World California, Facing Power Crisis, Frets Over Electric Car Charging Routines

02:56  22 june  2021
02:56  22 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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California ’s Pacific Gas & Electric is faced regularly with a no-win choice between risking the start of a deadly wildfire or immiserating millions of paying customers by shutting off the power . Other regulators and consumer activists tried to block that deal, calling it a travesty. But after a few minor concessions, PG&E emerged from bankruptcy protection in April 2004 with a customer-backed .2 billion bailout that enabled it to charge abnormally high electricity rates for nearly a decade.

As temperatures hit triple digits during California's heat wave last week, the state's power grid operators encouraged residents to relieve pressure on the grid by charging their electric vehicles before the peak energy use times of day.

a parking meter on a city street: “Charging behaviors matter when it comes to California grid goals, © FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images “Charging behaviors matter when it comes to California grid goals," Patty Monahan with the California Energy Commission recently told Newsweek. During California's mid-June heat wave, electric vehicle owners were asked to charge their cars in the mornings and early afternoons to ease pressure on the state's strained power grid. In the photo above, a driver passes an electric vehicle charging station in Los Angeles, California on May 18, 2021.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which oversees the grid, called upon Californians to conserve energy twice last week through the use of Flex Alerts, which ask residents to practice energy conservation on a voluntary basis. Charging electric vehicles before the time period covered by the alerts was included on a list of energy conservation tips the California ISO posted on Twitter, as was avoiding use of large appliances and turning off extra lights.

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California 's electric vehicle infrastructure goals received a huge jump start today following a 0 million settlement with NRG. The deal, which is both exciting for the boost to electric vehicle adoption, and maddening for some of the business details, allows NRG's subsidiary eVgo to build 200 high speed charging stations and install the wiring for another 10,000 normal speed charging stations. The settlement in turn closes out a lawsuit between California and NRG dating back to the era of power brownouts. Over ten years ago California suffered an energy crisis that was later found to be caused

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"Now is the perfect time to do a load of laundry," the state's Flex Alert Twitter account posted on June 18. "Remember to use major appliances, charge cars and devices before #FlexAlert begins at 6 p.m. today."

A graphic the California ISO tweeted earlier in the day also identified proactive electric vehicle charging as a strategy for conserving energy.

Electric vehicles are considered a vital part of California's plan to reduce emissions over the next two decades. Last year, California Governor Gavin Newsom set 2035 as a target date for ending the sale of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles within the state. In the meantime, California energy officials are strategizing to expand electric vehicle ownership and make charging stations more accessible.

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A TOU plan gives cheaper electric rates during off-peak periods (often late at night), with higher rates for using electricity during high-demand times. Because most EVs are parked at home overnight, TOU rates are a good fit for most EV drivers. In some cities, especially in California , TOU rates are essential for saving money on fuel costs. The costs to charge at public charging stations varies considerably. Some stations are free, while others can cost over twice as much as home charging . However, the impact of public charger costs is often muted by the high preponderance of home charging .

More and more electric vehicles are coming to market. But the fueling infrastructure must expand, requiring fast and scalable solutions that are also clean and affordable — a dynamic that favors off-grid, solar- powered stations. So, if this fundamental paradigm shift reaches fruition then millions of EVs will need an expansive fueling infrastructure. By Wheatley’s estimate, “hundreds of millions” of EV- charging stations will be required. In California , the correlation is now about eight vehicles per each charging station.

Patty Monahan, the lead commissioner on transportation at the California Energy Commission, told Newsweek last month that the times of day Californians choose to charge their electric vehicles will be important in keeping the power grid balanced as reliance on electric vehicles grows.

"Charging behaviors matter when it comes to California grid goals," Monahan said.

She said that energy prices will also be key to helping those new charging behaviors stick.

"By incentivizing, primarily through rates, charging behaviors that capitalize on when renewable energy is being generated—we basically have a win for the grid, and we have a win for the drivers in terms of reduced rates," Monahan said. "Rates are a climate strategy, and California plans on using rates to help drive the charging behaviors that are going to help the state electrify transportation while cutting carbon from the grid and saving ratepayers and drivers money."

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~95% of electric car charging is done at home. There are a couple of common ways to charge at home. One is to simply plug into a standard electricity outlet. And, perhaps most importantly, different electric cars need different types of charging ports. The first thing to know is if an EV has fast- charging capability at all. Check out this comparison of electric car charging capabilities for more on that… or read the “Fast Chargers ” section further down this page.

Vehicle -to-Grid should allow electric cars to act as power banks, not only taking power from the grid, but returning some of that electricity at peak times, to alleviate strain on the system - while making sure that the car is fully charged when it is actually needed. But it's worth remembering that carmakers are falling over themselves to develop new electric cars at the moment - and as the technology becomes more widespread, it will also become cheaper. It wouldn't be surprising if a 300 mile range becomes the norm pretty quickly. Ian: How can electric cars be environmentally friendly when the

Matthew Moniot, a researcher with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said during a recent interview with Newsweek that electric vehicle owners now mostly charge their vehicles at night, but that will likely have to change so that more drivers are charging while energy production levels are higher.

"If you look at aggregate load across the grid, it tends to spike in the evening hours whenever people come home," Moniot said. Though energy use tends to dip overnight while people are sleeping, that is also the time when less energy is produced by solar and wind, both of which are energy sources Moniot said will be increasingly relied upon as states like California continue embracing clean energy.

Increased reliance on solar and wind energy will present a "tricky problem" regarding "how much can we move what's currently overnight charging to be during the daytime hours, when generation may be more excessive," Moniot said.

"The key is flexibility," he added.

Anne Gonzales, a senior public information officer at California ISO, told Newsweek as last week's heat wave was just beginning that Californians tend to take the Flex Alerts seriously and pitch in to conserve energy when doing so is needed. Charging electric vehicles earlier in the day during the heat wave was among the California ISO's energy conservation tips but not forbidden during the Flex Alert time period, the agency told Newsweek on Monday.

Stamp duty slashed for EV motorists

  Stamp duty slashed for EV motorists The NSW Government will scrap stamp duty on all electric cars under $78,000 in a radical move to boost the uptake of greener vehicles. Sydney to transition to electric buses Almost $500 million will be spent in tomorrow's State Budget to incentivise the purchase and running of electric vehicles, including waiving stamp duty and offering $3000 rebates to 25,000 motorists.Stamp duty will start being waived for owners from September this year and plans are being made for users of electric vehicles to pay road use charges on a per-kilometre basis.

As June 18's Flex Alert ended, the California ISO tweeted a message thanking Californians for abiding by their energy conservation recommendations.

"CA, you did it again!" the tweet said. "Your conservation efforts helped keep the #powergrid stable. We appreciate you."

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