Car: How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel?

Charging from home can be easy or require a small solar panel project.

The complexities are dependent on where you are in your solar panel journey.

The image showcases a solar panel charging station for electric cars situated in front of a building.

(Image: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine16)

If you’ve had your solar panels installed on your roof prior to purchasing your EV, how to use your solar panel to charge an electric car is a valid question.

Depending on how your solar panel functions, you can add the following:

  • Additional panels to your solar array
  • Add an inverter for more power
  • A supplement solar energy system

The above-mentioned additional remedies to consider when moving into an eco-friendly lifestyle is possible.

I know you’re wondering, “How long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel?” Your solar panels can power your home appliances and EV with the same reusable energy the sun has provided for 3-7 peak hours per day.

Being knowledgeable of your average daily or weekly driving miles will help you or your solar installations specialist to determine if you need additional solar panels, an inverter, or a supplement solar energy system.

However, if you have not started the process of building your solar panel system, be sure to tell your solar installation specialist about your EV plans.

The 3 Types of Solar EV Chargers for Home

As technology keeps getting more innovative. Automakers are coming up with home superchargers such as Tesla to make your EV charging needs better.

According to Clean Energy Reviews, solar energy companies are creating EV charger solar inverters to charge your electric vehicle at home comfortably.5

To find the best EV charging options for you, it is recommended to consult with a solar installation expert and conduct your own research.

Image shows different kinds of charging connectors for electric car.

(Image: Paul Sladen17)

However, you can accomplish a fully charged EV by using one of The 3 types of solar EV chargers below

Level 1 Charger-Plug-in

This standard 120-volt home-manufactured provided plug-in is the slowest charge. How long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel at Level 1? Approximately up to 5 miles per hour with no installation needed.

A 24-hour charging duration is not unusual for a level 1 charge.

Level 2 Charger

A 240 Volt requires professional installation in your home. This plug, often called a dryer plug, provides a speedier charge.

The 240-volt setup and electrical power are similar to public charging stations.

Depending on the make of the electric car, the EV can charge 25 to 80 miles per hour. With the benefit 240 Volt charge allowing a full charge overnight, this option is often the popular choice.

Level 3 Charge-Supercharge/DC Fast Charge

Acquiring a Supercharge system for your Tesla or DC fast charge system from other makers, this an investment. Being able to charge your Tesla or others makes efficiently fast is not a budgetary option.

But the opportunity to charge your EV up to 20 miles in 1 minute is the best time saver. The high voltage of up to 1,000 will require several changes to your solar-powered and electrical grid setup.

EV Solar and the EV Battery Controversy

The pursuit of an eco-friendly lifestyle is also accompanied by spirited debates. Several governments are paying attention to EV solar and the EV battery controversy.3

The U.S. Department of Energy encourages companies and entrepreneurs to create simpler ways to recycle 90% of discarded lithium batteries with the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling  Prize.6

Because EV battery mining processes are made of cobalt, lithium, graphite, manganese, and nickel, they are often cited for having a high carbon footprint during manufacturing.

With several countries declaring more EV production to reduce greenhouse gasses, EV battery manufacturers are in the process of making the batteries more environmentally responsible.

But until the new technology is greenlighted, urging recycling of EV batteries is the current solution. Recycling EV batteries are not easy to disassemble.

However, minimizing the toxic waste and introducing the EV battery to be used once again in a supply chain will prevent it from being in a landfill.

How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel at Night?

Most solar panel owners who charge their EVs at home have a Level 1 charging setup. In order to have a fully charged EV battery, overnight charging is necessary.

J.D. Power reports most Level 2 charging with 240-volt power requires a nightly 10-hour duration to have a fully charged EV that can drive up to 200 miles.7

Public Charging Station vs. Home EV Solar Charging Cost

A solar EV charging station for home is very convenient. However, if you decide to travel with your EV, mapping out where a public charging station on your route is recommended.

Public Charging Station

Before your road trip, you may know how far you can travel before needing your next charge.

Image shows Tesla public charging station in front of McDonald's.

(Image: Boris Maric18)

The driving range on how many miles your can travel is dependent on your make and model. There are free public charging stations available.

