California is asking people not to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) as a result of heat-induced power shortages.
California was just in the news for announcing a ban on gasoline-powered vehicles that goes into effect in 2035, making it the first state to take such a drastic step. Despite the plan to aggressively transition to EVs, the state is now in the embarrassing position of asking residents not to charge those EVs.
“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,” wrote the American Public Power Association. “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.”
The issue highlights the challenges companies and countries are facing as they try to transition to non-gasoline vehicles. The challenges have even prompted Tesla CEO Elon Musk, long a vocal critic of the fossil fuel industry, to endorse additional oil and natural gas mining — at least in the short term.
“Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilisation will crumble,” Elon Musk said, according to Reuters.
When asked Norway should continue drilling for fossil fuels, Musk said: “I think some additional exploration is warranted at this time.”
“One of the biggest challenges the world has ever faced is the transition to sustainable energy and to a sustainable economy,” he added. “That will take some decades to complete.”
California may be the starkest proof yet of Musk’s point.