Californians told to not charge EVs as ageing electricity grid struggles in heatwave

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Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh

Just days after the state said it would stop selling gas-powered cars, Californians were advised not to charge their electric vehicles on Wednesday as the ageing energy grid battles a terrifying heatwave. 

In certain Los Angeles suburbs, temperatures as high as 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 Celsius) were predicted as a massive heat dome bakes a large portion of the western United States. 

It is anticipated that the hot weather would place enormous demands on the already overburdened electrical grid, especially when people turn on their air conditioners in the scorching hours after work and school.

“Consumers are urged to reduce energy use from 4 to 9 pm when the system is most stressed because demand for electricity remains high and there is less solar energy available,” said the American Public Power Association, a body that represents public utilities, as reported by AFP.

“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.”

During the so-called “shoulder hours,” when rooftop solar panels stop producing electricity but demand is still high due to still-high temperatures, California’s power companies often advise families to reduce their usage. 

A week after state regulators forbade the sale of new gasoline and diesel automobiles beginning in 2035, there has been a call to restrict the amount of time that electric vehicles can be charged. 

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Only extremely efficient plug-in hybrids will be allowed to use fossil fuels, leaving the majority of SUVs, sedans, and light trucks with exhaust emissions that are more than zero. 

Because of the importance of California’s auto market and its capacity to set national and possibly international norms, the decision was hailed as a game-changer for the EV industry.

(with inputs from agencies)

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