Detailed Look At Electric Car Registrations In Hawaii

2 years ago by Mark Kane 22

Volta Industries charging point in Honolulu

Volta Industries charging point in Honolulu

Solar Impulse 2 in Hawaii

Solar Impulse 2 in Hawaii

The number of passenger plug-in electric cars registered in Hawaii as of September 2015 stood at 3,750, according to the “State of Hawaii Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report 2015“.

Over the last 12 months covered by the report, the number of EVs increased by 829 (+28.4%).

Compared to the 1,035,653 passenger vehicles in the state, EVs hold 0.36% of the passenger car fleet today. Market share among new cars is of course much higher, although we didn’t spot that number broken out.

The largest number of EVs are in Oahu (2,824), where there are 244 AC Level 2 charging spots, but most  of the DC fast chargers were installed in Maui.

Hawaii boasts 21.1% renewable electricity in 2014, up from 9.4% in 2008.

Registered Electric Vehicles And Publicly Available Charging Stations In Hawaii (source: State of Hawaii Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report 2015)

Registered Electric Vehicles And Publicly Available Charging Stations In Hawaii (source: State of Hawaii Energy Resources Coordinator’s Annual Report 2015)

Source: The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative

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22 responses to "Detailed Look At Electric Car Registrations In Hawaii"

  1. MikeG says:

    “Hawaii boasts 21.1% renewable electricity in 2014, up from 9.4% in 2008.”

    The good news is that Hawaii is moving to ever greater share of electricity produced through renewables.

    Unfortuately, the slow adoption of EVs in Hawaii is tied to the highest electric rates in the US.

    1. Ted says:

      I’d be inclined to blame the limited variety of (affordable) EVs available, rather than the price of electricity.

      Because even at $0.33 per kWh, gasoline vehicle have a higher running cost per mile.

      1. sven says:

        No they don’t. Not even close. I should know, I pay $0.31 per kWh on average in NYC. With these high electricity prices and the current low gas prices, it’s actually costs less to drive a Ford F-150 in NYC than a Leaf, and it could cost less even in Hawaii where the average gas price is about $0.70 higher than the national average.

        At $0.33 per kWh and $2.68 per gallon of gas (average price per hawaiigasprices.com) the annual fuel costs in Hawaii are as follows:

        2016 Nissan Leaf @ 112 MPGe Combined = $1,500
        2016 Toyoya Prius Eco @ 56 MPG Combined = $700
        2016 Ford F-150 @ 22 MPG Combined = $1,850

        So it costs the Prius driver a whopping $800 less to fuel up annually than it would cost to charge a Leaf at home. It would cost an F-150 driver $350 more.

        http://fueleconomy.gov/m/m.do?annualMiles=15000&cityPercent=55&regular=2.68&midgrade=2.29&premium=2.50&diesel=2.21&e85=2.36&lpg=2.90&cng=2.12&electricity=0.33&units=MPG&action=customize2&id=37067&id=37164&id=37039&btnPersonalize=Personalize

        If the F-150 driver and Prius driver fueled up at the lowest cost gas stations in Hawaii then they would pay around $2.13 per gallon, and their annual fuel costs would be as follows:

        2016 Nissan Leaf @ 112 MPGe Combined = $1,500
        2016 Toyoya Prius Eco @ 56 MPG Combined = $550
        2016 Ford F-150 @ 22 MPG Combined = $1,450

        At these gas prices, it costs the Prius driver $950 less annually to fuel up than it would cost to charge a Leaf at home. And shockingly, it would cost the F-150 driver $50 less annually to fuel up his big honking pickup truck than it would to charge a Leaf at home!

        http://fueleconomy.gov/m/m.do?annualMiles=15000&cityPercent=55&regular=2.13&midgrade=2.29&premium=2.50&diesel=2.21&e85=2.36&lpg=2.90&cng=2.12&electricity=0.33&units=MPG&action=customize2&id=37067&id=37164&id=37039&btnPersonalize=Personalize

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Thanks for those real-world numbers, sven.

          Yeah, the cost of electricity in Hawaii is shockingly high, I think higher than anywhere else in the USA.

          Making the situation even worse is that land owners are required to get permission from the local electrical utility to put in a solar installation… and the utility is, or at least at last report was, delaying approvals for months or years.

          If there is anywhere in the USA that it makes sense to go completely off the electrical grid by choice, rather than necessity, it’s in Hawaii.

