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Electric Vehicles, Charging And Solar Power

By Finn Peacock

Chartered Electrical Engineer, ex-CSIRO, Founder of SolarQuotes.com.au – and EV owner.

Last Updated: 24th May 2022

Finn Peacock and his EV

I’m a fan of cheap, clean energy. I’ve never enjoyed visiting the servo, inhaling carcinogens while filling up, or giving hundreds of dollars every month to oil companies.

I bought my first EV (a Tesla Model S) back in 2019 because I could charge it with solar energy at about 5 cents per kWh. That’s under 1 cent per km driven compared to 15c per km with petrol; not to mention more environmentally friendly by a long shot.

I was so blown away by the efficiency and performance of my Tesla electric car that another EV was acquired soon after – an Electric Mini Cooper S fiercely protected by my partner, Chantel. This was the first Electric Mini in Adelaide, and I believe the third in Australia.

Chantel Peacock - electric car

And in 2022, my family continues to reap the benefits of these investments. To date, the Tesla has clocked up 37,540 kilometres and the Mini 18,978 ks of hassle- and guilt-free, clean, quiet, comfortable and cheap high-performance motoring. I’ve also made many new acquaintances as people often want to chat about the cars.

It’s a great feeling watching the solar panels on my roof charging our electric vehicles instead of pouring cash into a petrol pump ultimately spewed out a tailpipe in the form of harmful emissions. In addition to saving a bundle of cash on fuel and slashing our household’s emissions even further, we’re also going to make big savings on maintenance and other running costs over the long life of the vehicles.

The addition of EVs were another important step towards my goal of electrifying everything in my household and better utilising solar power.

Important Tip: If you’re thinking about an electric vehicle and you haven’t yet installed solar panels, get a suitable solar power system first to maximise household energy cost savings.

Navigating The Road To EV Ownership (And Beyond)

But something happened during the Electric Mini purchase that made me realise Australian EV buyers are missing out on very important information they need to consider when purchasing an electric car. For example, we were advised to just plug the Mini into a standard wall socket to charge it (the Tesla came with its own faster wall charger).

Sure, this works if you’re not in a hurry – but modern life is hectic, and waiting over 24 hours for a full charge via a standard 10 Amp socket is not going to cut it.

So, what better home EV charger options are available in Australia? How many extra solar panels should you install, and how do you set up a solar system and utilise it to provide the most benefit when there’s an electric vehicle involved? Are there any subsidies available for EV charging equipment? Do home batteries have a part to play?

EV charger connected to car

You’ll find the answers to these questions and many more on my website.

While SolarQuotes isn’t about to become an EV site per se; we are tracking the electric vehicle revolution via the SQ blog and will also increasingly provide valuable tools and resources for current and prospective EV owners.

I’ll have a special focus on charging and the important role solar power systems and home batteries can already and will play. We’re also looking to the not-too-distant future when electric cars will be commonly used as big batteries on wheels for helping to power Australian homes and provide grid services – and the high-tech gear that will make this happen.

What You Need To Know

The following are some very useful guides and tools to get you up to speed on where things stand now in Australia:

Strap yourself in and enjoy the emissions-free ride as Australia’s EV revolution powered by home-brewed solar energy really gets into gear. Don’t forget to sign up for our popular newsletter to stay informed as new EV resources are added!

If you’re ready for an EV charger installation, SolarQuotes can help you get quotes from super-competent installers we know and trust who will provide you the best charging setup for your circumstances:

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