Heat Wave Pulls the Plug on Electric Cars

Days after releasing a plan to phase out new gas-powered cars, Ben Zeisloft of the Daily Wire reports that California officials are “asking residents to avoid charging their electric vehicles in the interest of not overwhelming the power grid.” 

According to Cornell University College of Engineering researchers, most electric vehicle owners charge their cars when they return from work in the evening, a time of peak demand. 

That demand is now heightened in California with the National Weather Service warning of a prolonged and record heat wave, with temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Voluntary conservation measures expected for Labor Day weekend include setting thermostats above 78 degrees, avoiding using large electric appliances, and not charging electric vehicles. The power demand from many electric vehicles simultaneously charging may outstrip the grid’s current capacity. 

California’s warning of low grid capacity comes days after the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued new rules requiring 35 percent of new vehicles to produce zero emissions by 2026, rising to 68 percent benchmark by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035. According to the CARB press release, the new regulations “will clean the air, slash climate pollution, and save consumers money.” 

CARB does not provide a plan to improve the grid that will allow those electric cars to charge up during peak demand. So this Labor Day weekend and beyond, electric vehicle owners may have to seek alternative transportation. 

 

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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