California’s power grid has withstood a historic heat wave this summer. Thankfully, Californians have rallied together to avoid blackouts by conserving energy through actions like setting our air conditioning thermostats at 78.
There has been a lot of buzz about electric vehicles (EVs) with the state’s upcoming ban on the sale of new gas-powered cars, especially how they fit into the future stability of our grid as we look ahead to the likelihood of future heat waves.
Here’s the thing: EVs are part of the solution, not the problem.
EVs don’t overtax the grid
EVs currently account for less than 1% of the state’s electricity usage, and just 0.4% of energy during 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. peak hours during a normal summer day. Even if the number of EVs increases seven-fold to 5 million, that would only make up 7% of electricity usage and just 1% of peak demand.
Most EVs have a feature that allows drivers to schedule their charge during off hours, when demand on the electricity grid is lower and rates are less expensive, in the early morning and past 8 p.m. Charging stations have also set up time-of-use rates to encourage EV motorists to charge their vehicles at non-peak hours, minimizing demand on the grid during peak hours.
EVs simply are not the culprit for our overtaxed grid.
EVs actually support the grid
Our electricity supply increases as the number of EVs does, with nearly 30 new gigawatts of clean electricity generation capacity expected by the end of this year.
Some EV models use special batteries that could help keep the lights on in homes and business during power shortages. The electric Ford F-150 pick-up truck could potentially power your home for up to 10 days!
Prop 30 means more EVs
It’s clear we need more electric vehicles, due to their benefits not only to the grid but also to our collective health with reduced emissions and improved air quality.
Passing Prop 30, the statewide climate initiative in California, would put more EVs on the road. Prop 30, a progressive tax just on incomes over $2 million, would invest in making electric vehicles MORE AFFORDABLE and charging and fueling stations MORE ACCESSIBLE.
(And half of these investments are required to go to low-income and disadvantaged communities!)
Let’s pass Prop 30 to increase the adoption of EVs, reduce the strain on our grid, and save our planet!