Small business owner Garth James has slashed his monthly fuel bill by 97 per cent by turning to sunshine to power his new plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander with a solar inverter and EV charger, set to pocket him an extra $7000 over a year.
As part of a six-month trial by SolarEdge, Mr James installed SolarEdge’s newly launched world-first two-in-one solar inverter and EV charger at his Adelaide office. Since September, Mr James has travelled 10,000km on just $20 a month, topping up his car battery from the sun between home and business trips.
“I’ve gone from spending $600 a month on fuel to basically driving just on sunshine. And really anyone can do it with advances in technology like this (combined inverter and charger). I also have solar panels at work because of my business (Go4Solar and Electrical), but people could do this from home during the day or on weekends,” Mr James said.
Distributing power through the two-in-one solar inverter has also returned a feed-in tariff credit of between $40 and $80 a month.
Mr James said a projected saving of $7000 a year on fuel alone would reduce the pay-back period on his car, which as a plug-in hybrid was a cheaper option than a full-battery EV model.
“It’s even more cost effective for businesses that have company cars that are GST exempt. I don’t know why more people aren’t making the switch – it just makes sense from a financial and environmental perspective.”
SolarEdge Australia managing director Gavin Merchant said the company had fielded strong interest in its two-in-one EV charger and solar inverter since its release announcement late last year.
The combined unit charges up to four times faster than typical chargers through a solar boost mode that allows simultaneous charging from grid and solar power from the inbuilt solar inverter.
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Mr Merchant said the trial proved motorists could effectively charge their EV from the sun rather than the grid, slashing thousands of dollars from household budgets in the process.
“Surveys show 80 per cent of EV owners charge their cars at home. Homeowners now have the option to install a solar system that directly allows them to charge their EV from the sun for free,” Mr Merchant said.
“Garth is a great example of how households can save thousands in fuel costs and still generate enough excess energy to shave hundreds of dollars from their power bill – savings that could be better put towards a mortgage or a nice family holiday.”
The two-in-one charger and inverter is compatible with multiple EVs and integrates with the SolarEdge monitoring platform, allowing users to control and track charging status and set charging schedules to take advantage of off-peak rates, all at the touch of their smart device.