Californians warn not to charge their electric cars due to the heat

published on Thursday, September 01, 2022 at 4:09 p.m.

Californians were ordered not to charge their electric cars Wednesday, lest they further burden an aging power grid, energized by a dreaded heat wave.

Last week, the state announced it would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars beginning in 2035.

Temperatures were expected to reach 44 degrees in suburban Los Angeles as a heat dome rises over the American West.

The sweltering weather is expected to put pressure on an already strained power grid, especially during the hottest hours when air conditioning systems, essential in the United States, run at full throttle.

“Consumers are urged to reduce their energy use between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., when the system is most energized, as demand remains high and less solar power is available,” said the American Public Power Association, body that represents public utility companies.

The three main recommended measures: set the thermostat to 25 ° C or higher, avoid the use of large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turn off unnecessary lights, the organization said.

Electricity is a sensitive issue for the State, whose infrastructure is deteriorated.

Electric companies regularly ask households to limit their consumption during certain hours, when solar panels stop producing electricity while demand is still high, due to the heat.

But the call not to charge your electric car has been widely mocked on social networks, at a time when the State is promoting this type of vehicle.

“California just made electric vehicles mandatory AND asked residents not to charge them between 4pm and 9pm?” Republican Senator Tom Cotton joked on Twitter.

On Thursday, California authorities announced that new cars sold should be “zero emission” polluters by 2035 at the latest.

The decision was seen as a turning point for the electric car industry, as California represents a significant automotive market and can influence national or international standards.

– ‘Dangerously hot’ –

The US Weather Service (NWS) has issued an “excessive heat” warning for most of California, as well as parts of Arizona and Nevada.

“Dangerously high temperatures are expected” through Sunday night, the weather service warned, warning of health risks posed by the heat wave.

“Those without access to adequate and reliable air conditioning and a source of hydration are most at risk, but a large part of the population is likely to be affected.”

The night will bring little respite, with temperatures not going below 26°C in many places.

In Southern California, heat waves are not unusual in September, but temperatures above 37°C are considered very hot, even in an area known for near-permanent sunshine.

This heat wave comes as large swaths of the southwestern part of the country have recently been hit by rare-intensity thunderstorms and torrential rain.

The Death Valley desert was inundated and one person died after being swept away by flooding Friday in Utah’s Zion National Park, famous for its red rock cliffs and canyons.

Scientists have been warning for years about the impact of global warming, caused in particular by the use of fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases, and which is now evident to millions of people.

Heat waves are becoming more extreme, while storms that were once rare weather events are becoming more intense and frequent.

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