PG&E says infrastructure in place to support California's electric car evolution

Dustin Dorsey Image
Thursday, September 9, 2021
PG&E says infrastructure in place to support electric cars
California has lofty goals regarding electric vehicles and PG&E says they are doing the work now to support demand when more EVs hit the road.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- To prevent outages, CAL ISO has announced a flex alert is in effect from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

With California's goals of more electric vehicles, it raises questions of how that plays into the high-demand for power that the state already has.

PG&E says they are up to the task and the all new fully-electric Volkswagen's technology could help as well.

RELATED: California Dreaming: How the Golden State is at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution

37,000 miles through 48 states in 98 days.

That's the world record tour that the all-new Volkswagen ID.4 fully-electric SUV is on right now as part of the VW ID.4 USA Tour.

Wednesday the route stopped at the Infineon Technologies facility in San Jose.

"It's great to be here in California at this specific time when the EV evolution is starting from here," VW ID.4 Tour Driver Rainer Zietlow said.

California will feature many more cars like the first electric VW SUV soon as the state begins its EV sales mandate in 2035.

Infineon is helping with that mission through their semiconductors, more than 50 of them are in the ID.4.

This car showcases the work the company is doing to make the country greener.

"Our employees don't always get to see how we really make the world greener," President of Infineon Technologies Americas Bob LeFort said. "When you're making semiconductors, you're on the low-end of the totem pole. So to see it in a car and the enthusiasm around the car is really special."

RELATED: Ford introduces fully-electric F-150 Lightning for 1st time in CA at Palo Alto's Greenfield Labs

Well above 50 percent of all new vehicles at the end of this decade will feature a partially or fully electric powertrain and so far in the ID.4 USA tour, there has been 95 stops at charging stations.

California has lofty goals for EV, but given these stats is PG&E ready for the increased load?

"We actually have 20% of all-electric vehicles in the country in our service area of Northern and Central California, so this is something we've had our eyes on for awhile, "PG&E Spokesperson Ari Vanrenen said, "We're continuously making sure we have enough to support all of our customers, those who are driving EVs and those who are not."

Graph not displaying correctly? Click here to open in a new window.

PG&E says they can forecast the electric load that EVs have on the power grid to make sure they can support the demand and upgrade distribution if needed.

They also continue to support the EV evolution by offering rebates, rates and programs to customers to get more people to go electric.

RELATED: Imposters posing as PG&E workers demand pay or power goes out

On flex days like today where the state calls for lower power usage from 4 to 9pm, PG&E suggests people shouldn't charge their vehicles.

Thankfully with 250 miles of range, the ID.4 has the tools in place to help the cause.

"This is where it's very important to have a long-range electric car because you can actually schedule when you charge it so it doesn't happen during peak hours," Vice President E-Mobility and Innovation at Volkswagen of America Matthew Renna said.

Electric usage will certainly continue to be something on the minds of both the power company and car makers as we head into the future.