Tesla adds solar surplus charging function

Tesla has introduced the new 'Charge on Solar' function in various countries, which is currently being made available via a software update for the Tesla app. However, there is an important hardware requirement for the feature to be used with Tesla vehicles.

Image: Tesla

In addition to a Tesla vehicle – all models are supported here – customers must also have a Tesla Powerwall as a home storage unit and the Tesla Wall Connector as a wall box charging station. And, of course, a photovoltaic system on the roof. Tesla’s surplus charging function is probably not compatible with home storage systems from other manufacturers, at least the company’s announcement only mentions the combination with its own hardware.

“With Charge on Solar, your Tesla vehicle can charge using only excess solar energy produced by your Tesla solar system. Using excess energy to charge your electric vehicle maximizes the value of your home’s solar system. Use the Tesla app to set Charge on Solar limits and have your vehicle charge using extra solar energy,” the press release states. However, Tesla does not offer its own solar roof or solar panels in Europe. As the function is also being introduced in this country, it is likely to be compatible with solar systems from other brands – if the Tesla Powerwall is available.

In the app, there will also be a “sun slider” similar to the slider for the charge limit, which customers can use to set the minimum charge level they require. For example, the “sun slider” can be set to a 40 per cent charge level, which allows the customer to complete their usual driving route without any problems. the slider for the charge limit can be set to 90 per cent. If there is not enough surplus energy from the PV system, the system will charge the car to 40 per cent using electricity from the grid. The range between 40 and 90 per cent is only charged with surplus solar energy; at 90 per cent, the charging process is terminated completely in this case.

The function itself can be used free of charge (provided the necessary hardware is available) and will be introduced with app version 4.30.5, according to Tesla. This is planned in the following European countries: Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Outside Europe, the function will be introduced in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

The vehicles must have software version 2023.32 or higher for this, the Powerwall with Solar requires software version 23.12.10 or higher, according to Tesla. On the website (linked below), Tesla also provides a video tutorial on how to set up the function.



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