California should charge electric vehicles at night, not at night

California needs to charge electric vehicles during day, not night, to save grid, study says A new study finds California must charge electric vehicles during the day, not at night.

California has a lot of grid power. And when the sun goes down and the lights go out, as happens around the clock in many parts of the country, electricity providers often turn on the lights and charge up the big electric-plug-in hybrids and plug-in electric cars overnight.

But to help the grid provide electric-car owners with more electricity, California authorities have a few things it should consider.

First, they should charge electric vehicles, not at night, study says

California, with the other U.S. states, is in the process of developing policies that make it easier to buy plug-in electric cars that use a battery pack to recharge from the grid.

Those policies include rules to encourage more people to buy electric cars, as more charging stations are built, and rules to make it easier for electric-car drivers to charge their cars overnight.

“Those are the areas that can have the most benefits” because they allow people to buy electric vehicles when they want them, the study said.

The study was released Wednesday and prepared by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute. The NREL study is based on a proposal by the Electric Power Research Institute.

California authorities need to find a balance between charging electric vehicles at night and charging them during the day, the study says.

While charging at night might be the “right thing” for a vehicle owner who uses his vehicle “just a few days a year to drive just to the store” or to go to work, charging all the time might be the “wrong thing” if the electric-car owner is in the car 24 hours a day, the study warned.

Most of the state’s electric vehicles are used in grid-charging mode, and that means they are typically charged only twice a day, after morning and after noon

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