Charging Electric Car With Portable Solar Panels? {Step-by-step}

For the past few days, I have been wondering about charging my electric car with portable solar panels in case of an emergency.

So I did some online research and here’s what I found. I’ll show you a step-by-step process to charge your EV with portable solar panels.

Charging electric car with portable solar panels

Can I charge my electric car with portable solar panels?

Yes, You can charge your electric car (Tesla) with portable solar panels. But it would likely not be very effective. It will add a few miles of electric storage after many hours.

There are many factors to keep in mind if you’re thinking about charging your EV with a portable solar power system.

So in the end you’ll have the complete guide to charging your EV with a portable solar system.

Things you need to charge your EV with portable power system

1. Portable solar panels for electric car

portable solar panel for ev

My Recommendation: Renogy 200W solar panels

Portable solar panels will allow you to absorb the sunlight and convert it to direct current. which we will further store and use that electricity to charge the electric car.

this is the first and most important thing to have.

the reason why I recommended this is that first of all I’m using this one and it’s working for me fine. and second of all, this is a 200W portable solar panel the highest Watt portable solar panel available in the market with good reviews and a high market gap with a decent price and good quality.

Read More: Full in-depth Renogy 200w solar panel review

2. Solar generator

My Recommendation: Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000

Jackery explorer 1000 review

this portable power station will allow you to store the Direct current produced by the solar panels. Then you can use that power to charge your electric car. it comes with a built-in battery which allows you to store 1000W power.

by having this power station you don’t have to worry about having an additional charge controller and inverter.

this little thing comes with a battery, charge controller & inverter built-in, which will save you time for wiring the controller or interior.

Read More: my full in-depth review of jackery 1000

Some other must-haves.

Woods Multi-Outlet Extension Cord

Ground Bonding Plug

How Many Portable Solar Panels Do I Need To Charge EV?

On average a 200W portable solar panel can generate about 180-200 watts of energy with good sunshine.

Electric vehicle power is measured in kilowatts per hour (kWh).

To calculate watts into kWh we use a simple formula

kWh = (watt x hours) / 1000
kWh = (200 x 5) / 1000
 kWh =  1

So in 5 hours, you’ll generate about 1kWh of energy from one 200w portable solar panel. If the panel is getting good sunshine and working at its full capacity.

which is normally not possible. The average efficiency rate of the panel is about 20%. which means 20% of your power will be lost in the system.

so basically with 6 hours of sunlight 200W portable solar panels can generate about 1kwh energy.

Power required to charge EV

On Average Electric vehicles consume 0.25 – 0.34 kWh of energy for one mile. Tesla’s new model (Mode 3) on average gives you 4.1 miles of drive from 1kWh. Ford EV gives you about 3 miles of drive from 1kWh.

if you have a 200W portable solar panel it will give add about 3-4 miles after 6-7 hours depending upon your car model and brand.

what if you have multiple 200W portable solar panels?

2 solar panels will add up 6-8 and 4 will add up 12-16 miles of drive-in 6-7 hours. Don’t forget under good weather conditions. This number can be less.

I have discussed in detail how to connect multiple portable solar panels together.

Charging Electric car with portable solar panels {guide}

it would be difficult for me to guide you on step by step process of charging your EV with a portable power system. So here’s a video that will explain to you in detail.

My Final Thoughts

if you’re thinking about charging your EV (tesla, RV) with portable solar panels or a portable solar power system so yea it is possible but it wouldn’t be that much effective for you. yea you can add some additional miles on the road and can be effective in case of emergency.

I have a portable power system to charge my EV so I would recommend it to you as well

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Chris Tsitouris is a renewable energy professional with 10+ years of experience as Director of Engineering at Solar Spectrum, previously working as Project Manager at SunPower and Energy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. As a thought leader, Chris has authored numerous articles and research papers.

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