The fact that some Dutch people can charge their electric cars for free is thanks to solar panels. But how many panels are needed to charge an electric car?
The panels allow EV owners to charge their car free of charge. At least, if you don’t generate too much electricity. Energy suppliers have recently started charging feed-in costs for excess electricity, making solar panels less popular. So we don’t want too many panels on our roof.
How much power does one solar panel generate?
The power of solar panels is expressed in Wp, an abbreviation for Watt peak. This is how many watts a solar panel can generate under optimal conditions.
Fast charging is actually that bad for your electric car
In general, a solar panel generates about 350 Wp. In practice, however, you need to multiply this number by 0.88 to arrive at a realistic annual electricity yield.
One 350 Wp solar panel produces approximately 308 kWh of electricity per year. Although solar panels yield more on sunny days, for convenience we divide the 308 kWh by 365. That amounts to about 844 Wh per day, per panel.
Required quantity to charge electric car
Suppose you (soon) own a Volvo EX30. This electric car has a standard battery capacity of 49 kWh. In practice, it will rarely or never happen that you park it in the driveway with a 0 percent charge, but in this example we will calculate with the full 49 kWh. In theory, no fewer than 58 solar panels are needed to generate that much electricity on one sunny day. And that doesn’t even take the loading losses into account.
You will pay that crazy amount of tax for an electric car from 2026
Do you actually want to use your self-generated electricity to charge your car, especially with the phasing out of the netting scheme in mind? Then you will also have to charge your EV during the day, when solar panels make optimal use of the light. In practice, nighttime is the time when electric cars are charged at home. Installing a home battery could provide a solution in this case.
Spotted an error? Mail us. We are grateful to you.