Tesla Warns Californian Customers To Keep A Full Charge Ahead Of Roving Blackouts

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Some electric vehicle owners in California are resorting to using gasoline power as the state’s power utility employs roving blackouts to avoid potential wildfires.

Tesla warned its customers Wednesday to be aware of the problems and fully energize their vehicles instead of relying on half-power. Two electric vehicle owners in the state say they are not taking any chances and will rely on gas power to run their cars if they lose power.

California’s public utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) begins a days-long power shutoff to curb the risk of wildfires.

“At least in the worst-case scenario I have a gas-based generator for my house and for possible charging of my car,” Chad Dunbar, a resident of Petaluma, Calif. who works in IT in local government, told The Washington Post Wednesday night. His power was still on as of Wednesday, WaPo noted.

The remains of a home lies destroyed by wildfires in Green Valley Lake, California October 24, 2007. Firefighters made headway against 18 wildfires blazing across Southern California on Wednesday as hot winds abated for the first time in four days, but they were still battling to save entire neighborhoods from hopscotching flames. REUTERS/Max Whittaker (UNITED STATES)

The remains of a home lies destroyed by wildfires in Green Valley Lake, California October 24, 2007. REUTERS/Max Whittaker (UNITED STATES)

Dunbar bought gasoline-powered generators to charge his Tesla Model 3 in case of an emergency. He fully charged his vehicle Tuesday night ahead of the planned blackouts. (RELATED: Parts Of California Go Dark To Curb Wildfire Risk)

“A utility company in your area announced they may turn off power in some areas of Northern California beginning October 9 as part of public safety power shut-offs, which may affect power to charging options,” a message from Tesla read, according to Twitter posts from customers. “We recommend charging your Tesla to 100% today to ensure your drive remains uninterrupted.”

The electric vehicle company has not yet responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation for comment.

Zlatko Unger, 35, of Redwood City looked up the availability of Tesla charger stations after he got the company’s warning, telling reporters that the station he normally uses was busier than usual.

Unger said he has a backup plan if there is a catastrophe. He would use his Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, which can shift to gasoline power once the electric battery is depleted. “If everything went haywire, we would opt to use the hybrid instead,” he said.

Power went out for 513,000 northern California homes and businesses Wednesday morning, USA Today reported. Roughly 234,000 customers were expected to lose power later Wednesday afternoon, with another 42,000 people going dark, the outlet reported.

PG&E uses a mixture of natural gas, hydroelectric energy, and nuclear energy to power homes across northern California.

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