It’s 4:30 p.m. and it’s hot, very hot, in Santa Monica, in the chic suburb of Los Angeles. The thermometer reads 36 degrees. “And again, two days ago, we exceeded 109”. Tom speaks in Fahrenheit, of course, which equals our 43 degrees Celsius. On this afternoon of September 9, the recommendation of the Governor of California has been in effect for more than a week. And driving his Tesla Model 3Tom scrupulously respects her. “It’s not very complicated, I go to the Supercharger in the morning and not every day, at least it’s cool. But it’s true that there are a lot more people than before. That means people follow instructions”.
The governor’s recommendation is far from having wreaked havoc in the richest state in the United States, the most equipped with electric cars too, and the stronghold of Tesla. But those who imagine that the streets of San Francisco or LA are silent because of the multitude of EVs will be at their expense and those of their ears: they represent only 5% of an estimated fleet of 14 million vehicles. cars. However, in Santa Monica, as in Santa Barbara or in the center of Los Angeles, the Tesla Model 3 or S are numerous, and they are in the process of being competed by Kia EV 6, more and more visible in the heavy traffic of the City of Angels. Traffic which, until a few years ago, left a thick layer of pollution in its wake. William remembers it. “It was a thick pink cloud that covered the city.”
Overpriced gas and pollution in LA push Californians to electric
The situation has improved a little. But he does not budge. If he is currently driving a huge SUV Lincoln Navigator, Bill already knows that his next car will be electric. Because of this pollution? “Not only, because of the price of gasoline too”. The gallon, the equivalent of 3.8 liters, reached 7 dollars in the spring, and even if it fell back to 5.50 dollars, he considers the cost excessive. A sum that reaches 1.50 euros per liter and that in France, we now consider reasonable.
Not here, because most American cars are not 3 cylinders downsizés. V6 and V8 pickups proliferate. And even though William’s Lincoln has a Ford Ecoboost V6, “it consumes nearly 4 gallons per 50 miles“, or nearly 15 l / 100 km. Something to think about and consider a switch to electric, especially since the Western State will ban the sale of thermal (except rechargeable hybrids) from 2035, not far removed from European politics.
He, like all Californians, receives a government notification on their phones every day recommending them, without forcing them, not to charge their car with watts between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., to avoid overloading the network, and a possible cut, like this was the case in 2020. Problems that are not only related to the use of charging stations, but also to domestic air conditioners, which are running at full speed during this heat wave. And Gavin Newsom, the Democratic governor of the state, recommends that air conditioning, which is widespread in all homes and all public places, should not be set below 77 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25 of our degrees.
This advice does not seem to be followed at all by Californians, at least in the restaurants, shops and hotels where we were able to go. It is cold, very cold. An obviously exaggerated feeling when you come from the overheated outside. However, no climate control showed less than 68 degrees. Are West Coast motorists more reasonable than shopkeepers?