          1. Dave K. says:

            Does Hawaii have a TOU rate? When I was a Ga. Power customer I had the option of charging off peak @ ~ 6cents/Kwhr, made driving almost free.

            1. Chris says:

              It does but the electric company requires a seperate meter dedicated for the EV. It is not a big enough savings per kWhr to make the cost of installation worth it.

  2. ffbj says:

    The battlefront and how it will play out.
    Utilities will attempt to roadblock, over-regulate, over fee, solar to slow it down.
    Its happening all over as the utilities get squeezed by the drop in price and increase in adoption of solar.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/business/energy-environment/solar-power-battle-puts-hawaii-at-forefront-of-worldwide-changes.html?_r=0

    1. sven says:

      Some parts of Hawaii have so much solar power installed that Hawaiian electric utilities have made 9 am to 2 pm is off-peak rate period. Crazy.

      http://chargedevs.com/newswire/hawaii-energy-launches-pilot-time-of-use-charging-program/

      1. ffbj says:

        Yeah, that is one way to try to get people to charge during the day, but goes counter to habitual behavior, and the fact that most people work during the day.

        I expect little from the utilities in the form of solutions, except ones like: we will pay you half of what we will charge you for the electricity you produced. Doesn’t seem fair does it. It isn’t.

        Battery storage for home base is really the best solution. It gives the customer more control and they don’t get ripped off by the utility, buying back, at twice the price the electricity they already produce. Additionally everyone pays a service charge, its like insurance, even if you never use it, you pay the service charge every month, solar or otherwise.
        Look for many FUD campaigns from utilities in the coming months against solar and political machinations to make solar less viable, read more costly, for the consumer.

        1. sven says:

          It’s already happened in Nevada. Recently, the Nevada Public Utility Commission voted unanimously to eliminate retail rate net metering for future and existing solar customers. Not only did they cut rates, but they also increased the monthly service charge for customers with solar PV systems.

          “The decision increases the fixed service charge for net-metered solar customers, and gradually lowers compensation for net excess solar generation from the retail rate to the wholesale rate for electricity, over the next four years. The changes will take effect on January 1 and will apply retroactively to all net-metered solar customers.”

          “The broad application of the policy sets a precedent for future net-metering and rate-design debates. To date, no other state considering net-metering reforms has proposed to implement changes on pre-existing customers that would take effect right away. Changes are typically grandfathered in over a decade or more.”

          SolarCity announced it would halt operations in Nevada. SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said the following:

          “Most disturbing is the Commission’s decision to retroactively sabotage existing solar customer’s investments by not grandfathering them onto current rates.” “The Nevada government encouraged these people to go solar, and now the government is putting them at great financial risk.”

          http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Nevada-Regulators-Eliminate-Retail-Rate-Net-Metering-for-New-and-Existing-S

          1. KUD says:

            I am in Maryland, so Nevada does not affect me at the moment. That said, I always show up at Public Service Commission meetings that involve Solar or EV. At least in Maryland the PSC pays attention to citizens. I wonder how many solar owners in Nevada took the time to attend this meetings. If for some reason Maryland decides to follow Nevada’s lead I will just buy some Batteries and disconnect from the Grid. Then there will not even be a connection charge to collect from me.

  3. Dr J says:

    The EV range on my 2014 ELR is ~40 miles per 12 KW-Hr. Using $.33 per KW-Hr that equates to 10 cents per mile. I pay about $2.40 per premium gallon. My ELR gets about 33 MPG in the “Hold” mode or about 7 cents per mile. Bottom line there is no economic reason to drive hybrid car when electric rates are at 33 cents. BTW I pay 8 cents per KW-Hr (about 2 1/2 cents per mile in EV mode)in the Pacific NW. Our power in generated by real renewable sources: hydro and nuclear.

  4. Don H says:

    The last I knew there were five level three chargers on Oahu, all perfectly placed so you couldn’t be too far from one in that the island is about fifty miles long. I didn’t know that Maui has 22…. That’s amazing… I don’t believe there are 22 gas stations on Maui!

    1. Brandon says:

      I’m wondering where you get the 22. Checking PlugShare I see 23 fast chargers listed for all the islands of Hawaii.

  5. Nichen says:

    I think it’s retarded to drive ICE if you live in Hawaii.

