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Electric Cars and Solar Panels

By installing solar panels you will reduce your reliance on the National Grid while lowering your energy bills and reducing your home’s carbon footprint, but the benefits don’t necessarily end there. You can also use your free solar energy to power an electric car.

The last four years has seen a significant increase in the number of electric cars on UK roads. The monthly statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) indicate that while only around 500 electric cars were registered per month during the first half of 2014, this has now risen to almost 4,000 per month during 2017.

A huge number of vehicle manufacturers are now producing electric vehicles as part of their ranges including Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Toyota and, of course, Tesla.

Why Consider an Electric Car?

  • When compared to petrol or diesel costs an electric (or hybrid) car is significantly cheaper to run, particularly if you’re powering it with the free electricity generated by your solar panels!
  • An electric car produces zero emissions which is a massive incentive for many people looking to reduce their impact on the environment.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points are more and more commonplace in our public car parks and even a small solar panel system on your home can produce enough power to charge your vehicle’s battery. Rather than the ‘miles-per-gallon’ measurement used for traditional cars, an electric car is assessed by how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) it takes for the car to drive 100 miles.

Getting the Right Solar Panels

If you want a solar panel system that’s big enough to provide power for your home and an electric car you will need to calculate both how much energy your home and car need. For example, a Nissan Leaf has a rating of 30kWh/100 miles. So if you drive 20 miles a day on average, you’ll use 6kWh of energy a day, 42kWh per week or 2,184kWh per year (on average). This is how much energy your solar panels will need to produce to power your car on top of what you need for your home.

You can always supplement your car’s power by using car charging points which are becoming more and more common throughout the UK.

A professional installer will be able to recommend the best solution for your needs. Find a solar installer near you by completing our simple online form. It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to use any of the quotes you receive. Get quotes now.

Low-emission Vehicle Plug-in Grants

If you are considering investing in an electric or hybrid vehicle it’s worth knowing that the price may not be as much as you expect.

The UK government provides grants to car dealerships and manufacturers which enables them to reduce the purchase price of electric and hybrid vehicles. There are several categories of vehicle which have been grouped based on CO2 emissions.

Categories CO2 Emissions Distance Travelled with No CO2 Emissions Grant will pay for
Cars in Category 1 Less than 50g/km 112km (70 miles) 35% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £2,500
Cars in Category 2 Less than 50g/km 16km (10 miles) 35% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £2,500/td>
Cars in Category 3 Between 50 to 75g/km 32km (20 miles) 35% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £2,500
Motorcycles None 50km (31 miles) 20% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £1,500
Mopeds None 30km (19 miles) 20% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £1,500
Vans Less than 75g/km 16km (10 miles) 20% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £8,000
Category 1 Taxis (purpose built) Less than 50g/km 112km (70 miles) 20% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £7,500

You will need to check latest government information for details of the eligible vehicles and which category they fall under. Note: Not all electric or hybrid vehicles are eligible for a grant.