Have you ever wondered whether you could realistically use an electric vehicle to do what a solar battery traditionally does? That is, to not only function as your car, but to also store your solar power and run your home off it?
Theoretically, it makes sense. An electric vehicle contains battery cells just like a solar battery. So we asked our very own product expert (and electric vehicle owner) Johan to do the analysis and answer that very question… solar batteries vs electric vehicles: which way should we go?
By Johan Karlsson, DC Power Co Product Specialist
Generally speaking, the type of battery cells you find in electric vehicles are the same as you find in solar batteries – the main difference is the sheer magnitude and how much power is being discharged.
Take the Tesla Model 3, for example. At 54 kWh, this electric car has the equivalent of around 4 Tesla Powerwall solar batteries installed under the car. Similarly, a Hyundai Kona Electric, at 64 kWh, contains the equivalent of around 14 Sungrow/Samsung battery packs!
Having these large and heavy batteries under the floor of the car makes for a great driving experience (due to the low centre of gravity) and when it comes to the power output of a car versus a solar battery, cars can be 30x more at its peak – so they sure do pack a punch.
In the near future (likely around four years or so from now) many electric cars will be able to plug into our homes, power our appliances and even provide blackout protection. This is known as V2H or vehicle-to-home.
Imagine being powered from your car for as long as a week, with your solar system (or perhaps workplace car charger) providing the energy to recharge your car.
Nissan has already proven this technology with its new generation Leaf in Japan and Europe, and testing is currently underway in Australia. Once the communications standards catch up with battery technology and the auto industry, this will become a lot more common.
The main question is, what happens when you’re not at home? Not all people have their car at home during the day (to charge using their solar) and many households might have part of the family out for sports activities on the weekend while the rest are at home.
The benefit of a solar battery is that it’s always ready to be filled with sunshine and it won’t be somewhere else when you most need it.
Our recommendation: solar batteries still the best option right now
We absolutely believe in a future where electric cars will be able to be charged with renewable energy from your home and also provide that energy back into your home when you need it.
However it’s not yet a perfect solution and there is still some way to go, so our recommendation is to get a solar battery now instead of waiting around for the EV tech to catch up.
While you may be able to plug your car into your home by 2025, it’s important to consider the fact that a solar battery will always be there when you need it, whilst your car is (thankfully) mobile.
Our battery solution is more affordable than most. Starting at just $6750 plus installation, it’s a 4.8kWh modular battery package with great warranties and blackout protection included.
Don’t have solar panels yet? Our solar and battery package is designed for people adding solar and a battery at the same time. It combines world leading solar panels, an Australian-designed battery system and local, experienced installers. Find out more here.