Sustainability Series: EV Charging and Solar


Solar energy has been powering homes and commercial sites for decades, and in recent years, electric vehicle (EV) chargers have been added to the growing suite of onsite energy solutions for companies. Here, we discuss how adding EV chargers to your facility can augment the benefits of onsite solar.

Electric Vehicles and EV Charging

EVs need to be charged in between use. Most EV owners charge their vehicles overnight by plugging it into a household outlet using a simple connection provided by the dealer. This type of connection, known as Level 1 charging, generally provides 2-5 miles of travel distance for every hour of charge time. Level 2 charging more than doubles this charge rate, and requires some additional equipment, similar to when adding a home dryer appliance.EV charging can also be done away from home at public or commercial charging stations, which are becoming more and more common around the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the number of individual charging outlets has reached approximately 80,000 nationwide. Some states offer incentives for installing charging stations. For example, in New York, businesses can receive an income tax credit when installing charging stations onsite. Incentivizing the installation of more charging stations is key to encouraging EV adoption, as growing demand has led to greater congestion at existing stations due to many people needing to charge their EVs at once.

Benefits of Solar and EV Charging Combined

Onsite solar systems by themselves provide many economic and environmental benefits to companies, offering a prudent way to mitigate risk when it comes to energy procurement and prices. When paired with EV charging stations, solar can help companies attain additional benefits, including:

  • Providing potential installation cost savings and efficiencies for both technologies by installing EV chargers at the same time as a solar system
  • Using clean energy generation to offset the electricity used onsite for the EV chargers
  • Providing a highly visible indicator that demonstrates a strong sustainability commitment to employees and customers
  • Supporting a transition to a corporate EV fleet with cost-effective solar electricity that decreases corporate EV fleet operational costs

EV chargers paired with solar provide a highly visible indicator to employees and visitors of your company’s commitment to sustainability. With onsite EV chargers, companies can offer a unique employee perk and turn the charging station into a revenue source by opening it up to public use for a minimal fee. Retail businesses can enjoy the added advantage of attracting new customers and increasing customer engagement and positive brand affiliation. For retail locations, EV chargers can even lead to an increase in the average time a customer spends in the store, encouraging more spending at the location.Solar paired with EV charging is a powerful combination that can enhance the public’s perception of your company. PowerFlex has partnered with companies and schools to provide this increasingly commonplace onsite solar solution, and we recently worked with the University of Massachusetts Boston on a 1MW solar and EV charging project that has garnered numerous positive press mentions. With 10 years of experience and clients like Amazon and Target, PowerFlex is a trusted provider of turnkey solar and energy storage solutions from development to execution. Our experience and industry relationships provide clients with exceptional flexibility and quality. To learn more, contact PowerFlex today and get a free solar assessment.