Most EV charging* is done at home and if you have Solar PV you can drive on sunshine! To make the most of your PV + EV, you can use a smart solar aware EV charger to put your surplus solar energy into your EV.
Of course you are not limited to only charging during the day when your solar is generating, although that might be the cheapest energy you have available. You can still charge more quickly than your surplus solar during the day, if you need to, or you can charge overnight when electricity might be very cheap.
If you have a SolarEdge inverter (like a HDwave, Genesis or Energy hub) and a SolarEdge smart meter, then you are probably already monitoring your generation and consumption like in the graph below.
It's now possible to install a SolarEdge smart solar aware EV charger. It's called the SolarEdge Home EV charger and it is a single phase EV charger.
By smart we mean that it knows how much surplus solar energy you have.
In the first graph blue shows the regular house loads which are being supplied by the Solar PV system. Green is the surplus solar not used but exported to the grid. Red is energy imported from the grid at night or when solar can't provide enough power at the time to meet all the loads.
In the second graph is another day but this time you can see the SolarEdge Home EV charger at work. It has carefully tracked the normally green surplus and put it into an EV as blue.
Below is the SolarEdge Home EV charger. This single phase EV charger is hardwired by an electrician from your electrical switchboard to where you want to charge your EV, perhaps in your garage or carport. It is also wirelessly connected to the SolarEdge monitoring portal and also hardwired with a communications cable to your SolarEdge inverter and SolarEdge smart meter, to know how much surplus solar you have available for EV charging,
It can charge at upto 7kW (32A**) whether you have a single phase home or a 3 phase home. The SolarEdge Home EV charger comes with a tethered charging cable. You control it with the MySolarEdge smartphone app.
* EV charging. The are many difference pieces of equipment that together get called an EV charger.
How fast can an EV charge? EVs are varied but can typically charge from 2.3kW (AC) to 100kW (DC) and even faster, but the maximum possible charge rate is determined by the exact make/model of your EV, how full the battery is, the temperature of the battery pack, and how fast the EV charger can supply energy, which might be limited by the local grid.
NB there is also a minimum EV charging speed of around 6A (1.4kW). So if you are charging just from your surplus solar, there would need to be at least this much surplus before the EV charger will turn on when using this feature.
EV chargers range from portable AC chargers which plug into a regular 10A power point. These have a charging speed of 2.3kW. Some EV manufacturers give you a portable charger with your EV so it's a good way to get started with EV charging at home and when charging overnight on road trips. These portable AC chargers suit many people and if you charge your EV during the day and have Solar PV, it's likely that much of your charging will be coming from your roof. A small problem is that this method of charging is slow. It might take you 24 hours to completely charge your EV with a 55kWh battery pack from empty to full.
Faster hardwired AC chargers like the SolarEdge Home EV charger can optionally be purchased and installed on your home by an electrician and they can charge at up to 32A (7kW**) on single phase or 3 phase homes.
How fast is 7kW and how much range will I get? Most EVs can only charge at 7kW on single phase or 11kW on 3 phase. When charging at 7kW you typically (e.g. on a Tesla Model 3) would be adding around 50km of range in one hour and at 11kW you would be adding around 75km of range in one hour.
What are DC fast chargers? Finally there are DC fast chargers which usually charge at between 50kW and 350kW. These are usually found in shopping centres and dedicated EV charging station locations. Not many cars can actually charge at 350kW (your EV needs to be 800V architecture and most EVs are 400V) and if they do, not for very long because the to preserve EV battery life, slower is usually better for a long life. You can read more about public charging here.
What is an EVSE? Fun fact. When it comes to AC charging, your EV actually contains the EV charger and the piece of equipment outside the car is actually called an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) but everyone tends to calls them EV chargers and on this page so do we. In the case of a DC fast charger the charger really is the big box outside the car.
** NB Energex/Ergon require EV chargers to only charge at 20A when connected to a single phase continuous tariff but allow the full 32A when connected to a controlled/offpeak tariff or if you have a 3 phase charger on a 3 phase connection. You can find more information here