California Begs EV Owners Not To Charge Cars During Peak Hours

Electric Vehicles / 33 Comments

This comes just days after the state announced it will ban ICE sales by 2035.

It's no secret that California has an ongoing love affair with electric vehicles. Nobody purchases more EVs than Californians; a reported 39% of the country's battery-powered cars are running around The Golden State. This number is only set to grow in the coming years, as the state has passed legislation to ban the sale of new ICE-powered cars by 2035.

As Labor Day weekend approaches, residents are getting a worrying glimpse into their future, however. A severe heat wave is expected in the coming days, and to prevent power cuts, people are being asked to conserve energy - by not charging their electric cars, for example.

2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Charging Point Tesla

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statement asking residents to reduce their energy consumption during a Flex Alert. "Consumers are asked urged to reduce energy use from 4 - 9 pm," it reads. Conservation tips include avoiding the use of large appliances and charging electric vehicles.

Of course, social media is awash with people pointing out the irony in the situation. One Twitter user jokingly commented, "Come to California where you have to buy a $65,000 car but you're not allowed to charge it!" Amusing it may be, but this does point toward serious future problems.


With more electric vehicles expected to join the grid in the coming years, the problem may worsen. reached out to the California ISO, which explained the biggest stress on the state's power grid (in the summer) is air-conditioners.

When asked about the effects of the ICE ban, the organization's public information officer said "it's too soon to tell what the impacts of the 2035 ban will be, but for now, we are asking EV owners to avoid charging during 4-9 pm on Flex Alert days." This isn't the first time EV owners have been asked not to charge at certain times, though.

2015-2018 Ford Focus Electric Charging Ford

During a May heatwave, Texan Tesla drivers received a surprise message on their infotainment screens. One Model 3 owner shared an image of the request, which asked owners not to charge their vehicles from 3-8 pm to "help relieve heat wave stress on the grid."

This unfortunate occurrence will provide plenty of ammunition for those who oppose the decision, but whether you agree with the bill or not, this serves as a warning of what's to come - not just in the United States but globally. The European Union also has ambitions of a combustion engine-free world but has recently made space for various concessions to allow carbon-neutral alternatives like hydrogen and synthetic fuel.

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2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Charging Point 2015-2018 Ford Focus Electric Charging

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