The nightmare that is the Californian heat wave for EVs

As per the norm, the third-largest state in the United States, i.e., California experiences summers of not less than three months. That’s a quarter of a year. Though, of late, the summers have begun to last for up to nearly four months.  

On top of that, there’s the issue of climate change, which means intense heat waves, which isn’t what anyone would look forward to in California. 

All of these have made an issue Californians aren’t exactly smiling about. 

In a world where not writing the perfect Tweet and even riding a fuel-guzzling car can be detrimental to health, imagine the plight of facing Californian weather during summers. 

Want to know the real definition of a predicament? Having an electric car in the famous state home to UCLA and facing the wrath of the heat wave. 

This pretty much leads to a question whose time has come (maybe for a while). 

What happens to the charging of an EV in California that’s burning at 44 degrees Celsius? 

To speak of the current scenario, there are some spaces such as the Los Angeles suburbs, where the heat is so bad that it’s coming down really hard on people and machines.  

Amid this reality, it has, believe it or not, been told to the Californians driving EVs to be watchful about charging their cars during peak hours. 

Seems like a random statement. 

To break it down further, drivers have been categorically told “Not” to charge an EV during the peak hours on a normal day. Interestingly, the announcement comes within days of the famous-for-Hollywood state stating (in no uncertain terms) that it would stop selling gas-powered cars. 

Things to worry about, if one were to put it like that, include- the fierce heatwave as well as the ensuing troubles in line with the ageing electricity grid of the state. 

Who would want to face the dangers of running into some trouble with one’s EV against that background? 

For those of us who may not be aware, California’s electricity grid has been ageing like hell. How else does one put it besides saying that the grid has been operating the same way for the past century? 

That’s 100 years. Gabriel Garcia Marquez readers would, in a lighter vein, be inspired to think of the famous work of fiction that reads perfectly had it been meant for California’s ageing electric grid: “100 years of solitude.” 

Anyhow, the following is what came to light recently when the subject of intense California heat was explored by a publication that shared something telling: 

 “Consumers are urged to conserve power by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, avoiding the use of major appliances and turning off unnecessary lights,” said the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s power grid. 

Between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm, “they should also avoid charging electric vehicles.” 

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