Texas doesn’t receive snow very often, but when it does, it apparently skyrockets the price of electricity.
On Tuesday, Oilprice.com reported that Texas’ current weather disaster, and subsequent electricity shortage, has electric vehicle (EV) charging prices surging, with the cost of charging a Tesla equating to about $900 (USD). The same charge in Texas at any non-emergency time would normally only cost about $18 (USD) using either a Level 1 or Level 2 charger at home.
Covered in snow & ice, roads mostly closed & no power in Austin
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 16, 2021
Texas leads the country in wind power installations, but performance has decreased significantly amidst the inclement weather, and has also resulted in rolling blackouts for a number of its residents. For the first time in Texas history, wind power generation surpassed coal-fired generation in 2020, with wind power generating as much as one-quarter of the state’s power.
Founder of Center for Industrial Progress Alex Epstein tweeted, “The wind-dependent Texas grid is experiencing rolling blackouts, prices the equivalent of $900 per Tesla charge, and an expected supply shortage of 10 GW–the amount of electricity needed to power 5 million homes.”
Numerous Tesla owners have been utilizing their vehicles and ‘camp mode’ to stay warm during power outages. Those lucky enough to have Tesla Powerwalls are living the dream right now in Texas.
The Texas electricity fiasco begs an important question: can our country’s current electrical grids support a major transition to EVs? And if not, what will we need to do to rectify the problem?
Zachary Visconti is a news writer covering Tesla and other EV companies, as well as stories about electric battery news, autonomous driving, and all things sustainable technology. Currently residing in Santa Rosa, California. Loves his wife, his cat Banks, and a good cup of coffee.