As a brutal heatwave cooks the West ahead of Labor Day, the California grid operator is calling on electric vehicle owners to avoid rush hour charging. The request is part of a larger effort to keep the grid up and running, while locals turn on air conditioners to survive a series of scorching days.
At least until 2 September, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) asks residents to save energy “by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or more, if health permits, avoiding the use of large appliances and turning off unnecessary lights” from 4pm to 9pm. : 00 Pacific. “They should also avoid charging electric vehicles” during that time frame, he added nonprofit, which oversees the California power grid and energy market.
CAISO warned in a separate note that it could issue further calls to safeguard electricity “during Labor Day weekend” in response to three-digit forecasts. The warning came when Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation to increase power generation in the state.
Rising temperatures and conservation demands come as the California Air Resources Board paves the way for a ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered cars. The phased regulation won’t go into full effect for more than 12 years, but it has raised doubts that the state’s grid can reliably power millions of additional EVs by that point, given California’s recent history of summer blackouts.
Time is running out, but the regulation is seen by climate experts as a crucial step for California, and other states that could follow suit, to drastically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are making heat waves worse and worse. more frequent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, gas-powered passenger cars and light trucks account for more than half of U.S. transportation emissions.
“For the fifth largest economy to declare such a thing by 2035 is quite aggressive,” Dr. William Collins, director of the climate and ecosystem sciences division at Berkeley Lab and the Carbon Negative Initiative, told TechCrunch, after the council approved the regulation.
Dr Anne Lusk, a researcher and teacher at Harvard’s School of Public Health, also said the moment was right in a phone call this week with TechCrunch.
“For the issue of mobile air pollution, we need the policy immediately,” he said. However, due to other issues such as range anxiety and income inequality, “I think 2035 is right,” he clarified, citing the time it takes for automakers to release cheaper electric vehicles, for more used electric vehicles. to hit secondary markets and for the United States to shore up its charging infrastructure.
At that point: A recent survey by JD Power highlighted low maintenance chargers and high prices as two key obstacles to electric vehicle adoption.
Meanwhile, it’s hot as hell and getting hotter and hotter. California maintains a list of cooling centers and tips for residents suffering from extreme heat, which is the deadliest form of extreme weather in the United States, according to the National Weather Service.