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Electric Vehicle (EV) Solar Integration

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Electric Vehicles are The Future

Get Ahead with EVs

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the future of the automotive industry. Make sure those affluent citizens know about your retail outlet, shopping destination, bakery or wine farm by investing in a renewable energy solution with intelligent EV charge stations. EVs integrated with solar PV systems can result in close to zero vehicle running costs and can give your commercial business a competitive edge through savings generated from solar panels.

Besides the fact that EVs have a lower cost of ownership than their fossil fueled counterparts[1], there is one main advantage driving the global transition from fossil fueled vehicles to electric vehicles: environmental sustainability. But when an electric vehicle’s battery is charged from fossil-fuelled electricity sources, EVs are not as sustainable as you may think. The electric vehicle revolution doesn’t make sense without renewable energy and solar PV.


"Knowledgable, helpful staff greatly facilitated our choice of an inverter. Competent, tidy installation. Back-up service, while we familiarised ourselves with unit function, was excellent. The system has worked flawlessly to date."

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Why charging your EV via solar Power is so Important

According to the UN, the current automotive industry is responsible for about a quarter of global human greenhouse gas emissions, polluting the air that humans breathe in urban areas — which studies have linked to lowered life expectancy[2]. Governments and cities are starting to realise that they won’t be able to reach their emissions reductions goals without a transition to electric vehicles. EVs have zero driving tailpipe emissions – resulting in cleaner city air, and are relatively quiet when driving – reducing noise pollution. But when it comes to sustainability, to make a fair comparison between EVs and ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, we need to go a little deeper and compare their “well-to-wheel emissions”.

The well-to-wheel emissions of a vehicle is the measure of the total carbon and Greenhouse Gas emissions produced through the entire life cycle of the vehicle, from sourcing of the manufacturing materials to its energy usage during its active years. Lower well-to-wheel emissions means a smaller carbon footprint and a higher level of sustainability.

When it comes to sustainability, electric vehicles don’t have huge bragging rights over fossil-fueled vehicles in terms of the car’s well-to-wheel emissions if the EV battery is charged from “dirty”, fossil-fuelled electricity sources.

As displayed on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, an EV with a battery that is charged from an 84% coal-powered grid has about 1.4 times less well-to-wheel emissions than an equivalent combustion engine vehicle. An EV that is charged from a 77% renewably powered grid has about 8.5 times less well-to-wheel emissions than an equivalent combustion engine vehicle[3].

This means that charging your EV from a renewable energy source, such as Solar PV, reduces your vehicle’s well-to-wheel emissions by around 7 times compared to using electricity from coal or other “dirty” sources.

Well to wheel emissions diagram

Unfortunately, South Africa has a predominantly coal-powered grid[4]. Charging an EV from this form of energy production contributes a lot of emissions to the vehicle’s life-cycle. Your EV is only substantially more sustainable than an equivalent fossil-fueled vehicle when charged from cleaner energy sources, such as a solar PV system. The EV revolution doesn’t make sense without solar PV.


The Solution:

Installing solar PV on your commercial or residential building to charge your EV will drastically amplify the sustainable advantage that your electric vehicle has over conventional internal combustion engine cars by noticeably reducing the total well-to-wheel emissions of your vehicle. Investing in a solar PV solution will also bring you all of the other benefits of using renewable power, such as savings and grid-independence.

As a solar company, AWPower offers solar solution services. Our team of Engineers design and commission a wide variety of systems from fully off-grid to small battery backup. We are trusted installers for many commercial and residential clients.

We practice what we preach

AWPower’s company vehicle is the BMWi3 fully electric vehicle, which we charge through our Cape Town office’s solar PV system; ensuring that our EV is a solar electric vehicle:

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Whether you’ve made a final decision or not, please feel free to contact us for further information, advice or to arrange a consultation. 

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