Tesla ‘Charge on Solar’ Feature Debuts in Canada
This feature, designed to leverage excess energy from Tesla’s solar systems, promises to enhance the value of home solar setups by powering electric vehicles with surplus solar energy.
The feature can be used on Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y vehicles with software version 2023.26 or higher. It also requires a Powerwall equipped with on-site solar (software version 23.12.10 or higher) and the Tesla app (version 4.22.5 or higher). Powerwall is essentially a consumer-sized battery storage product from Tesla that can store energy from your solar panels or your electrical grid.
Some older Tesla vehicles, specifically Model S (2012-2020) and Model X (2015-2020), are not compatible with this feature.
Setting up Charge on Solar is a simple process. Users open the Tesla mobile app, select their vehicle, and choose ‘Charge on Solar.’ Following the prompts, they can set a charge limit and location, and the feature will then use excess solar energy to charge the vehicle each time it’s at this location.
The Tesla app also offers a sun slider that allows the vehicle to charge from any energy source, assuring users that their vehicle will have sufficient range for daily needs, even in the absence of excess solar energy.
Charge limits can be adjusted either through the Tesla app or on the vehicle’s touchscreen when at the Charge on Solar charging location. If the current charge level is below the left sun slider, the vehicle will charge from both solar and the grid. Once the charge level surpasses the sun slider, it will charge only on excess solar, up to the set limit.
Tesla advises users to plug in their vehicles during daytime hours at home to maximize solar charging. The Charge on Solar sun slider should be set to guarantee adequate range for daily driving, even if there isn’t enough excess solar energy.
Scheduled Charging, another handy feature of the Tesla app, allows users to charge their vehicle’s battery using excess solar until a particular time. Thereafter, the vehicle will accept charging from any source up to the lower charge limit.
For optimum vehicle charging management, the Charge on Solar feature can be used alongside various Powerwall modes, including Storm Watch, Backup Reserve, Self-Powered, Time-Based Control, and Go Off-Grid. These modes help prioritize charging, prepare for potential power outages, manage energy costs, and maximize overall solar operation efficiency.
This feature aims to let Tesla owners with a solar panel system and Powerwall to only charge their Tesla with excess solar energy. Not many people have both Powerwall and solar roof setups (as they are a pricey combo), but for those that do, this is a handy feature.