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Tesla Asks Texas Drivers to Avoid Charging Cars During Peak Hours

Tesla Asks Texas Drivers to Avoid Charging Cars During Peak Hours

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.

From Jalopnik:

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.

Get an electric car they said…


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to the full extent allowed by law.


Either conserve energy or go green for Green.

Another perspective: the Green solution is a first-order forcing of [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate change. Power, that is, electric, heating, cooling in an intermittent, renewable, unreliable state of service.

Geeshe, what could be wrong? Oh wait, that’s right, the green new faux-deal isn’t working! Who knew….

Rick Perry spending $10 billion on windmills instead of power plants was such a great idea. NOT

    CommoChief in reply to geronl. | July 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    The real problem is allowing them to operate without a minimum delivery requirement. XYX Corp wants to offer power for sale? No problem but they must be on the hook to deliver the power on their dime. If that means renewable producers must invest in coal or gas fired plants to run at reduced load a majority of the time so they can ramp up when wind is expected to drop off so be it. That would fix the problem with unrealistic pricing models and help ensure availability to consumers.

    gonzotx in reply to geronl. | July 15, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    I HATE Perry and he forced f-king til roads in central texas for his buddies

    F-king nightmare

henrybowman | July 15, 2022 at 6:13 pm

And keep in mind, this is with electric cars being only 1% of cars on the road.
Imagine how wonderful life will be when we reach 100%, like Brandon is insisting!
At least the floggings will have stopped.

    LeftWingLock in reply to henrybowman. | July 15, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Don’t bet on the floggings stopping part.

    randian in reply to henrybowman. | July 15, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    The goal was never 100% electric cars, at least for the proles. They were always intended to be forced into government-run mass transportation.

    Peabody in reply to henrybowman. | July 16, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Eventually, after the economy is so screwed up it’s not funny and voters realize they’ve been bamboozled, the law will be changed and we will go back to gas cars.

    So not in your lifetime.

The next logical step is going to be forcibly disabling its ability to charge in peak hours for ‘non-essential’ people.

The peasants can’t be allowed to actually make their own decisions.

    Paul in reply to Olinser. | July 15, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    It’s just software….easy-peasy

      henrybowman in reply to Paul. | July 15, 2022 at 9:16 pm

      BMW is already charging owners a monthly fee to enable the heated seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, courtesy high-beam dimmers, and ApplePlay interface that their cars already come with. Disabling your engine is trivial. Then your bank account and credit cards.

        gonzotx in reply to henrybowman. | July 15, 2022 at 9:21 pm

        How do they do that?

          henrybowman in reply to gonzotx. | July 16, 2022 at 5:43 am

          Well, for the first sentence, think OnStar, on steroids. For the other two, I see in retrospect that I spoke unclearly — I didn’t mean to imply they do any of that now (as far as we know), but in a very few years it will be trivial for your car dealer and/or your government to do all the rest.

        Gosport in reply to henrybowman. | July 15, 2022 at 9:51 pm

        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.

        Am I misreading that? Does Tesla have the ability to control your charging rate AFTER you by the car? And to charge you extra if you want to charge it faster?

          CommoChief in reply to Gosport. | July 15, 2022 at 10:17 pm

          Many cars have a ‘vehicle starter interruptor switch’ aka a ‘kill switch’ installed by the dealer or at lender request. Helps with repo to keep your car in place for the tow truck.

          The infrastructure bill signed last fall has a requirement for a ‘passive monitored safety switch’ on all new autos in five years. Can someone hack it? Maybe. Can LEO use it? Maybe. Do they need a warrant or a CT order? Who knows, but probably not as driving is a privilege not a right.

          henrybowman in reply to Gosport. | July 16, 2022 at 5:44 am

          I assumed this referred to Tesla’s own installed pedestals, but I may be wrong.

LeftWingLock | July 15, 2022 at 7:09 pm

Peak hours will soon be defined as between 1 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.

I have a 20w solar panel in the side yard, though I’ve never gotten more than 8w out of it even with MPPT tracking.

I’m not entirely opposed to electric cars, although you’ll have to kill me to pry the keys to my bitchin’ ‘Stang out of my cold dead hands. I played bumper cars. I like the idea of almost instant torque.

What I don’t like about electric cars is they don’t make music like my Mustang. Apparently they can be programmed to make sounds.

Guy Finds Out His Tesla Can Make Fart Noises

Oh. OK. This is what Elon Musk finds funny.

How about this? Make the car sound like a Lamborghini Miura. That’s the car in the Van Halen video “Panama.”

Is this too much to ask? If you want me to buy in to your future stop making it sound like a farting toybox and more like a Lamborghini.

Or shotguns. The happy sound of shotguns.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | July 15, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Obviously I can see the problem with programming the car to make it sound like a gun blast every time you hit the turn signal. I wasn’t actually recommending it.

