California agrees to charge electric vehicles during the day, not at night

California needs to charge electric vehicles during day, not night, to save grid, study says

The California Energy Commission announced that it agreed with a study by the National Center for Policy Analysis in Colorado that California must charge electric vehicles during the day, only charging at night to save the state’s electric grid.

In September, the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a conservative think tank based in Washington, wrote an academic paper that said California must charge its electric vehicles during the day, not at night, to save the state’s electric grid.

The commission, which releases its analysis on a regular basis and has released more than 40 such analyses, reached the conclusion last month.

The commission’s analysis said it has worked for years on ways to “reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

“Our analyses consistently have found that both energy efficiency and zero carbon emissions solutions can be achieved using the best available technologies today,” the commission wrote in its analysis. “The most promising technology is distributed energy resources, such as smart-grid-connected solar, smart thermostat controls or electric vehicles.”

The study, which was funded by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, determined that if California charges all its electric vehicles during the day, the state’s electricity system will be protected from blackouts.

The report concluded that during such a scenario all vehicles in California switch from their plug-in hybrid electric options to electric when it is noon, not midnight. The National Center for Policy Analysis said charging an electric vehicle during the day ensures that “the grid is available to support additional demand during peak energy consumption, such as during hot summer months, and electric vehicles can be charged at full operating capacity during the day.”

The commission said it hopes the analysis will spur California to enact its own new vehicle charging strategies ahead of the November election, including incentives and regulations to encourage electric vehicle use.

The commission said it is hopeful that the National Center for Policy Analysis study will make electric vehicle owners think twice about choosing plug-in hybrid vehicles since such vehicles cannot be charged during the day. The commission said it is also optimistic that the study will encourage legislators to enact policies to promote electric vehicle adoption.

The commission’s analysis comes on the heels of a report by the California Air Resources Board in December claiming that the state is losing up to $120 million a day in electric grid and electricity savings because

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