bar harbor solar system

22 Feb How many solar panels do I need to charge my EV?

Solar energy and electric vehicles (EVs) are an excellent combination. Charging your car with solar panels allows you to both power your home and your car with renewable energy. It is an excellent way to reduce fossil fuel use and lower your expenses. However, it is crucial to size your solar system properly to get the most value out of it. The Sundog Solar team is skilled in sizing solar systems for optimum cost savings and performance. 

The average family needs roughly 5 to 12 solar panels to charge their car throughout the year. Thus, the exact amount of power your panels will need to produce to charge your EV will vary on several factors. Let’s take a look.


  • How far do you drive each year? 
  • How efficient is your electric vehicle? 
  • Do you always charge at home, or do you sometimes charge on the road or at work?

Although the efficiency of electric cars varies, the average car needs about 30 kWh to drive 100 miles. The average EV owner drives about 5,300 miles per year. Let’s assume that you only charge at home. That would mean that you consume about 1,600 kWh annually to charge your car. That’s about 5 solar panels in Maine. 

If you drive 10,000 miles annually and only charge at home, you would need about 10 solar panels to charge your car each year. Likewise, if you do about half your charging on the go, five solar panels for charging your car at home might be sufficient.

Sundog Solar design specialists can review your electric bills to determine your total household energy consumption. This is the most accurate way to size a solar system unless you expect your household electricity use to change significantly. 

Sundog Solar can install solar systems with Level 2 electric vehicle chargers, like this clean energy system for the Tyler family in Bar Harbor, Maine. This allows them to charge their car with the sun and seamlessly integrate solar panels and an EV charger. In addition, their level 2 charger also allows them to quickly charge their Nissan Leaf, saving time.

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