As temperatures become more extreme due to climate change, many populations around the globe experience more intense weather patterns. Recently, parts of the United States have been subject to historic heat waves. During times of high heat, the strain on the power grid increases, but what exactly is causing the strain?
Many people are looking at new technology using electricity and assume a big part of the problem with the power grid is the increased number of electric vehicles. With the recent heatwave across California and most of the southwestern United States, some critics point towards California’s high EV adoption rates as contributing to the rolling blackouts seen across the state as of late, especially with the news that California will ban the sale of new ICE cars by 2035.
However, electric vehicles in California only account for less than 1% of the state’s total electricity demand. EVs integrate smart technology to automatically stop drawing power once the battery finishes charging. Most drivers charge their vehicles while they sleep, during off-peak hours where strain on the grid is minimal. As technology advances and the efficiency of EV batteries improves, drivers will need to charge their vehicles less frequently, also minimizing day-to-day strain on the power grid. As EVs naturally become more popular, it will be necessary for local and federal governments to invest more in renewing and bolstering power grids. However, these improvements have been long overdue, and will help all Americans steer clear of power outages.
In fact, the transition from ICE vehicles to electric will in the long term help the power grid by lessening CO2 emissions and slowing climate change to avoid these extreme weather patterns in the future. If no changes are made, the summers will continue to get hotter and hotter – and the strain on the power grid will grow as millions of people are forced to stay indoors using electricity through commodities such as equipment to work from home, lights, and air conditioning for extended periods of time. Companies like our partners at Global Green work to encourage governments and individuals alike to take early action to ensure a cleaner, greener future.
These reasons, in addition to the $10.5 billion investment in improving the power grid from the federal government, mean that electric vehicles are not as much a point of concern as they appear at first glance. Electric vehicles are overall better for the environment, and help drive the world at large into a greener, more efficient future.