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Californians Told Not to Charge Their EVs…Just Days After the State Announced a Ban on Gas-Powered Cars

Just yesterday, August 30th, 2022, the citizens of California got to find out what it’s like to live in a third-world country where the power grid is always on the fritz.

Only in the Golden State the power problems aren’t the result of some rebel militia tearing through a power-generating district or because all the good engineers in the country flee to America. Rather, years of underinvestment in reliable power-generating infrastructure, underinvestment that critics claim stems from green policies (just think how much better a situtation they’d be in if more natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants had been constructed instead of windmills, critics claim), means that now California’s energy grid is going to be stressed to near the breaking point.

Such is what was announced in a recent California ISO news release for Folsom, California titled “Excessive heat starting tomorrow will stress energy grid: Consumer conservation likely needed this weekend to avert power outages“.

In that news release, the power producing company’s officials warn that the area’s energy grid will be stretched to the breaking point by rising temperatures and tell consumers to hold off on doing things such as running their air conditioners on full blast and charging electric vehicles, saying:

Starting tomorrow through Tuesday, California and the West are expecting extreme heat that is likely to strain the grid with increased energy demands, especially over the holiday weekend.

Temperatures are forecast to begin rising Wednesday, August 31, intensifying through the holiday weekend and extending to early next week. In many areas of the West, temperatures are forecasted to hit triple digits and break records.

In what’s likely to be the most extensive heat wave in the West so far this year, temperatures in Northern California are expected to be 10-20 degrees warmer than normal through Tuesday, Sept. 6. In Southern California, temperatures are expected to be 10-18 degrees warmer than normal.

The ISO is taking measures to bring all available resources online. Restricted Maintenance Operations (RMO) have been issued for Wednesday, Aug. 31, through Tuesday, Sept. 6 from noon to 10 p.m. each day, due to high loads and temperatures across the state. During the RMO, market participants are ordered to avoid scheduled maintenance to ensure all available generation and transmission lines are in service. The peak load for electricity is currently projected to exceed 48,000 megawatts (MW) on Monday, the highest of the year.

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.

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The power grid operator expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex alerts over the long weekend.

During a Flex Alert, consumers are urged to reduce energy use from 4-9 p.m. when the system is most stressed because demand for electricity remains high and there is less solar energy available. 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. Lowering electricity use during that time will ease strain on the system, and prevent more drastic measures, including rotating power outages.

While it’s true that California officials did not tell EV owners that they couldn’t charge their cars  (bolded emphasis so the fact-checkers see it), it is important that the ISO officials requested those with EVs in California, a state which has passed a bill that would outlaw the sale of gas and diesel-powered cars by 2035, to not charge their vehicles.

What if, sometime in the near future, the problem persists and those EV owners can’t get to work because the state steps in and does tell them that they can’t charge their EVs? What then?

Combustion-powered cars can always just be filled up so long as fuel is around. EVs, unless charged via generator or solar panels, have to be charged off the power grid. So long as California’s remains fragile and stretched, it seems California’s EV owners are at risk of not being able to charge their vehicles when there’s a heat wave.

Even if surmountable (just produce more reliable power), that’s yet another EV problem that’s not often brought up. Commenting about it on Twitter, one great account said:

California is asking residents to avoid charging electric vehicles because they don’t have enough juice.

They just passed a bill that bans the sale of new gas vehicles by 2035.

Totally fine.

To imagine what such a future would be like, all you need do is look at China, where this just happened:

Yikes. I think I’ll stick with my gas guzzler.

By: Gen Z Conservative, editor of Follow me on Facebook and Subscribe to My Email List