    But still. I can travel in more style and dignity on a pogo stick.

healthguyfsu | July 15, 2022 at 9:45 pm

Interesting. Why is Tesla asking and not the energy company?

    amatuerwrangler in reply to healthguyfsu. | July 16, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Here is a wild-ass guess: Tesla’s “request” refers to the use of their charging stations (as Henry opined earlier). Tesla does not generate its own electricity; those charging stations are eventually connected to the grid. Tesla is probably trying to get ahead of the complaints of slow charging or sanctions by the public utilities for stressing the grid (or both).

broomhandle | July 15, 2022 at 9:56 pm

I’m for Gen IV nuclear. Endless, 24/7 reliable energy for the entire planet living a first world standard of living. But the real problem as demonstrated in this story is the aging grid that just doesn’t have the capacity. Dreams of the mumtitrillion dollar smart grid are silly but realistic upgrades to what we have now could be enough.

I don’t think they’d have an issue requiring “managing demand” if they hadn’t built all those useless wind farms. They aren’t useless only in the winter, you know.

“…driving is a privilege not a right.” I’ve been hearing this since Drivers Ed and it sticks in my craw a bit. It’s not in the Bill of Rights, but might fall under the Pursuit of Happiness. I understand that regulation is needed, but driving ones own car is almost a necessity in many areas.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Tom Orrow. | July 16, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Operative word there is “pursuit”. Its up to you to actually achieve it.

    Milhouse in reply to Tom Orrow. | July 17, 2022 at 2:53 am

    Driving on the public roads is not a right. You can drive your own car on your own property all you like. But if you want to drive on the public roads, the public is entitled to make the rules, or to simply deny your request.

If nothing else, the only places I see using EV hookups is in office complex while people are working

The rest of us can fuel up our combustion engine vehicles any time we want. I don’t mind if the EV owners are jealous. Let them eat electrons.

I am an Electrical Engineer and the push for EVs will not get better for the Electrical Grid, the charging stations, and the power generation network. The push has been to wind and solar and away from Natural Gas, Coal, and Nuclear.

The problem is:
1 EVs require house charging but many people do not have houses, and will have to have their houses modified to allow the charging
2 EVs distance is about 40% less than dealer says and worse on long distance Freeways
3. EVs batteries will fail and then the vehicle is dead and needs to have a new battery replacement, which takes around 2 weeks or more
4 The Electrical Grid needs to be upgraded
5 EV Charging stations need to be standardized for plugs and credit cards
6. Wind power is poor. My home state is California (I left for the east coast in 96 but have been back) and the Altamont Pass on I580 has had Wind generators for decades and many are not working. They also kill many thousands of birds (many are rare).
7. Solar power is poor as there have been solar farms built but within a decade they are destroyed. this has happened multiple times in California.
8. We need to go back to Nuclear, Coal, and Natural gas

    Arminius in reply to JG. | July 16, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    I’m not an engineer by training by any means. Apparently though I qualify by experience in the Navy as I was employed for several years as a systems engineer by a defense contractor when I left active duty. Apparently I was a pretty good engineer as I survived at least three lay-off cycles and when I left it was of my own volition.

    Having done the math, we can’t get there from here. If you hallucinate that EVs are our future. It’s an insanely resource intensive proposition. And not much of it is renewable. All of it is toxic to mine, to build, and dispose of. When I say resource intensive I also mean drilling for oil. We’d have to expand oil production. Those Unicorn Windmill blades don’t grow on trees.

    When I talk to the fanbois os wind and solar and ask them if they’ve really thought about this or that and, oh, that, and then again that, I get the AOC response.

    “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Slams Israeli Occupation Then Says: ‘I Am Not The Expert’

    In other words, “All my Marxist teachers and my friends say I am totes a good person for saying this and you’re a bad person for making think about my so totes perfect thoughts.”

Albigensian | July 16, 2022 at 3:25 pm

“Wind power is poor.” The power produced by a wind turbine is proportional to the cube of wind speed. Assuming the wind speed is not too high, in which case the turbine will turn away from the wind or adjust its blades (if capable of doing so) to let the wind pass without rotating.

Because of this, their average performance of a wind turbine must always be far below that of its peak performance. Nonetheless, power distribution and transmission facilities must be capable of handling the peak power. Which is costly as this is a very diffused (not concentrated) energy source.

And that’s before one gets into “worst case” requirements for backup power, which must be available on short notice if the grid is to remain at all reliable.

BTW, if you read news reports of new or proposed wind farms, you’d be surprised at how often the only number offered is the peak power rating, even though average is all you can reasonably expect to get out of it.

Albigensian | July 16, 2022 at 3:30 pm

The end stage for electric cars: when the only reliable source of electric power becomes your own backup generator, you will use that (fossil-fueled) generator to charge your electric car. Until California regulators ban the use of such generators, of course.

And keep in mind that although Tesla is only “asking” owners in Texas to avoid charging their EVs during peak hours, they can do more than just “ask” as an over-the-air firmware update presumably could be used to enforce Tesla’s “requests.”

(Is it totally paranoid to consider the intersection of rogue over-the-air firmware updates and the possibility of ransomware?)

Anyone using electric vehicles will have to work different hours to accommodate the charging hours.