Look, by now we’ve all seen this story where the state of California is banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in about 10 or so years—12 years, 2035. It seems like a long way away, and it sort of is, but it’s a pretty significant change. This story is not about the ban; it’s about what happened a couple of days later.
The Unanticipated Challenge
California told its residents not to charge their electric vehicles because the power grid is over demanded. According to the article, California’s power grid is under strain due to extreme heat, and the utility grid operator is asking residents to avoid charging their electric vehicles voluntarily. But it’s to avoid blackouts.
Upgrading the Grid
Obviously, there are still 12 years left to upgrade the power grid. Is that enough time to upgrade it so that it can charge these electric vehicles? Right now, electric vehicles represent about five percent of the vehicles on the road, even in California. If you go from five percent to a hundred percent, that’s a pretty significant number of new charge devices that need to be connected to the grid.
Transitioning to Electric Appliances
One thing that is not part of this story is that the state of California is also banning new hookups of propane or gas appliances in households, like hot water heaters, stoves, and dryers—all the things that normally would be hooked up to natural gas. Even in restaurants, you have to now cook with electricity. All of those transitional devices are going to put even more strain on the power grid.
The Grid’s Viability by 2035
The question is, by 2035, is there going to be enough, or are you going to have to stay parked for a few days because you can’t charge your car? Is this a game of chicken, an accident waiting to happen, or do you think that the power grid and the regulatory agencies have all this figured out?
What do you think? Would you want to have an electric vehicle? Are you worried that you won’t be able to charge it even at home? A lot of people worry about finding a charging station, but if you can’t even charge it at home, that’s even worse. Am I over-exaggerating, am I being too cautious about this, or do you agree?