Related Reading: How Many Miles Can Electric Cars Go Before Charging (See Map)

According to U.S. News, the largest EV charging stations are Evgo, ChargePoint, and Electrify America.8 Each EV charging network provides charging station maps, prices, and app options to make your charging process simple.

If you have an opportunity to charge for free at parking lots, local entertainment ensues, and shopping locations, go for it! It will definitely help your budget.

These free locations are usually Level 2 charging and may charge your EV to 80% quickly.

The cost to charge at a public charging station depends on your location, charging speed, and time of day. if you are a member of one the largest EV charging networks, you will find that hourly rates are available and special pricing for members.

Currently, electric prices vary and will affect your EV charging rates. USA Today reports that the Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Vehicle Testing charts the national average electricity cost is $0.10 per kWh.9

Home EV Solar

With the help of your solar panels and solar system setup, your EV charging bill will be more economical than a public charging station. Regardless of your location, gas-powered cars are more expensive to fuel.

Your solar EV charging station for home is in your hands. You are in total control of your solar budget and can revise your solar plan to fit your driving needs.

Be sure to review your utility bill to get an idea of how much kWH you use per month to assist with your EV solar budget plan. The U.S. Department of Energy has a vehicle cost calculator to help you determine your electric vehicle monthly costs.10

If you want a better understanding of how much greenhouse emission you will avoid with your EV, use a carbon footprint calculator. Being ecologically responsible and having a solid plan to help avoid fossil fuels is a good idea.

How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel at a Public Station vs. A Home Charging Station?

Most public charging stations are Level 2.

This charge is faster at 240 volts of power.

Images show a home charging station for electric car.

(Image: Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz)19)

Depending on the home charging setup, if an EV owner only has a Level 1 charging at home, the public charging station will take less time for Level 2 and Level 3 charging.

But how long would it take to charge an electric with a solar panel at a public station vs. a home charging station depends on the make and the plugs required. If the EV is not a Tesla and cannot charge at a Level 3, a Level 2 is necessary.

Level 2 charging can charge 25-80 miles per hour. Level 3 for supercharging or DC Fast Chargers can get your EV charged 20 miles per minute.

If you can avoid charging at Level 1 at a public charging station, do so. The slow charge may be a waste of your time.

How long it will take to charge depends greatly on the make of your car and the quality of your plugs.

However, Level 1 and Level 2 require SAE J1772 EV plugs to charge properly. Level 3 required connectors are Combo Charging System (CCS) or a CHAdeMO connector depending on the manufacturer.

What Is an Off-Grid Solar EV Charger?

An off-grid solar EV charger is completely charged with reusable energy. An off-grid solar EV charge of your vehicle will be without the help of the local electricity grid.

Although the many solar panel public charging canopies we see at local public parking lots, many are not off-grid. Solar panel public charging spaces are still primarily reliant on the local utility grid.

There are several companies presenting ideas, batteries, and other devices to promote complete off-grid solar EV charging.

Do You Have To Pay To Charge a Tesla?

Yes, Tesla has four tiers for billing their Tesla owners. But here is the trick, you can opt to charge your Tesla with your solar panels at home. It may not be the quickest charge but definitely an eco-friendly option.

How Much To Charge a Tesla

It’s up to you if you prefer to be billed per charging minute or per kWh (kilowatt). When you go into your app and choose a charging station, the Telsa app will provide the cost per the supercharging location.

If you decide to go to one of the many available public supercharging stations for Tesla vehicles only, make sure you don’t leave the Tesla plugged up after being fully charged. Telsa charges idle fees.

Be sure to pay attention to your Tesla app, which will let you know promptly that your Tesla is fully charged.

How Many kWh To Charge a Tesla

Tesla currently has four models to choose from. Each standard model needs a minimum of 50 kWh of electricity to charge a Tesla.

The followings are the Telsa models and kWh battery breakdown:

  • Tier 1: Charge up to 60 kWh
  • Tier 2: Charge up to 100 kWh
  • Tier 3: Chare between 100 kWh and 180 kWh
  • Tier 4: Charge a minimum of 180 kWh

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S model has an EPA estimate of 396 miles. The Tesla Model S comes with a 100 kWh battery pack.

If you are a Tesla Model S owner or plan to be one, the battery can charge up to 100 kWh and only use 34 kWh per 100 miles.

