Smart Charging Tries to Chill the Summer Power Grid

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.

A London-based startup called is selling a software platform that directs a vehicle to chug electrons only at the most propitious times. Plug your Tesla in at 5:30 p.m. on a hot summer day and the system might not start tanking it up until 2 in the morning. The trick, beyond building a slick app where drivers punch in how long the vehicle will be plugged in, is getting an accurate snapshot of the grid.’s system connects to utilities, electricity distributors and grid operators to forecast demand and nudge its network of 20,000 or so vehicles off the peaks and, when possible, into the troughs. In a best-case scenario, the arrangement cuts carbon emissions associated with a charging session by 20%