  6. Spec says:

    Hawaii is a weird place for EVs.
    It is bad because so much of their electricity comes from oil.
    But it is good since they have great renewable resources of wind & sun.
    But it is bad because they hit the pause button on all new solar PV as they got too worried about too much solar PV on the grid.
    But it is good because they’ve now allowed more solar PV if you just do minimal putting electricity on the grid or accept a very low payment for your excess electricity.

    So if you build a good solar PV system with great controls and some batteries . . . it is a GREAT place for an EV.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…they’ve now allowed more solar PV if you just do minimal putting electricity on the grid or accept a very low payment for your excess electricity.”

      Glad to learn that. That is, of course, the logical solution to people installing so much solar power in their homes, and feeding it into the grid, that the electrical utility found it difficult or impossible to handle the input.

      Too bad it took them so long to figure out and implement the obvious solution.

  7. Phr3d says:

    It is a wonder to me why every island on the planet is not already rolling out nearly free solar panels to those that can install them, doing a straight savings=more panels equation.

    What I hear from said island residents is that the power companies resist solar.

    oversimplification, no doubt, but..

    1. Speculawyer says:

      The utilities want paying customers. If people get their own solar panels, they won’t pay the utilities as much.

      Distributed generation really hits the business model of a utility hard. Thus that is why there are now so many heated fights over it. It was no big deal when it was less than 1% of customers installing solar PV . . . but now with lots of people installing solar PV, the utilities are panicking.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Thanks for explaining that so clearly, Speculawyer.

        Yeah, the electric utilities have a lot of overhead, maintaining power lines and paying for running the power plants. It’s understandable that they see solar installations at home and businesses as a threat to their business, rather than as a complementary power source.

        The proper solution would include a lot of installed grid energy storage, so the utilities could more evenly distribute power generation over a 24 hour period, so they could quit buying power from the more expensive sources… most notably the on-demand natural gas fired power plants. That would let them save money, which would be a win-win situation for everyone except the Big Oil companies selling natural gas.

  8. alohart says:

    Hawaii in great for EV’s because of its warm climate (no range loss due to cold weather), abundant renewable energy for those who have it, and low average speeds. The smaller Hawaiian islands, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai, are ideal for pure EV’s because of their small sizes (can drive anywhere without the need to recharge) and moderate elevation changes (no long range-reducing ascents). The larger islands, Maui and Hawaii, might be better for range-extended or long-range (e.g. Tesla) EV’s because of their sizes and significant elevation changes (can’t drive to some places without recharging most EV’s which isn’t convenient with Hawaii’s generally sparse public charging infrastructure). Unfortunately, dealerships for some EV’s aren’t on some of the islands, so EV choices can be limited.

    A high percentage of Oahu residents live in apartments where EVSE installation can be expensive. Fortunately, Hawaii has a state law that prohibits apartments from unreasonably restricting EVSE installation as long as the installation and operating costs are borne by the EV owner. This cost can make EV ownership even more expensive compared with ICE vehicle ownership. Unfortunately, Hawaii’s EV purchase cost rebate expired in 2012 and has not been renewed.

    A running cost comparison between an EV and an ICE vehicle includes more than just the cost of fuel. I drove the most fuel efficient gasoline ICE ever sold, a 2000 Honda Insight, on Oahu for 7 years averaging 62 mpg. Its running costs including required maintenance weren’t significantly lower than that of our Mitsubishi i-MiEV and now our BMW i3 BEV. Our EV’s have been far more enjoyable to drive than our Insight whose 5-speed transmission needs to be used aggressively if one needs a sudden burst of power. Being able to charge where we park overnight rather than visiting gasoline stations regularly is worth a lot to us, so we won’t own an ICE vehicle again regardless of any cost advantage of an ICE vehicle.

  9. Goofcat says:

    I live on Maui, the 22 level 3 is a bit short, i think it’s 24, because there are 6 places with 4 level 3 chargers each. The problem is that they are cosponsored by Nissan, so only leafs can use them. So the number is misleading.

    As for why EVs are a hard sell outside of Oahu, we still have a lot of unpaved country roads that are best traveled in a truck. Tacomas are the most popular “car” here.

    I drive a soul ev, it’s the closest ev to a truck. It’ll haul my boards to the water, but it doesn’t get me to all the surf spots. Most of my friends are holding out for an EV truck.

    Hawaii electric just ended net metering this year, they were dragging their feet for years on solar charging us $3000 for “inter connection” studies!