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 has an EPA estimate of 325 miles. The Telsa Model 3 comes with a 100 kWh battery pack.

Although the Tesla Model 3 has a lower EPA estimate of miles compared to the Tesla S, it will only use 34 kWh per 100 miles.

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X has the same battery pack of 100 kWh and uses 34 kWh per 100 miles while in motion.

However, this model has an EPA estimate of 333 miles.

Tesla Model Y

With very similar features to the above Tesla models. However, the Tesla Model Y is a hatchback SUV.

The EPA estimate of 330 miles. The battery size is 82 kWh.

But as a new battery pack, Tesla introduced called 4860 battery cells. This new technology is made with fewer raw materials and promises a faster charge for less.

The 4680 battery is the reason for longer road trips without needing a charge.

How Long Does It Take To Fully Charge a Tesla?

It is estimated that a Telsa Model 3 would need approximately ten days to charge fully by a solar panel home system. Each Tesla model if charged using the Tesla Supercharger, can charge 162-200 miles in 15 minutes.

Image shows Tesla Model 3 in charging station.

(Image: Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine20)

You may be wondering, “How many solar panels to charge a Tesla”? Use a calculator to not only measure your carbon footprint but also get an accurate amount of solar panels needed to charge your Tesla.

However, if you invest in the Powerwall that Tesla has available for Tesla owners if a power outage occurs, the powerwall will charge your Tesla with saved energy.

The Powerwall is a compact home reusable energy battery for your home and eventually for your Tesla vehicle. The Powerwall calculator will give you the best estimate to design your solar needs with Powerwall capabilities.

Drive on Sunshine App Opportunity To Existing Charging Tesla With Solar Panels

The Drive on Sunshine App feature on the Tesla app is on its way. This feature will allow existing Tesla owners with home solar panels to use the excess energy to charge their Tesla vehicles.

The Drive on Sunshine app can be programmed to suit your Telsa Charging needs with the following options:

  • Reserve a portion of the EV battery to be charged by excess solar energy only
  • Schedule the date, time, and location of the EV battery charge
  • Set charging limits

Drive on Sunshine app the opportunity to existing charging Tesla with solar panels is a great benefit. This option eliminates any excess reusable solar energy from going back to the electrical grid.

The excess solar panel energy now has better usage while minimizing fossil fuels from the local electrical grid. Tesla owners with a home solar panel system are excited to use this valuable feature on the Tesla app when available.

Comparing the Carbon Footprint of Electric Cars vs. Gasoline

Lately, Tesla has been an example of a worthy brand for electric vehicles.

As reported by Kelley Blue Book, the consumer will have electric vehicle options from Bently, Apple, the Dodge charger, and more by the year 2025.2

Image showing an electric car in charging station.

(Image: Bob Osias14)

Electric cars’ carbon footprints have everything to do with their production and maintenance, such as:

  • Large fulfillment centers that make the lithium batteries
  • Shipping of the parts and batteries for EVs
  • Manufacturing of lithium batteries12
  • Charging the EV solar from the electrical grid

In order to make this environmentally friendly electric vehicle, fossil fuels are used from large factories, along with the shipping and manufacturing of the lithium battery. It’s not the electrical vehicle itself that causes greenhouse emissions.

If you’re on your way to being a new owner of an electric car or currently have one, releasing your reliance on your local electrical grid is key.

Using your home solar panels that are powered solely by the energy of the sun is the best remedy.  Electric car manufacturers are working to reduce carbon emissions in the manufacturing of lithium batteries to power electric cars.

Cars fueled by gas engines have been proven that it’s part of the problem. But comparing the carbon footprint of electric cars vs gasoline is not easy and is more of an estimate.

However, the numbers consistently point to electric vehicles as the best option. Purchasing an EV helps the reduction of carbon emissions over time compared to cars that rely on fossil fuels in spite of the carbon footprint of EV battery production.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, over a lifespan of an EV compared to a gas vehicle with a 300-mile range, EV greenhouse emissions are lower than gas vehicles.3

Why You Should Charge Your Electric Car With Solar Panels?

Using reusable energies to power your electric vehicle (EV) over time can make up for all the carbon footprint your EV made prior to your possession.

The image depicts a charging station for electric cars, featuring a solar panel for harnessing solar energy.

