Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Race to zero: Can California’s power grid handle a 15-fold increase in electric cars?

CalMatters19.PNG

The sun sets behind a row of electric towers in Fresno County on Sept. 6, 2022. 

As California rapidly boosts sales of electric cars and trucks over the next decade, the answer to a critical question remains uncertain: Will there be enough electricity to power them?

State officials claim that the 12.5 million electric vehicles expected on California’s roads in 2035 will not strain the grid. But their confidence that the state can avoid brownouts relies on a best-case — some say unrealistic — scenario: massive and rapid construction of offshore wind and solar farms, and drivers charging their cars in off-peak hours.

Under a groundbreaking new state regulation, 35% of new 2026 car models sold in California must be zero-emissions, ramping up to 100% in 2035. Powering the vehicles means the state must triple the amount of electricity produced and deploy new solar and wind energy at almost five times the pace of the past decade. 

CalMatters18.PNG
CalMatters17.PNG
CalMatters16.PNG
CalMatters15.PNG

Turbines at America’s first offshore wind farm, owned by the Danish company Orsted, produce energy off the coast of Rhode Island. 

This article was originally published by CalMatters. You can read more of their coverage of California state government on CalMatters.org

0
0
0
0
0

Tags

Recommended for you

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Local News

Breaking News

News Alerts