Electric Vehicles Owners In Hawaii Ask: “Where Are All The Promised Public Charging Stations?”


The EV Battery Charger at the Demonstration Site for Japan-U.S. Island Grid Project in Hawaii - Lots of Chargers Here

The EV Battery Charger at the Demonstration Site for Japan-U.S. Island Grid Project in Hawaii – Lots of Chargers Here

“Charging is a way of life for Lucia Seale and her hybrid electric vehicle,” reports Hawaii News Now.

Quoting Seale:

“I embrace every little thing I can do for the environment.”

“I depend on the public availability to charge my car.”

Seale lives in a condo and can’t charge at home.  Therefore, like some of the thousands of Hawaii’s EV owners, Seale relies on public charging, which wouldn’t be such a if problem if Hawaii had made good on some of its promises.

Seale, as well as other EV owners, applauded the state when it signed into law the requirement of at least one charging station in all parking lots with 100 spots or more.  However, as it turns out, there is no penalty for non compliance with this law, which means that few comply.

Bill Markevitch, the first electric vehicle owner in Hawaii, seems upset with the lack of progress on the infrastructure front too:

“Absolutely. Yes definitely, especially the bigger places like Costco’s and Wal-Mart’s. I really expected them to jump on the bandwagon earlier.”

Purchasing an electric vehicle based on future expectations of a growing infrastructure is probably not wise.  We’ve all heard of massive future infrastructure growth planned here or there only to find out later that no action was taken to implement the plan.

The problem in Hawaii though is more severe.  As Hawaii News Now reports:

“Hawaii has the most electric vehicles in the country per capita and it’s expected to climb.”

Which means that the charging infrastructure needs to climb as well, but will it at a rate that’s quick enough to satisfy EV owners like Markevith and Seale?  Only time will tell.

Source: Hawaii News Now

Categories: Charging


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9 Comments on "Electric Vehicles Owners In Hawaii Ask: “Where Are All The Promised Public Charging Stations?”"

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“Seale lives in a condo and can’t charge at home.”

If you can’t charge at home then don’t buy an electric car.

Solve that problem first. Here in California, apartment dwellers are allowed to install chargers as long as they pay the cost. That’s a start but I want to see all new apartments include conduit to allow chargers to the added for a low cost.

Hawaii is very small. It’s an ideal situation for electric cars. Not being able to charge at home may be a problem for you, but if I was unable to charge at home, it would not be a problem for me. Given my drive to/from work, I can get away with L2 charging at a public station over lunch. Don’t just make a blanket statement about how if you can’t charge at home, don’t get an EV.

Might want to revise to say ” there is no penalty for failing to comply with this law,”

I agree. “Goals”, “MOU’s” and “targets” say nothing of commitments. Even things like renewables mandates, which are codified law, look like they may be blown off/modified.

How much does it do for the environment when your state uses petroleum residuals to generate 70%+ of its electricity?

Diesel generation is nominally higher in CO2 than natural gas, or beneath 1,000lb CO2/mwh, I believe. That can still be twice as good as an old coal plant. When you factor coal/BEVs rivaling gas cars that get 30mpgs (@3mp kwh), you still would need well above 60mpg for a Hawaii resident to do more for CO2 by stepping back into an ICE machine.

Where is Seale’s condo located? The EV infrastructure in Hawaii varies from island to island.

Either Plugshare, or the Hawaii EVSE map could be helpful:

Hawaii government is ahead of many states in supporting EVs … they even have a way to provide feedback.

In reference to Bill Markevitch’s and why Walmart, or Costco not providing more AC Level2 charging … for a condo, or renter it does make much sense hanging out at bigbox store for 1-3 hours each day.

A more suitable charging infrastructure for non-home charging is DCFC, which allows 30-60 miles to be added in 10-30 minutes. Another option is a 120V plug and arrangements to charge at work (for just a few $ per day which could be payed weekly, or monthly).

Is there specific promises that are not being fulfilled? It seems a common theme that governments have contracted infrastructure to 3rd parties, but there is little incentive to complete work within timeline and to reliability of EVSE. Perhaps the number and type (AC/DCFC) should be linked to number of EVs registered in a region?

Charging stations are not the answer. In fact, I see charging stations only as a way to break down the resistance of buyers to EVs. Charging should be done at home or in a dedicated location (like in an apartment parking area). It is deeply inconvenient to have to find a charge station, leave your car there while it charges and then move it when done. If i had to do that i would not own an EV.

As was said earlier, solve the apartment problem. Charge stations are not the answer.

Hawaii needs to pass a law like Santa Monica, where condo / apartment residents can have EVSEs installed.

Charging stations can be part of the solution. A DCFC within 3-5 miles would be a good option for an apartment/condo dweller.