With Its Power Grid Under Pressure, California Asks Residents to Avoid Charging Electric Vehicles

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The Epoch Times

Amid a West Coast heat wave that includes triple-digit temperatures, California’s power grid operators have called on residents to not use as much electricity so as to put less strain on the state’s beleaguered grid.

In the past week, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) told residents several times to voluntarily conserve energy, including asking them on social media to stop charging their electric vehicles (EVs) during peak usage times. The operator also warned users to “[avoid] use of large appliances and turning off extra lights.”

“This usually happens in the evening hours when solar generation is going offline and consumers are returning home and switching on air conditioners, lights, and appliances,” wrote the ISO.

And on June 18, the California Flex Alert Twitter page wrote that “now is the perfect time to do a load of laundry,” and urged residents to “remember to use major appliances, charge cars and devices before #FlexAlert begins at 6 p.m. today.”

It comes as the federal government and certain state governments—including California’s—have pushed to convert their respective fleets to electric vehicles. President Joe Biden, who was seen in May in a photo-op driving an electric version of the Ford 150, earlier this year issued an executive order and promised some $174 billion into the electric vehicles market.

And California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, last fall announced he would set 2035 as a target date for ending the sale of petroleum-powered vehicles in the state.

Newsom, at the time, predicted that “zero-emission vehicles will almost certainly be cheaper and better than the traditional fossil fuel powered car” in 15 years.

However, amid the push, critics have suggested that if there are too many electric vehicles in use, it could potentially put a strain on state power grids and utilities.

Patty Monahan, the lead commissioner on transportation at the California Energy Commission, said that residents should choose to charge their electric vehicles at different times to avoid overloading the power grid.


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