Texas Is a Prediction for the Future of Driving

Every Texan I know suffers from "grid anxiety," a low-level obsession with electricity that arose when devastating winter storms crippled the state's isolated electrical grid in February 2021.

That icy tragedy caused highway backups and grocery shop runs; people unintentionally poisoned themselves with carbon monoxide by running barbecues and autos indoors to get warm.

My hometown of San Antonio, like so many others across the state, was just unprepared for several days of frigid temperatures. Many elements contribute to such a calamity,

but the underlying inadequacy of the state's energy system cannot be overstated.

Extreme cold is at one extremity of the temperature spectrum. This summer, Texas reached the other end of the spectrum as the South saw record-breaking heat.

Now, whenever I talk to people back home, I have to ask, "Is your grid up for this?" So far, the answer has been yes, thanks in part to the state's significant increase of renewable energy, particularly solar electricity.

 However, additional solar power will only carry us so far if heat waves become more common, and it can be undermined by poor weather or high temperatures that last throughout the night. 

all of them running on an electrical system never intended to power automobiles. It's fair for Texans to wonder if the grid is ready for that as well.

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The trade that Dallas made is already paying dividends in practice.