“Leaning on the hood of a shiny red electric Ford Mustang, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday to end the sale of new gas-burning cars in his state in 15 years.
Now comes the hard part.
Energy consultants and academics say converting all passenger cars and trucks to run on electricity in California could raise power demand by as much as 25%. That poses a major challenge for a state already facing periodic rolling blackouts as it rapidly transitions to renewable energy.
California will need to boost power generation, scale up its network of fast charging stations, enhance its electric grid to handle the added load and hope that battery technology continues to improve enough that millions in America’s most populous state can handle long freeway commutes to schools and offices without problems.
“We’ve got 15 years to do the work,” said Pedro Pizarro, chief executive of Edison International, owner of Southern California Edison, a utility serving 15 million people in the state. “Frankly the state agencies are going to have to do their part. We’ve got to get to the permitting processes, the approvals; all of that work is going to have to get accelerated to meet [Wednesday’s] target.””
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Gold, Russell. Wall Street Journal 25 September 2020.