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How to Charge a Tesla with Solar Panels?

While getting into the EV club might be exciting, considering every option on the ground before making your decision can be very rewarding.

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There’s no denying Tesla’s impact on the electric vehicle industry. With the size of their budgets which reflects significantly on the size of their facilities, research, development, and innovations, Tesla is definitely no minion in this industry. However, in recent years, the use of a Tesla solar charger has garnered a lot of attention. Yet, with its widespread popularity charging a Tesla with solar panels is often misunderstood. But what is it really all about? This article evaluates the possibility of a Tesla solar charger, the requirements for solar panels, and related costs. So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in.  

1. Can I Charge My Tesla Directly from Solar Panels?

Whether or not it is feasible to utilize a solar charger for Tesla EVs is a common question that worries many a Tesla owner. But you needn’t worry if you are one. The thing is, you need to understand the required steps and specifications. It would help if you also had the right knowledge and implementation to make this renewable energy dream a reality for your Tesla.

The process is quite simple: just install some solar panels on your roof to collect the sun’s rays and transform them into electricity. Then, use that clean, renewable energy to boost your Tesla EV. Easy! So, to answer the question posed at the beginning: yes, you can absolutely charge a Tesla with solar chargers.

tesla solar panel
source : designboom

2. How Many Solar Panels Will It Take to Charge a Tesla?

Want to know how many solar panels you need to power up your Tesla electric vehicle? 

Well, it’s a little more complicated than just counting the number of panels on your roof. The Tesla model, panel effectiveness, location, and the power rating are determining factors for the number of solar panels required. Don’t worry. We’ll break it down for you.

But first, let’s do some math: if each panel pumps out 400 watts and you’re driving a Tesla that drinks 18.1 kWh every 62.13 miles, you’ll need a total of 8 panels to keep it charged up.

But let’s say you’re an average American driver and rack up 13,476 miles yearly. You’ll need a DC generation capacity of 3.2 kW to cover that distance. In panel terms, that means you’ll need a total of 9 portable solar panels to keep your electric car purring along.

Nevertheless, you still have to consider the efficiency of your panels. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you’ll need to produce the same amount of energy. Also, consider the kW of your system. The bigger the kW, the more power it can produce and the fewer panels you’ll need.

Of course, the model of your Tesla matters too since you can’t charge Model 3 and Model S using the same energy requirements. And lastly, your location can affect how many panels you need. If you live in a sunny area, you’ll need fewer panels to charge your Tesla than someone who lives in a cloudier place.

Just remember, every 62.13 miles, or so, your Tesla will need a little 18.1 kWh pick-me-up. But with the help of those Tesla solar chargers, you’ll be cruising down the road in no time.

tesla panels
source : edition.cnn

3.Necessary Tools for Setting up a Tesla Solar Charging Station

Ditching fossil fuels altogether and even the power grid to set up a Tesla solar charger is one great idea that needs careful planning and an understanding of the requirements. Here are the primary tools you’ll need to get started: solar cells or panels, some solar cables (red and black), a solar controller, an inverter, some solar batteries, and some battery cables (red and black per battery). Got all that? Great! 

Now it’s time to get creative. You can build a solar charger for your Tesla using a carport with solar panels on top or go for a more traditional charging station setup. Just make sure to keep your batteries in a dry, protected area.

Once everything is set up, it’s just a matter of connecting all the parts and letting the solar magic happen. Don’t worry if all this sounds too much for you. Just call in a professional to help out. That way, you can set up your Tesla solar-powered charging station as quickly as possible.

4. What is the charging time for a Tesla with solar panels?

It’s all about the connection and the model. Different Tesla models have different energy requirements, so it stands to reason that some will take longer to charge than others. And, the connection type employed makes a big difference. You will get around 3 mile-range per hour and between 4 and 8 days of charging if you decide to use NEMA 5-15 charger. However, a NEMA 14-50 gives you between 9 and 22 hours of charging with a 20 to 30 mile-range per hour. 

But a wall connector will be better if you really want to make the most of your charging time as it can add up to 44 mile-range per hour and a charging time of 6 to 15 hours. 

