Gee, who could’ve seen this coming?
For those of y’all outside of the Lone Star State, it is hot down here. HOT. It’s just mid-July and we’ve been living in a never-ending extra hot August since the beginning of June, with little reprieve. As a result, the power grid, which is struggling to keep up with masses of out of state immigrants is under more strain than we’re comfortable with.
Gas prices may be outrageous (thanks, Brandon!), but at least those of us with gas guzzling Texas-sided vehicles aren’t being told to avoid charging our computer on wheels during the afternoon and evening hours.
Tesla sent over-the-air (OTA) notifications to drivers in Texas asking owners to avoid charging their EVs during peak hours of energy use. The request appeared on Tesla dashboards amid a record-setting heat wave that strained the Texas power grid, and prompted its operator, ERCOT, to warn of possible blackouts.
As a response to the unprecedented power demand during the extreme heat, Tesla and ERCOT asked drivers and residents in Texas to conserve electricity by not charging their EVs from the afternoon through the evening and by turning up their thermostats at home.
The message from Tesla cited different peak hours than ERCOT, as Electrek shows, but it was essentially the same period of time. Tesla’s prompt said:
A heat wave is expected to impact the grid in Texas over the next few days. The grid operator recommends to avoid charging during peak hours between 3pm and 8pm, if possible, to help statewide efforts to manage demand.
ERCOT asked businesses and residents to save energy from 2-8pm, then braced for the power demand. And the power grid scraped by this time, managing to prevent major outages thanks to voluntary cutbacks in power use, according to Reuters. Industrial users were among those volunteers that helped the power grid avoid collapse; even bitcoin and other crypto miners pitched in.
Tesla drivers in Texas reported seeing the peak hour prompts, and one owner in Austin said that Tesla offered supercharger rates up to 50 percent off for drivers who were willing to wait until after 8pm to charge their EVs.
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