Fact Check: CA Did NOT Ask Electric Vehicle Owners To Avoid Charging Their Cars

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: CA Did NOT Ask Electric Vehicle Owners To Avoid Charging Their Cars Switch Time

Did California ask electric vehicle owners to avoid charging their cars during a strain on the power grid? Not really: Although the California Independent System Operator (ISO) has encouraged consumers to adjust their electricity usage during a potential power grid strain, the suggestion is not a call to avoid electricity altogether.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on March 17, 2022. The post featured a screenshot of a tweet. The tweet quoted a headline from a news article that stated "California Asks Residents to Avoid Charging Electric Cars Amid Power Grid Strain." The quote tweet read:

Someone should remind everyone where energy comes from.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on March 21, 2022:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon Mar 21 13:50 2022 UTC)

When California faces a possible strain on its power -- primarily due to high temperatures that motivate residents to use air conditioning units, lights and appliances in the evening en masse -- the California ISO may issue a Flex Alert. Flex Alerts are voluntary calls for consumers to alter their electricity usage to prevent power outages.

In an email to Lead Stories sent on March 18, 2022, Vonette Fontaine, a public information officer for California ISO, told us that the ISO does "encourage" consumers to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) before the beginning of a Flex Alert. But that encouragement is not a call to stop charging their vehicles:

Flex Alerts are voluntary calls for consumer conservation, and the program's messaging emphasizes shifting energy consumption. So we are not asking them to avoid charging altogether, but to charge at different times of the day during a Flex Alert.

In addition, Californians are asked to consider using large appliances and charging anything with a battery (cell phones, laptops, EVs, etc.) early in the day or later at night when it's most optimal for the electricity grid.

Therefore, while the California ISO does "encourage" making changes in their electricity usage, it does not call on consumers to avoid charging electric vehicles altogether, which is what the claim in the Facebook post suggests.

The headline used in the claim is from an article published by Newsmax on June 28, 2021, following extremely high temperatures in California from June 17 to June 18, 2021. More information about the Flex Alerts issued during that time can be found here. At the time of her email, Fontaine told us that there have not been any Flex Alerts issued so far in 2022.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

Different viewpoints

Note: if reading this fact check makes you want to contact us to complain about bias, please check out our Red feed first.

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a U.S. based fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion