"The increasing adoption rate of both solar technology and electric vehicles has led to the development of solar carports as an obvious and practical application."

Solar Carports 

Solar carports are a simple yet clever combination of protecting vehicles and their users from the elements, charging electric vehicles, and harnessing renewable energy from the sun to do so. They use similar equipment as ground-mounted solar panel systems and therefore require a similar installation process as well. Solar carports are esentially taller ground-mounted solar panels arrays, lifted higher to accomodate and shelter the vehicle and the EV charging station below.

The benefits of solar powered car ports

In addition to the positive environmental impact of having an emissions-free green fleet or simply promoting the adoption of fossil fuel free cars, there are a number of real-world practical financial benefits to property, people and our environment. 

Business or Organisation Benefits Solar powered car benefits
Promotes fossil fuel free road use
EV recharging with renewable energy
Powering property not just cars
Positive CSR and green credentials statement
Additional solar generation space
Reduced energy bills
Protect people and cars from the elements
Smart remote monitoring/management
Optional revenue generation
Enhanced brand image
No petrol or diesel bills
No fuel duty payable on electricty 

No road tax*
No congestion charges*
Lower NI contributions
Lower company car tax for employees
100% capital allowance against taxable profits
£8,000 grant towards a new electric Van*
£500 grant for charging stations*

* These will depend on where in the UK your business is based and on eligibility which varies from region to region across the UK

All this points to a healthy return on investment, investment in your business instead of payments to HMRC, plus a very public statement about your businesses "green credentials" to your workforce, your customers and your competitors.

Things to consider

Another benefit of having a solar carport is that it gives you flexibility in the way that you can customize your solar and ev charging project. There are a number of variables to consider...

  • When installing solar panels on a rooftop, there are many variables that may limit how many panels can be placed and where.
  • Whereas a ground-based system can be built anywhere and to any specifications, the property's rooftop may not be able to support 100% of the solar panels that you ideally want to install, so having carports is a clever way of gaining additional space for installation.
  • The direction of your solar panels and the angle at which they are placed has a large impact on the amount of energy being produced. A solar carport can be structured to optimize the positioning of your solar panels, whereas this may not be as simple for a rooftop solar panel system.
  • Energy storage is something else to consider. Whereas solar energy can be harnessed to power the property as well as vehicles, installing an intelligent battery will provide reserve power in teh event of power cuts or unusually excessive demand.
  • How will it be managed?
    With an intelligent hub, the whole system can be monitored and managed remotely on a PC or smartphone. One can monitor energy harnessing, how and where it is being used, and how surplaus energy can be stored or sold to the National Grid.
  • What about revenue generation?
    You may choose to charge users for EV charging. There are several ways this can be achieved to suit you. Intelligent and connected EV charging stations allow for vehicla and user ID using cards, RFID, Bluetooth or WiFi, and for payments to be collected via payment cards, payment app, online banking, or charged to a user/department account.

How much do solar carports cost?

We can't give actual prices for completed carports as they are customer specific. The costs will depend on location, the size of the installation, the number of EV charging stations, connection to the main building, etc. All these factors have a bearing on the cost of individual hardware components as well as the survey, design, installation, commissioning and certification.

Examples

Below are examples of how businesses and organisations have adoped solar carports as part of their environmental and money saving strategies here in the UK. 

Nottingham Council
Nottingham city council installed solar powered parking and EV charging at the Ken Martin Leisure Centre. This installation spanned 40 car parking spaces, and won them a national environmental innovation award as a result.

Aviva
Aviva has installed a 608kWp solar carport at their offices in Norwich. it comprises of 1,872 panels, generating over half a million kWh of renewable energy each year. Approximatey 91% of this energy is used to power their offices, and any excess of energy being used in EV charging is exported to the national grid. 

Bentley Motors
Even though they don't (yet) manufacture EVs, Bentley Motors in Crewe has installed what is said to be the largest solar carport in the UK comprising of 10,000 solar panels with a capacity of 2.7MW, covering 1,378 car poarking spaces. Bentley believe they are reducing their carbon footprint by 3,300 tonnes pa. Read more  

At home or work
Solar carports are also a clever choice for smaller installations at home or at work without the need for large car parks as above. This Type 51 solar carport is only 4.0m by 5.2m with up to 4.4Wp of solar reneration yielding approximately 4,700 of renewable energy per year.

Next steps

Use us for a free consultation. We will work with you to assess the costs vs benefits to your business of going more energy efficient and adopting a green fleet. We will work with you to build a bespoke solution based around your preferences and cost savings from the following assets

  • Electric cars and vans, options, leasing and availability
  • An internet-connected intelligent hub with its own intuitive management dashboard for PCs, tablets, and smartphones
  • Clever and connected EV charging stations
  • Cost reduction from on-site micro-generation
  • Green energy tariffs from Government authorised and licensed renewable sustainable energy providers.
  • Grants and loans availability and eligibility
  • Cost-benefit analysis

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