California, known for rolling blackouts, recently approved a controversial plan to ban the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. A few days later, California officials have asked residents not to charge their electric vehicles to avoid overwhelming the power grid over Labor Day weekend.
According to Autoblog, the news was announced via a so-called Flex Alert. The California Independent System Operator (ISO), an independent power grid operator, asked Golden State residents to voluntarily conserve energy between 4 PM and 9 PM during the three-day weekend. It stated that a looming heat wave is expected to strain the grid through September 6, 2022, and expects the peak load for electricity to exceed 48,000 megawatts on Labor Day.
To save on electricity, Californians are urged to set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using larger appliances and charging electric cars, and turn off unnecessary lights. These guidelines will help reduce the risk of rotating power outages. Again, though, if you are planning on driving, motorists with an EV can charge before 4 PM.
California accounts for over 40% of the nation’s plug-in vehicles, and since Labor Day is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, it’s no surprise that the power grid is expected to be overwhelmed. Especially in the midst of a heat wave. But, this does reveal an issue with the rapid push towards electrification. As more and more people opt for greener vehicles, local power grids will need to be improved to keep up with the increased demand for electricity.
This isn’t the only constraint we can see occurring. A looming economic recession, inflation, rising commodity prices, production constraints, questionable environmental impact, and unfavorable supply chain modeling continue to be headwinds for the so-called all-electric-future.