Tesla is asking its customers in Texas to avoid charging their electric vehicles during peak times in order to prevent overtaxing the state’s power grid. The alerts come as Texas’ grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas or ERCOT, is calling on residents to conserve electricity during the recent heatwave, as the system is being pushed to near-emergency conditions.
Tesla sent an alert to customers’ in-car screens advising them to avoid charging their vehicles from 3PM–8PM. “A heat wave is expected to impact the grid in Texas over the next few days,” the alert reads, according to Electrek. “The grid operator recommends to avoid charging during peak hours between 3pm and 8pm, if possible, to help statewide efforts to manage demand.”
The grid operator recommends to avoid charging during peak hours between 3pm and 8pm
(That’s a different time range than the one highlighted by ERCOT, which recommended that Texans avoid running major appliances from 2PM–8PM.)
Keeping an EV unplugged during peak times can help Texas’ grid avoid blackouts. Triple-digit temperatures typically place more pressure on electrical systems as customers are more likely to blast their air conditioners. The heat dome fueling the heatwave is also depriving Texas of its wind power, which typically generates about a quarter of its electricity.
This is the second time this year that Tesla has encouraged off-peak charging during a Texas heatwave. The company pushed a similar alert in May 2022, when temperatures soared into the upper 90s over Mother’s Day weekend.
Tesla moved its headquarters to Texas from California last year. In addition to the new Gigafactory built outside of Austin, Musk also operates a SpaceX facility in Brownsville, Texas, and he reportedly has been living at the multimillion-dollar home of a friend along a lake in Austin. (Musk denied that report, claiming he currently resides in a “tiny home” in Boca Chica.)
Tesla owners aren’t the only ones being asked to help conserve energy. Bitcoin miners in Texas are also winding down some of their operations in response to the spiking temperatures.