Days After Gas Vehicle Ban, Californians Asked Not to Charge Electric Vehicles

California’s power grid is struggling.

QUICK FACTS:
  • California power grid operators have asked Californians to make voluntary energy cuts as excessive heat is forecasted to extend into next week.
  • The California Independent System Operator warned residents that they are using “all available resources” to prepare for the heat wave, which is expected to be the most severe this year.
  • The excessive heat warning is for much of Southern California and the National Weather Service warned that the temperatures could be as high as 115 degrees.
  • Included in the grid operators’ request was that air condition units be turned up to 78 degrees and those with electric vehicles avoid charging them. They’re also asking unnecessary appliances be turned off.
  • This warning comes just days after it was announced that the state is putting a ban on internal combustion engine vehicle sales by 2035.
  • Californians were told by officials that lowering their power usage will prevent “more drastic measures, including rotating power outages.”
EXPERTS’ RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • “If weather or grid conditions worsen, the ISO may issue a series of emergency notifications to access additional resources and prepare market participants and the public for potential energy shortages and the need to conserve,” CAISO officials warned Tuesday night. “The power grid operator expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex Alerts over the long weekend.”
  • “The top three conservation actions are to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turn off unnecessary lights,” according to the American Public Power Association. During a “Flex Alert,” residents are encouraged to reduce energy consumption from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm — the hours in which “demand for electricity remains high and there is less solar energy available.”
BACKGROUND:
  • California announced just days ago that they would ramp up their electric vehicle sales after The new legislation was put to a vote Tuesday by state regulators who chose to phase out the sale of gas cars within the next 13 years.
  • Californians who have gas-powered vehicles will be allowed to keep driving them and buying used internal combustion engines, but no new models will be sold in the Golden State after that time.
  • Previous reports indicated that California’s electric grid might not be ready for the ban on gas-powered vehicles, even without the year’s hottest days putting an extra strain on the system.