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Smart Charging Tries to Chill the Summer Power Grid

With a $9 million round, seeks to shuffle electric vehicles off of power peaks and onto solar surges.

A Tesla Inc. Supercharging Station
Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

With summer heat frizzling already frazzled power grids, the California Independent System Operator, which handles the state’s grid and wholesale energy market, took a drastic step June 16: it asked electric vehicle owners to charge before 5 p.m. or after 10 p.m.

Battery-driven cars and trucks, tools to fight climate change, are ironically exacerbating heat-wave power outages. Thankfully, however, there’s a better option than just pulling their plugs.