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After Banning Gas Cars, California Tells EV Drivers to Hold Back on Charging

California says you should try to avoid charging your EV this weekend.

Last week, regulators in the state of California successfully voted to restrict (and, eventually, ban) the consumer sale of new gasoline cars by 2035, with interim targets to phase these cars out. We’re on board with that — but there’s plenty of work to be done between now and then, as evidenced by the fact that the state is now asking EV drivers to restrict their charging needs ahead of the long Labor Day weekend.

California’s Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a Flex Alert notice, calling for EV drivers to have a day of “voluntary electric conservation,” and suggests that Californians charge their electric vehicles before 4 PM — a situation that seems to really only befeasible for those who work at home or have access to workplace charging, as GreenCarReports’ editor, Bengt Halvorson points out. “There was no particular outage or technical reason for the alert, the California operator explained—simply that it’s hot,” writes Bengt, “and electricity demand is up due to air conditioning use.”

This is the third consecutive day of “voluntary” conservation advised by the ISO this week, and the fact that it also happens to be a day that many EV drivers probably expected to be able to make use of a DC fast charger on the way out of town for the long weekend just highlights the fact that there’s a lot of infrastructure work still to be done … but— hey, that’s what all that NEVI money is literally for!

ICE Ban is Still the Right Way

Members of the Colombia delegation mingle with NREL program managers while visiting the campus parking garage to learn about electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

That 2035 “ban” was issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), with the goal of radically curbing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The new rule sets interim targets for carmakers, including that 35% of new passenger vehicles sold by 2026 must produce zero emissions. That requirement increases to 68% by 2030 and then 100% by 2035. Another quota allows that 20% of zero-emission cars could be plug-in hybrids.

According to state regulators, the new rule should cut greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by more than 50% in 2040 from the levels that were expected without the policy. That equates to eliminating roughly 395 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over that time period, said Liane Randolph, chairwoman of CARB.

What do you guys think — is this warning from the ISO going to feed the trolls, as it were, or is this just going to be part of the new reality of widespread EV adoption? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know!


Sources: via California ISO, via GreenCarReports.

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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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