Don't charge at night?

The study, which was published in the journal Nature Energy, examined the stress that the western United States’ electric grid will come under by 2035 from growing EV ownership…

Currently, California has excess electricity during late mornings and early afternoons thanks mainly to its solar capacity. The researchers suggest that if most EVs were charged during these times, then the cheap power would be used instead of being wasted. However, if most EVs continue to charge at night, then the state will need to build more generators, likely powered by natural gas, or invest in expensive energy storage on a large scale. Electricity going first to a huge battery and then to an EV battery loses power from the extra stop.

Another issue with electricity pricing design is that commercial and industrial customers are charged large fees based on their peak electricity use, which can disincentivize employers from installing chargers, especially once half or more of their employees have EVs…

The study also found that, once 50% of cars on the road in the Western US are powered by electricity, more than 5.4 gigawatts of energy storage would be needed if charging habits follow their current course.



When i still went to the office, I charged mostly at night, but now that I am retired, I almost only charge during the day. Our second EV gets charged exclusively during the day while parked at the office of the family member that uses that car.

I’ve read that CA is rapidly (as rapidly as any new infrastructure can happen in over-regulated CA) installing EV chargers at workplaces, and at related parking lots, so that more charging can occur during the day instead of at night. CA is the US leader in EVs by a wide margin, so they need it most.

It almost surely won’t. That’s because enough people will choose free or subsidized charging at their workplace over paying high rates at home. And all the electric utilities need to do is to increase the night rate to a point that fewer people charge at night. Right now, in much of CA, the night rate (after 9pm?) is lower than the afternoon/evening rate.

In general, no matter what curve EV adoption follows, the electric utilities can set their rates intelligently to steer the charging times to where they need to be to make the grid work efficiently and properly.


Pricing and software like Tesla’s AutoBidder solves that problem. Maybe the Stanford researchers, living in California, never heard of free markets.


The Captain

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< scratches head > The study recommended a free market solution.


Yeah but everyone has an answer!

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

That’s what happens when one responds to a headline instead of reading the whole thing. :frowning_face:

It’s good to know that free markets are alive and well among Stanford researchers. :smiley:

The Captain



My respects that we have in common. Both of us will come in here to admit it when wrong. Very few are that big.

Thank you but I was right! As a college dropout I came to the same conclusion as a bunch of Stanford PhDs by applying correct economic theory clearly stated by Adam Smith almost 250 years ago without having to read the Stanford study.

The Captain

Well you are more right than wrong…you were in a room of Stanford Ph.Ds closer to now than 250 years ago.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Seriously until you have read the 5th book by Adam Smith and understood the historical context of when he wrote it you have not fully understood The Wealth of Nations. It is not what you think. In some ways it is Adam Smith’s mea culpa.


Which, of course, they won’t.

I have a $14 timer on a space heater in one room so it only turns on during the hours I need it. I’m pretty sure that adding “a timer” to an EV’s software will be trivial, and that people will shift their charging patterns to take advantage of pricing schedules as utilities may offer.

A system like Tesla’s AutoBidder is even smarter than a dumb timer. Never bet against innovation and free markets (unless the system is rigged by bureaucracy, a.k.a. regulation, taxation, subsidies, etc.)

The Captain


I’m pretty sure most EVs already have a basic level of programming covering charge times, allowing the owner to choose when to charge and how much to charge.

And some programs are probably considerably smarter than that.



I tried to go the space heat route. It became a money sucking black hole. The reason if the heater is not really close to you it becomes a complete waste of money to reach you.

The electric company a few months ago informed me that was why my bill was high. I stopped using space heaters in two rooms and my bill went down immediately regardless of how you factor in the outside temperature.

Space heaters are terribly inefficient. They only work for the specific scenario where the only alternative is heating a bunch of rooms that aren’t used anyway. For example, you have a house with 10 rooms, you only use two of them, but the house heater is either all 10 or none. In that rare case, it may be worth using a space heater for the one or two rooms that you will be using at any given time.


My thing was I had the heater ten feet away from me. By the time it reached me the heat had escaped several times over through the slanted ceiling/roof and out the walls to a smaller degree. For the most part you sit at a desk and heat your little area with a space heater that is it.