California needs to charge electric vehicles during day, not night, to save grid, study says
California should not charge electric vehicles during its daylight hours, a study led by UC Berkeley’s Center for Energy and the Environment concludes.
The report’s findings contradict the argument of automakers, which tout that charging at night can prevent the grid from being overwhelmed by night- time demand for electric cars.
The UCS Earth Institute and the California Energy Commission released a report Thursday outlining a way to avoid the problems that have arisen with charging electric vehicles at night.
The two organizations said that California electric vehicle customers should be able to charge their vehicles during the day, not the night.
The report says that the state could save nearly $600 million a year in costs if it did not charge electric vehicles during the day.
“It’s almost a zero-sum game,” said Jennifer Stein, the director of the Center for Energy and the Environment at UC Berkeley.
Stein said she was surprised that California’s electric vehicle charging companies, which receive most of the state’s sales tax dollars, were backing a strategy which would save little money.
She said that the main argument of charging cars during the nighttime is that it would preserve the need for the grid to use electricity during daylight hours.
That argument, though, is not necessarily true, Stein said. She said that in the past, charging electric vehicles at night can cause the grid to go to a “dark mode.” That, in turn, can reduce the need for electrical energy during daytime hours.
The two sides also dispute the methodology used in the study.
The UCS/CEE study, done by the UCS and the Energy Commission, said that the current California model of charging electric vehicles during the daytime is a better choice than charging during the nighttime.
“The main argument over the last 20 years has been nighttime charging,”