Tesla asks owners to avoid charging their cars amid record-breaking heatwave

World's most valuable car company said it would help ease burden on state's overloaded power grid

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 19 August 2020 15:10 BST

Tesla has asked owners in California to avoid charging their electric cars amid an extreme heatwave.

In a message to owners, the world's most valuable car company said that the efforts would help ease the burden on the state's overloaded power grid.

The heatwave in California, which began last Friday, is expected to carry on until at least Thursday. The worst affected regions are the deserts of Eastern and Southern California, with Death Valley experiencing record-breaking temperatures above 54C on Sunday.

"The current heatwave is impacting the grid in California. If possible, we ask that you reduce Supercharging and home charging between the hours of 4pm and 9pm to support the statewide efforts to manage demand," the firm said.

The note appeared as a popup on in-car displays and was shared by owners through online forums.

The intense heat has led to electricity providers issuing rolling blackouts for the first time since 2001 in an attempt to reduce stress on the grid.

Unplanned outages have also affected thousands of San Jose residents due to the extreme heat exacerbating issues with the city's electrical infrastructure.

California Governor Gavin Newsom asked all residents throughout the state to avoid using electrical appliances between 3pm and 10pm when possible.

The US National Weather Service warned that the prolonged heatwave could rival the deadly seven-day heatwave of 2006, which resulted in between 350 and 450 excess deaths.

The agency issued excessive heat warnings for inland areas over the next two days.

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