Residential solar paired with smart home offerings has become ubiquitous over the years for many national solar installers. If homeowners can access their pet’s automatic feeders through an app, then they of course expect to see their solar generation on a small screen, and be able to actively interact with it in conjunction with their smart electronics and home battery systems. Solar installers can set up those processes for the homeowner, so it makes sense for them to jump on the next smart energy product: electric vehicle chargers.
EV ownership is expected to accelerate with the inclusion of tax breaks in the Build Back Better Act. Households that purchase a new electric car would receive a $3,500 tax credit ($4,500 if the vehicle is made in the United States). Used EVs (at least two years old) get a $2,000 credit. Of course, this is if the BBB Act passes as written.
Various surveys have found that solar owners are more likely to have an EV and vice versa. That’s why many national solar installers are getting into the EV charger market now; either to upsell solar customers or encourage those wanting EV chargers to consider going solar.
SunPower has formed a strategic alliance with Wallbox, where SunPower customers can install a Wallbox EV charger at the same time as their solar and/or storage system, and SunPower acts as the preferred solar, storage and EV charger installer for Wallbox customers.
Sunrun also worked out an exclusive deal with Ford when the motor company announced its all-electric F-150 Lightning truck in May 2021. The F-150 Lightning, which can also serve as emergency home backup, needs a charging station and home integration system, both of which will be installed by Sunrun dealers. Like the SunPower/Wallbox relationship, Sunrun will have the opportunity to encourage Ford owners to go solar + storage at the same time as the EV charger install.
ChargePoint, operator of the largest network of EV chargers in North America, inked its own deal with Sunnova. While this deal doesn’t come with the exclusive installation rights, this relationship does offer Sunnova solar customers the option to install the country’s most trusted and universal charging station.
“EVs in the home increase annual energy demand from 50 to 100%, depending on the owner’s charging behavior. By bundling a solar system and an EV charger in a single purchase, Sunnova is allowing customers to properly size and install the right energy solution for all their needs,” said Michael Grasso, executive VP at Sunnova, in a press release. “And with ChargePoint software embedded in their personal Sunnova portal, customers will benefit from car charging optimized for their Sunnova home energy ecosystem.”
Big-named solar companies continue to work toward being that one-stop shop for homeowners’ smart energy needs, now including EV charging in the equation.