Tesla residential solar panels - is there synergy for a Tesla car buyer?

Discussion in 'Tesla' started by ponzu, Apr 18, 2018.

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  1. ponzu

    ponzu New Member

    Is Tesla residential solar panel offering competitive as a standalone solution (I have to assume not, but I have not done the research). Does Tesla offer any incentives to new or existing Tesla car buyers to install solar roof panels at the home where the Tesla will be charged nightly?

    More broadly, do many Tesla (and other EVs) owners feel compelled to install or at the very least seriously consider switching to solar power (climate permitting), or are they generally okay with the increased electric bill when the gas savings are taken into account?
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  3. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    At one time, it was claimed by EV enthusiasts that about 30% of plug-in EV owners had a solar power installation on the roof of their home. I don't know if that's actually true; it may be an inflated figure.

    I haven't seen anyone claiming that they felt "compelled" to do a solar power installation just because they bought a PEV (Plug-in EV). What I have seen about installing solar power is that whether or not it's cost-effective is highly dependent on variables such as where you live, what direction your roof faces and whether or not it has shade blocking the sun, whether or not your local electric utility offers time-of-use pricing and/or net metering, and other variables.

    There are various online calculators to help you determine what you would need and how much power you'd get from a rooftop solar installation. I suggest you start with two or three of those. Then if you think it makes sense to continue, if the cost/benefit equation seems like it might work for you, then get bids from two or three local installers before you make any final decision.

    All this, of course, assumes you own your own home. And unfortunately, a lot of people who do own their home in the suburbs still can't install typical solar panels on their roof because of rules from a neighborhood HOA (Home Owners Association).
  4. ponzu

    ponzu New Member

    Thanks, I own my home, and neighbors have installed solar panels, which tells, implicitly, that the HOA is cool with it. Your perspective seems valid and useful as a general approach to the solar installation decision. I was curious specifically on whether buying a Tesla PEV changes the equation either by putting additional pressure to make the switch because of the increased consumption, or my providing any tangible incentive, since Tesla is a provide of solar as well as cars.
  5. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I didn't respond to the earlier part of your OP, asking about using Tesla as a solar power installer, because I don't think I have an informed opinion. What Tesla has been doing is shifting away from the money-losing SolarCity business model, which promoted leasing the systems rather than buying them. (That is, the business model SolarCity was using before it was bought out by Tesla.) Tesla Energy is now promoting their rather expensive solar roof tiles, which I assume isn't what you're looking for, since that is (in my opinion) a niche product, and is aimed at an exclusive high-end market.

    Tesla is going to start building their own solar panels, but they have not yet done so.

    Hopefully someone else can provide details about Tesla Energy's current offerings for home solar installations using lower-cost solar panels, if they are still doing that; and if they are, whether or not they're offering a discount or special deal for Tesla car owners.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  6. ponzu

    ponzu New Member

    Thanks. Since my company has free charging, I think my solution will involve moving my car into the charging stall in the afternoon when others start leaving. If it's a supercharger, I believe two hours is all I need? Future has just gotten a little brighter with this calculation.
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  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    If your company is offering free charging, that won't be using a Supercharger, and probably not any form of DCFC (DC current Fast Charger). It will almost certainly be using a L2 (220 volt AC) slow charger.

    But keep in mind that you shouldn't normally need to do a "full" charge, which for Supercharger use would typically be charging from 10-20% to 80%. Unless you drive a lot farther on a daily basis than the average for American drivers -- that's about 40 miles per day -- then you should typically need only a few hours at a L2 charger on a daily basis.

    Tesla Superchargers were meant to be used only to support long-distance driving, not for everyday charging.
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  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Seems to me, then, that your best source of info would be talking to those neighbors of yours who have solar power installations. Get the benefit of their experience before you make any decision!
  10. ponzu

    ponzu New Member

    I clearly misunderstood and/or misused the term "supercharger". What I meant was "a special charger for EV vehicles that is different from a 115 volt household outlet, which, allegedly, can be used for charging a Tesla, but will take all night". If that's what an L2 charger is, then that's what I meant. I drive 11 miles one way. I was simply looking forward to shifting the financial burden for most of the charging to the company, since they are willing to shoulder it. Or at least going halfsies, charging both at home and at work. Others have the same idea, and the number of EVs and PHEVs goes up all the time, while the number of charging stalls remains set. But positive thinking is what we need right now.
  11. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Most EV charging, at home or at work, will be Level 1 (L1) charging at 110-120 volts, or Level 2 (L2) charging at 220-240 volts, alternating current (AC). A dedicated EV charger installed at home or at work is often called an EVSE (EV Supply Equipment). EVSEs use the car's onboard charger, which generates DC current to charge the car's batteries.

    Faster charging uses DC (Direct Current), bypassing the car's onboard charger, sending DC electricity directly to the car's battery pack. Such chargers are called DCFC (DC Fast Charger) stations, and Tesla's proprietary type of DCFC is called a "Supercharger".
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