Tesla is the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, and among many new improvements to its cars, you can now charge your EV with the Charge on Solar feature using excess energy produced by the Tesla solar panels on your house.
These panels can look like a regular roof, but they actually capture and store the sun’s energy, creating a more sustainable energy source while saving people money on energy bills.
Tesla’s solar panels, along with other renewable energy sources, sometimes produce too much energy for a home to use — which is where the Charge on Solar feature comes into play.
Using the feature, EVs are charged with a combination of grid power and excess solar energy, and users control when the car switches from being charged by both to being charged solely with excess energy, Electrek reported. Charging using both is faster if you’re in a pinch, but if not, you can set it to use up as much excess energy as you’d like.
So far, the feature is available to anyone in the U.S. or Canada, but it can only be used with Tesla’s Powerwalls and specific EVs. Over time, this will hopefully expand to include other EVs and renewable power sources.
The improvement not only makes charging easier, but according to Tesla, “[it] maximizes the value of your home’s solar system.”
If you have solar panels, the excess energy typically goes to the power grid, and you’ll often receive a credit for it. However, this new method allows you to make direct use of at least some of that energy. It’s all controlled by the Tesla app, so it’s simple and convenient to use and represents another step toward environmentally friendly vehicles.
EVs are already considered so because they don’t directly produce planet-warming gases like gasoline cars do. However, they have room for improvement in a few areas, and focusing on using entirely renewable energy — especially excess energy — is an exciting advancement.
The announcement was met with mixed reviews. Some were excited by the idea, while others were looking for more variety in the types of cars and solar panels that could be used, per Electrek.
One user wrote: “This development has caused me to think a little more positively with my intention to eventually get two Tesla Powerwalls to go with my Solar PV. I suspect after I get them I will shake my head wondering what took me so long.”
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