The best EV chargers for solar

Solar power to charge electric vehicles (EV’s) is a natural complement.  It just makes sense.

Lowest cost energy

Typically, electricity from a solar system is lower cost than purchasing from the grid, so it is cheaper to run your car on solar energy.

No emissions

The energy from a solar system is renewable with no harmful emissions, meaning your EV effectively produces no emissions.  If you charge from the grid, which is predominantly supplied by fossil fuels, you’re still effectively producing emissions when you drive.


Using a solar system is a very efficient use of energy.  Straight from the solar system on the roof into the electric car.  There are no lengthy line losses involved which occur on the grid.  Line losses are losses in energy on the power lines from the power station, often hundreds of kilometres away, all the way to the home or business where the power is used. 


What is the most common EV plug used in Australia and New Zealand for home EV charging?

Type 2

The most commonly used plug for home EV charging is the Type 2 AC, also referred to as the IEC 62196 Type 2 of Mennekes plug.  It is used by the vast majority of EV manufacturers, including Tesla.


The Type 2 plug has a seven-pin design, with five power pins to support three-phase charging.


Type 1

Type 1 AC plugs are also used in Australia and New Zealand but are less common.  They have a five-pin design.  The two small pins are for data between the car and the charger to determine the maximum current to the car and also prevent the car from moving while connected.

Adaptors are available from Type 1 to Type 2


What are the levels of charging?

Level 1

Level 1 is slowest form of charging.  It is a charging system which plugs into an existing power point (GPO).  This means a maximum of only 2.4kW charge or 10Amps can be achieved.

Level 2

This is a special purpose charging system which is hard wired into the homes electrical wiring.  Being hard wired allows higher current to flow than a Level 1 charger which uses a power point.   This significantly increases the rate of charging compared to a Level 1 charger.


Level 3

These are purpose built charging stations that are often used in public places.  They allow even faster charging than Level 2 chargers.


What is the best way to charge an EV using solar?

If you are looking to install solar it is worthwhile thinking about using your solar system for EV charging.  Here are the best solar inverter options for use when charging your EV.



SolarEdge supply the worlds first solar inverter with a built in EV charger.  So, a separate EV charger is not required.  The energy from the rooftop solar is fed directly into the EV.  It can also utilise energy from the grid to charge the EV if required.  An EV can charge up to 4 times faster than a typical Level 1 charger when using this inverter to combine solar and the grid.

There is also a smart phone App available so you can see how the charging is going.   You can also schedule charging around off-peak tariffs to minimise costs when using the grid.

For more information click here




SMA have an EV charger that integrates with their range of solar inverters.   This includes older models so if you already have a solar system with an SMA inverter this is a great option.  It is an option worth considering for people wanting to install solar but do not have an EV yet.  They can add the SMA EV charger when they purchase an EV.




The SMA EV charger has an App which can control the type of charging required.  There is also a rotary switch on the charger itself which can do this too.   The SMA EV Charger can be set to follow the solar generation available at the time so charging is only using excess solar, or charging can be set times to suit time-of-use tariffs or when it suits the user for charging or a mixture of both.




There is a single-phase version that has a configurable charge power of 1.3kW to 7.4kW or a three-phase version which has a configurable charge power of 1.3kW to 22kW

The SMA charger has a Type 2 plug.


For more information click here




Enphase microinverters is an all-AC solution.  This essentially means that any AC chargers can be used including Vehicle-to-Grid chargers.



What is Vehicle to Grid charging?

Vehicle to Grid charging has a variety of names including Vehicle-to-Grid, V2G, Vehicle-to-Home or bidirectional EV charging.  Essentially, Vehicle-to-Grid means that in addition to charging the electric vehicle, the charger can use the energy in the EV battery to supply power to the home, business or even export to the grid.  For example the vehicle could be charged at work during the day and the stored energy used in the home at night. Vehicle-to-Grid chargers are in trial stages and not widely available yet but have the potential to maximise the use of EV storage and reduce electricity costs.

If the homeowner does not have an EV yet and not sure when they will purchase one Enphase microinverter system is a good solution.  Being an all-AC solution, a solar system can be installed now to supply energy for their home or business and then add more solar when they do get an EV.   Microinverters allows each solar panel to operate independently producing 240V.  Adding panels with microinverters in future is simple.  No need to worry about matching the make and model of solar panels with existing solar panels.

When they do get an EV, you can simply add more solar panels to their existing solar system and install the latest Type 2 charger to suit their new EV.


For more information click here


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