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Flex Alert extended to Saturday; EV owners asked to not charge vehicles during peak hours

EV owners asked to not charge vehicles during peak hours during Flex Alert
EV owners asked to not charge vehicles during peak hours during Flex Alert 02:13

Drivers might have to walk if they don't charge their vehicles strategically on the third day of an extended Flex Alert.

The heat wave roasting most of California has prompted power grid officials to extend the statewide Flex Alert, calling on residents to conserve power between the hours of 4 and 9 p.m., for the third day in a row. On Friday afternoon, the California Independent System Operator extended the order to Saturday.

But with more and more drivers looking to make a change from gas to electric vehicles, making sure their vehicles stay charged could require some flexibility.

A driver charges his electric vehicle at a charging station as the California Independent System Operator announced a statewide electricity Flex Alert urging conservation to avoid blackouts in Monterey Park, California on August 31, 2022. - Californians were told August 31, 2022 not to charge their electric vehicles during peak hours, just days after the state said it would stop selling gas-powered cars, as the aging electricity grid struggles with a fearsome heatwave. Temperatures as high as 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius) were forecast in some Los Angeles suburbs as a huge heat dome bakes a swathe of the western United States. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

About 80% of EV owners naturally charge their vehicles after work.

"So what we really need to do is convince people to move their charging from night time to the middle of the day and that means for people who are back in the office, that means workplace charging, parking your car and having a device there that can charge the car," said David Victor, a professor with UC San Diego's School of Global Policy & Strategy.

California has banned the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, so the state's Legislature has made it a goal to have 10,000 fast charging stations across the state by 2025.

But until then, Californians are being asked to keep their power usage down between peak hours. Besides avoiding charging electric vehicles, residents can:

  • Pre-cool their homes and close blinds and drapes to keep their interiors cool
  • Set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Avoid using large appliances, like washers and dryers

However, the Flex Alert could potentially be extended into the Labor Day holiday weekend, when the hottest temperatures are forecast for Sunday and Monday. 

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