Solar charging a 2021 Soul EV

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Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
I already posted this in the 2019 and earlier forum, but it occurs to me that the second-gen Soul EV be different, so I'm posting it here as well.

I watched an interesting YouTube video that demonstrated why you can't/shouldn't trickle-charge a Nissan Leaf directly from a solar panel, and the video's assertion was that the car requires a minimum level of current when charging the high voltage battery.

However, some cars absolutely can do this. For example, some trims of the IONIQ 5 come with a solar roof that can trickle charge the battery at very low rates (cloudy days, for example).

Has anyone attempted this with a second-gen Soul EV (2021 specifically)? My thought was to rig up (or better yet, purchase a ready made) solar panel, that includes whatever inverter is required to provide AC power to the on-board charger, and then have the electricity fed to a J-1722 plug. My goal here would be to put this device on top of the car to A) charge the vehicle and B) provide shade for it. I would lay it at an angle from the front of the hood to the top of the roof, so there should be ample airflow beneath the panel for cooling purposes.

So the question is, will the Soul EV accept a solar trickle charge? The issue with the LEAF in the video was the charging system appeared to disconnect when it dropped below a minimum threshold (I think it was 0.7 kW). Would the 2016 Soul EV suffer the same fate?

I'm hoping to avoid having to run the solar into a portable lithium ion power station, then plugging an EVSE into that. I'd love to cut out the cost and weight of the battery in the power station.
With some experimenting, the lowest rate of charge I was able to get a 2021 Soul EV to accept was 0.5 kW, which was setting an EVSE to its slowest rate (10 amp), and setting the on-board AC charger to its lowest rate. I'm curious if I could force it lower by using an EVSE that can go down to 8 amps or 6 amps.

The experimenting continues...