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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

CA residents speak out against EV charging restrictions: ‘We need better infrastructure’

FOX Business’ Kelly O’Grady reports from Santa Monica, California, where residents are reacting to grid operators’ rules not to charge electric vehicles from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

California residents are reacting to mixed messages from California leadership, as the state is asking residents to refrain from charging electric vehicles amid heat wave blackout fears, just one week after passing legislation banning the sale of gas cars by 2035.

"We need better infrastructure to support the huge switch to EVs. We're not there yet," one Santa Monica resident told FOX Business’ Kelly O’Grady in an interview on "Varney & Co." Thursday. "The grid can't support it."

The California Independent System Operator has warned that stress on the energy grid could lead to blackouts and called for consumer conservation between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Wednesday’s announcement comes less than one week after California regulators moved to require all new vehicles in the state to run on electricity by 2035, an ambitious goal by the country's most populous state to phase out gasoline-powered automobiles and curb carbon emissions.

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"It's kind of scary," another California resident told O’Grady. "What if you really need it? What if we really got to go somewhere and you got an emergency?"

Electric vehicle charger at night

One California resident said the state needs “better infrastructure” before the “huge switch” to electric vehicles on “Varney & Co.” Thursday, September 1, 2022. (Getty Images)

"Sometimes you are on a business trip or whatever you just cannot do without," a third resident added. "You know, you have to go on and do your work."

California’s ISO is also recommending residents keep thermostats above 78 degrees Fahrenheit, avoid using appliances and turn off unnecessary lights.

The state’s Energy Commission officials previously stated in a May press briefing that grid capacity is not on pace with demand, predicting electricity supply will fall short by 1,700 megawatts, or 5,000 in a heat wave, this year alone.

Politicians are pointing out the irony of California’s "Flex Alert" while also pushing the renewable energy agenda. Minority Whip Steve Scalise took to Twitter saying, "This is what Democrat control looks like – and they want it nationwide. What a joke."

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close Western States Petroleum VP Kevin Slagle says America does not have the infrastructure in place to meet Democrats' electric vehicle timeline on 'Cavuto: Coast to Coast.' video

Democrats going ‘too far, too soon’ with electric vehicles: Expert

Western States Petroleum VP Kevin Slagle says America does not have the infrastructure in place to meet Democrats’ electric vehicle timeline on ‘Cavuto: Coast to Coast.’

California extended its alert through Thursday, September 1, with forecasters predicting triple-digit temperatures with little overnight relief, as well as an elevated risk of wildfires in much of the West.

Californians can keep driving and buying gas-powered vehicles after 2035, but no new models will be sold in the state thereafter. It remains unclear if the already vulnerable electric grid can handle this shift.

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FOX Business’ Bradford Betz and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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