California asks EV owners to cut back on charging

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — California lawmakers passed legislation last week that would ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035, mandating all new vehicles must be either electric- or hydrogen-powered. This week, California asked residents to limit themselves on charging electric vehicles.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking all Californians to not charge their electric vehicles between the hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. while California grapples with an energy shortage as a heat wave bears down on the state. California also asked its residents to turn up their thermostats and turn off their lights.

A statewide grid emergency was called in California and officials warned residents that blackouts could be possible during the energy shortfall.

“All of us have been trying to outrun Mother Nature, but it’s pretty clear Mother Nature has outrun us,” Newsom said. “The reality is we’re living in an era of extremes: extreme heat, extreme drought — and with the flooding we’re experiencing around the globe.”

President Joe Biden announced he wants half of all vehicles to be emission-free by 2030 and 15 states have backed California’s plan to be emission-free by 2035.

Newsom’s restriction of when people can charge their electric vehicles has raised the question of whether California’s electric grid will be able to handle the stark rise in electric vehicles.

But Ethan Bearman, a radio host and attorney in San Francisco, said those questions have been “blown up by the right” and he “rejects” the premise that California’s issue lies in being able to charge electric vehicles.

“We have an issue in California right now of climate change making our heat waves worse, hotter, longer,” Bearman said Wednesday on NewsNation’s “On Balance with Leland Vittert.” “We can’t keep up with the air conditioning in the first place.”

Bearman said the problems with California’s electric grid are the exact reason the federal government put so much funding toward green energy initiatives and has put a focus on repairing electrical grids nationwide.

“The state of California has been leading the way to invest these billions of dollars in renewable energy projects,” Bearman said.

California has 1.1 million registered electric vehicles, accounting for 43% of the U.S. total.

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