Tesla is asking its customers in Texas to avoid charging their electric vehicles during peak hours to prevent excessive drain on the state's power grid. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state's grid operator, is urging residents to conserve electricity during the recent heat wave as the system is being pushed to near emergency status.
Tesla sent an alert to customers' in-car screens advising them to avoid charging their vehicles between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. According to Electrek, "A heat wave is expected to impact the Texas grid in the coming days," the alert reads." Grid operators recommend avoiding charging during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. whenever possible to help manage demand across the state."
(This differs from the time frame highlighted by ERCOT, which recommends that Texans avoid running major appliances between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.).
Keeping electric vehicles unplugged during peak hours can help Texas' power grid avoid outages. Triple-digit temperatures typically put more stress on the electric system, as customers are more likely to blow their air conditioners. The heat domes that fuel heat waves also deprive Texas of wind power, which typically accounts for a quarter of its electricity.
This is the second time this year that Tesla has encouraged off-peak charging during a Texas heat wave. The company pushed a similar alert in May 2022, when temperatures soared into the 90s over Mother's Day weekend.
Tesla relocated its headquarters from California to Texas last year. In addition to the new Gigafactory built outside Austin, Musk runs a SpaceX facility in Brownsville, Texas, and has reportedly been staying at a friend's multimillion-dollar home on a lake in Austin. (Musk denied the report, claiming he currently lives in a "tiny house" in Boca Chica.)
Tesla owners aren't the only ones being asked to help save energy. Bitcoin miners in Texas are also winding down some of their operations in response to soaring temperatures.