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As California Pushes Toward EVs, Flex Alert Asks People Not to Charge Cars During Peak Hours

Power officials are urging people not to charge their electric vehicles during peak hours during this heat wave as they extended a Flex Alert Thursday.

The state has been encouraging everyone to drive electric cars to help with climate change. But in this super hot climate right now, residents are being asked to be careful about when they charge to reduce the risk that they’ll lose power altogether.

On Thursday, some drivers said they could avoid charging their cars between 4 and 9 p.m. at what Pasadena calls it the nation’s largest EV public charging station— while others said holding off would be difficult.

“It’s going to be difficult to avoid charging between 4 and 9 because that’s when I usually charge,” Ramon Castillo said.

“It’s not feasible for someone who works Monday through Friday like myself, so unfortunately I won’t be able to do it,” Evangelyn Carigma said.

California’s Flex Alert asked residents to treat electric cars like a washer or dryer at home — avoid using power during the peak hours of 4 to 9 p.m.

The LADWP and Southern California Edison officials said the extreme heat is creating enormous demand for electricity, and if the system is overloaded there is a greater likelihood of power outages.

“That’s what we’re concerned about most in Los Angeles is actually overtaxing the equipment not having it cool down and then having it break down,” LADWP general manager Marty Adams said.

“Timing here is what makes all the difference,” Ben Gallagher of SoCal Edison said.

Edison says there are incentive programs that reduce rates for people who use power during non peak hours. LADWP says that’s become even more important because the drought has reduced the availability of electricity generated by hydropower.

“If everyone is pitching in to do their part and making these small changes it really makes a big difference for everyone,” Gallagher said.

“Anything that generates heat, anything that runs machinery, if you can reduce that between 4 to 9 p.m. it will make a world of difference. Most importantly it will help keep your own power on,” manager Marty Adams said.

LAs California sees more hot days and residents use more things that require electricity, officials say it’s a good time to change our habits now and conserve our use of power.

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