(Image: Éloïse Ruby15)

Why you should charge your Tesla, Nissan Leaf, or Hyundai Ioniq with solar panels starts with the goal of going all green. Going green by saving the planet and saving some of the green in your wallet is always worthwhile.

How long it would take to charge an electric car with a solar panel will not be your first concern. But most importantly, a zero-emission car being charged by your home solar panels is your most crucial concern to decrease your family’s carbon footprint.

The numbers may vary depending on the state you live in and if you drive 2 hours a day or 5 hours a day. But charging your EV from home has proven to be the most cost-effective option besides walking or running to your destination.

To help you do the math, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reports the national gas price average for 2022 was a whopping $4.42 per gallon.4

Whether you decide to use your 120-Volt three-prong plug-up option or install a Level 2 EV charging system, you will notice drastic savings compared to the daily gas prices for gas-engine automobiles.

If you do the math according to your monthly renewable energy bill and how often you need to drive daily or week to week, the cost to charge your EV with your home solar panels will still be much lower than having a gas-engine automobile.

For example, a 2023 Toyota Corolla 4-cylinder has a combined trip of 35 MPG. The national average gas price for 2022 was $4.42 per gallon.

A single charge from your home solar system of an electric vehicle ranges from 100 to 400 miles.

Besides being cost-efficient, charging your EV with your home solar panels not only reduces greenhouse gas, but when you’re on the road, you are riding in a zero-emission car.

What Affects the EV Solar Charging Rate?

Tesla is a popular brand that is dedicated to zero emissions and a quality driving experience. However, if a Tesla is not in your style or in your budget, there are several EVs to choose from in the market.

Remember that your driving lifestyle, make, and model will determine the charging rate. Here are some factors that also affect EV solar charging rates:

  • An EV that doesn’t have enough range or battery capacity for your driving needs.
  • The amount of daily or weekly drive time.
  • The speed of charging affects your charge rate.

Solar charging rates for EVs vary and can be steep. With the help of the Federal government and state rebate incentives, the rate can be curved to benefit EV owners and those who will purchase EVs in the near future.

California Electric Car Rebate provides a rebate between $1,000-$7,000 to new EV owners. Whether purchased or leased, California residents have state rebates and possibly local county rebates for going green.

These tax incentives can be combined with federal government incentives as directed by a tax professional.13 There are unique EV incentives in each state.

The California Electric Car Rebate has additional perks, such as freeway lanes for EVs.

Some states have incentives that include credits for installing a solar system at your home, discounted parking rates, and offset credits from your local utility company.

With the newly developed faster home solar setups and government incentives, how long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel will be the least of your worries.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Would It Take To Charge an Electric Car With a Solar Panel

Are Portable Solar Charger for Electric Car a Good Choice?

Yes and no, there is a debate about whether a portable solar charge is viable. Some EV users only use portable solar chargers for emergencies that will get them up to 40 miles.

How Many Electric Cars in the US?

If you’re wondering, how many electric cars in the US? There are more than 2 million electric vehicles on the road in the United States and still counting.

Can a Solar Charging Electric Car Battery Overheat?

Yes, inquire with your manufacturer about how to prevent overheating for the make and model of your electric car. However, it is recommended to charge your battery at 50% to 60% to help prevent overheating.

What Is the Best Time To Charge EV With Solar Panels?

The best time to charge your EV is at the peak hours of the sun’s rays. This may vary per your location so If you have a Level 1 home charging system, the best time is overnight.

Do All Electric Vehicles Charge at the Same Speed?

No! Check with the EV dealership before purchasing. Remember to also check with a solar installation specialist and ask, “How long would it take to charge an electric car with a solar panel”?


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14Photo by Bob Osias. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

15eCars Charging Station’ by Éloïse Ruby is released under CC0. Flickr. Retrieved from <>

16Solar powered EV charging station, Photo by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine. Public Domain Dedication (CC0). Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <>

17Charging Connectors Photo by Paul Sladen / CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <>

18Tesla charging station in Slovenia Photo by Boris Maric / CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <>

19BMW i3 home charging L2 CRI 07 2021 9745 Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) / Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <>

20Tesla Model 3 at ChargePoint station Photo by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine.CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <>