Tesla has officially introduced a new feature called Charge on Solar, which was first seen in the source code of the mobile app several months ago. The feature allows Tesla owners to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) by utilizing excess solar energy generated from their Tesla solar systems.
Charge on Solar is available for both Canadian and US Tesla owners. According to a new support page launched this past weekend, the software requirements are a minimum of version 2023.26 for the vehicle, version 23.12.10 for the Powerwall, and version 4.22.5 for the Tesla app. Unfortunately owners of a 2012-2020 Model S or 2015-2020 Model X aren’t able to use Charge on Solar. (h/t: @SawyerMerritt)
If you meet those requirements, you can simply follow the steps laid out in the Tesla app to start charging your car on excess solar energy.
- Open the Tesla app on your mobile device.
- Select your Tesla vehicle.
- Tap on ‘Charge on Solar.’
- Follow the prompts to set your charge limit and preferred charge location.
You will know you’re using Charge on Solar because of a new sun slider feature. This slider allows you to determine the source of energy for your vehicle’s charging needs, which can be adjusted in the Tesla app or from the main display inside the vehicle. Once setup your vehicle will initially charge from solar and the grid until it reaches the charge level indicated by the left sun slider. Once this level is reached, the vehicle will automatically switch to exclusively charging on excess solar energy, up to the set charge limit.
In the example below the car will be charged using the home’s power source until it reaches 40% state-of-charge (SOC), and then will use excess solar from 40% to 90%.
If you are used to plugging in your car overnight, you may have to change your habits. Tesla recommends you plug in your vehicle during daylight hours whenever you’re at home. With real-time monitoring the vehicle continually adjusts its charge power approximately every 10 seconds to align with the available excess solar power and the overall power consumption in the home.