Tesla has been continuously releasing software updates, and its latest one introduces several new features. One of the notable additions is the “Charge on Solar” function, which enables Tesla owners to charge their vehicles using renewable solar energy.
By using this feature, any Tesla vehicle, can conveniently charge itself using surplus energy generated by Tesla’s solar system. Regrettably, the feature isn’t compatible with the Model S from 2012 to 2020 and the Model X from 2015 to 2020.
The minimum requirements for this feature are having software version 2023.26 or a more recent update and a Powerwall with solar on-site, running on software version 23.12.10 or newer, along with the Tesla app version 4.22.5 or higher.
The setup process of this system is quite simple. All you need to do is open the Tesla app, choose your vehicle, and then tap on the “Charge in Solar” option. Once it’s done, you’ll be guided through the process with prompts to configure your charging location and set the desired charge limits.
Each time you plug your car into the designated charging location, Charge on Solar will automatically active. It will charge your Tesla up to the specified limit, exclusively using energy generated from the sun. You might be worried that your solar system won’t produce enough energy to meet your required range, but Charge on Solar offers a clever solution with its sun slider.
This slider lets you to adjust the percentage of your charge that comes directly from solar energy and allocate the rest from another energy source as needed. If you’re aware that your solar energy can provide 50% of the required battery charge, the remaining part of the charging session will switch to a more conventional energy source.
According to Tesla, owners will maximize the benefits of this function by plugging in their vehicle during daytime hours. The feature can be particularly useful for individuals who work from home and primarily use their car in the evenings.
To ensure a perfect balance between the surplus power from your solar system and the power consumption of your home, the car will intelligently adjust the charge power approximately every ten seconds. Tesla emphasizes that the car may wait until there’s 1.2 kW of solar power available. This deliberate delay aims to prolong the lifespan of your charging equipment while optimizing overall efficiency.
Tesla owners also have the option to configure the Charge on Solar function to solely use excess solar energy until a specific time of day. For instance, let’s consider a scenario where you set it to 7 PM. After setting the specific time, the car will make a note of the change and, at that designated hour, begin accepting another charging source. This clever approach enables you to take advantage of solar energy during the daytime and seamlessly switch to the grid during the night when costs are typically lower.
Numerous arguments have been made about EVs not emitting emissions, but it’s worth noting that they aren’t entirely “green” since they still rely on non-renewable energy sources. Tesla’s Charge on Solar system offers a promising solution for owners, as it allows them to predominantly charge their vehicles using renewable energy, which is great from an environmental perspective.