5. Can You Charge a Tesla with a Portable Solar Panel?

Firstly, it would take a ton of portable solar panels to meet your car’s energy needs. And even if you did manage to cover your vehicle with enough panels, you’d need uninterrupted sunshine from dawn to dusk to keep the charge going. Any clouds blocking the sun could significantly reduce your energy production. 

Portable solar panels only produce an average of 150 to 200 Watts. That’s not enough to fully charge a Tesla battery pack. However, if you’re really in a pinch and there’s no charging station in sight, a few portable panels might be able to provide some emergency power. Just don’t count on them as your sole source of energy while on the road.

6. How Much Money Does It Take to Charge a Tesla

One way to figure out how much it would cost to charge your Tesla with solar panels is by calculating the cost per kilowatt hour (kWh). This unit makes the calculation easier since it is generally accepted as an industry standard. Next, use the overall lifetime power generation to divide the (net) price of the solar charger. For example, let’s say you have a 2400-watt solar system that gets 5 hours of sun per day. You can expect it to generate around 104,965 kWh in 25 years using a 70% factor of disintegration. If the system’s net cost is $5,544, the price per kWh would be 5.28 cents.

Using the price per gallon of gas as a yardstick is often a great way to look at things. For instance, the 70kW battery from a Tesla Model 3 costs about $3.70 when using a solar charger. Compare that to the cost of filling up a gas tank, which is often much more expensive than $3.70. Plus, you won’t have to make any trips to the gas station. 

7. Best Time to Charge Tesla with Solar Panels

The best time to charge your Tesla with solar panels is when the sun is shining, and your panels are able to produce the most electricity. This typically happens during the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.

However, there are a few other factors to consider when determining the best time to charge your Tesla solar panels. For example, if you have a time-of-use electricity plan, you may want to charge your Tesla during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. You can check with your electricity provider to find out when off-peak hours are in your area.

It’s also a good idea to consider your own energy usage habits. If you’re typically away from home during the day and use most of your electricity at night, it may make more sense to charge your Tesla at night when your solar panels aren’t producing as much electricity. This can help you take advantage of excess solar energy that would otherwise go to waste.

8. Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Energy

If you are considering going solar, here are some advantages and disadvantages to evaluate. 

Firstly, its advantages. 

Lower electricity bills: By generating some of your energy with solar panels, you can reduce your energy bills. The size of your solar system and your energy usage will affect how much you save. 

Low maintenance costs: The major maintenance activity is usually just a few cleanings per year as there is little wear or tear with solar panels, with manufacturers giving warranties of between 20 and 25 years. 

Renewable power source: Solar energy is a renewable resource, available every day as long as we have the sun (which is expected to stick around for at least another 5 billion years). 

Numerous uses: Solar energy can be used for various purposes, including generating electricity, and heat, powering satellites, distilling water, and even creating transparent solar energy windows for buildings.

Some disadvantages to consider are: 

Initial cost: The initial cost of purchasing and installing a solar system can be high, including the price of solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring, and installation. 

Relies on the weather: Solar panels rely on sunlight to effectively gather solar energy, so their efficiency can drop on cloudy or rainy days. 

Expensive energy storage: If you want to use solar energy all day, you’ll need to store it in large batteries. These batteries can be charged during the day for use at night but can be expensive. 

Requires much space: The more electricity you want to produce, the more solar panels you’ll need to collect as much sunlight as possible. This can take up a lot of space, especially if your roof isn’t big enough to accommodate all the panels you want. 


Ultimately, the best connector for your EV will depend on your locality and your driving pattern, including your battery size and onboard charging capacity. However, a better indicator of a charger and connector’s suitability is the commitment of its manufacturer to quality. Partnering with an industry-leading brand like EV-Top is a sure winner. With close to two decades in the industry and being an innovative-driven EV solution provider, EV-Top meets clients’ requirements with bespoke designs while meeting the highest industry standards of quality and safety with internationally accepted certifications. They’ve also got a sea of clients who have become ambassadors to testify. More importantly, they provide one of the most competitive prices in the industry today.