As California pushes toward electric vehicles, concerns rise amid consecutive Flex Alerts

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Friday, September 2, 2022
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During a statewide Flex Alert, Californians are asked to reduce their power use in a variety of ways, including not charging their electric vehicles.

During a statewide Flex Alert, Californians are asked to reduce their power use in a variety of ways, including not charging their electric vehicles.

Another Flex Alert is set to take effect for the third day in a row on Friday as an intense heat wave smothers the state. Residents are asked to turn their thermostats up to 78 degrees and power down large appliances during peak hours.

But with the state turning more towards electric vehicles, it has some worried about the future of a reliable power grid.

Alongside local leaders, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was in the Inland Empire on Thursday touring a certified electric semi-truck dealership.

The visit was to highlight the Inflation Reduction Act's investment in clean energy.

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"We have got to keep the lights on. We've got to make sure we have enough power for people to be able to get to work, to be able to be cool at night," she said. "That's why we have to add power but the power has to be clean power because that's what's causing the problem to begin with."

While the trucks will need electricity to run, they will be powered up from batteries that charge during off-peak hours and, when not in use, can return power to the grid.

As the state looks to ramp up wind, solar and battery power, lawmakers also voted to extend the life of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, which provides more than 8% of California's clean energy supply.

"This climate emergency that we are all facing... we have got to do our part," said Granholm.