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Federal Election 2019: Charging an electric car with solar panels could take up to five days

Written by Lanai Scarr / The West Australian / 10 May 2019

Labor’s plans to have Australians charge their electric vehicles via solar panels on their rooftops could see some cars take up to five days to fully charge.

The West Australian can reveal an analysis of some of the electric vehicles available on the market and how long they would take to charge if a familyrelied solely on a 5kW solar panel system – the typical set up for a standard household.

A Hyundai Ioniq, which has the smallest battery available on the market, would take 1.4 days to charge, assuming a 5kW home solar system that produced 20 kWh of electricity without any battery storage.

A Nissan Leaf would take two days to fully charge and a Tesla Model S would take five days.

A family could charge a vehicle in six hours overnight using home solar, but only if they installed a home EV charging station ($1500), a 10kW solar panel system (between $10,000 and $14,000) and a $30,000 home battery system (2 x 18 kWh batteries).

In a transport strategy document released by the Queensland Labor government in March it encouraged charging via a home solar set up.

“Operating costs are 65 per cent lower than traditional cars, potentially making EVs a more affordable transport option in the long-term,” the document stated.

“Charging using a home solar system would reduce (operating costs) to almost zero.”

Bill Shorten last night did not deny home solar charging was part of his plan to achieve Labor’s target of 50 per cent of all new vehicles to be electric by 2030.

Premier Mark McGowan also would not rule out support for home solar-only charging when approached by The West Australian.


Labor want to encourage people to use solar powered roof panels to charge their electric vehicles.Picture: Supplied

Mr Shorten has previously claimed electric vehicles would take just 8-10 minutes to charge.

“Oh, it can take … it depends on what your original charge is, but it can take … 8 to 10 minutes depending on your charge, it can take longer … ” Mr Shorten told Sydney radio Kyle and Jackie O last month.

However even using a specialized home charging unit from the electricity grid, a full charge at home would take a minimum of two hours.

The Coalition would like to see natural take up of electric vehicles increase to up to 18 per cent of new car sales by 2030.

Chief Executive of the Australian Automobile Association, Michael Bradley, said it was important whoever won government that they supported motorists.

“Any transition to widespread use of electric vehicles can only be successful if a wide range of complementary transport, emissions and energy policies are put in place,” Mr Bradley said.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor last night said Labor had not done its homework on its signature policies.

“It is impractical to expect Australian families to charge their EV’s off their rooftop solar,” Mr Taylor said.

“Australians would either need to leave their vehicles at home all day to charge, or invest in an expensive battery and solar set up. This is yet another example of Labor not doing their homework on their reckless policies.”

A Labor spokeswoman said: “The Liberals don’t believe in climate change, that’s why they resort to spreading lies and running hopeless scare campaigns.”

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