Electric vehicle fast chargers: The more the merrier
by Michael Choe | March 20, 2021
How often do you see an electric vehicle (EV) these days? Even without looking up the numbers, I can tell that the EV adoption rate has noticeably increased — I now see EVs such as Teslas and the Nissan Leaf on a daily basis. If you’re curious like me, in February, there were 13,973 registered EVs statewide, according to the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The DBEDT’s February 2021 Monthly Energy Trend also noted 2,661 EVs were added between February 2020 and last month, a 23.5 percent increase. I remember when Teslas used to be a rare sighting. Now it’s so common that it just blends in with other cars. It’s come to the point where it’s almost strange not to see an EV on the streets whether I’m in Kapolei, downtown, Waimanalo or on the North Shore.
With the increasing popularity of EVs it’s great that Hawaiian Electric continues to expand its public charging network. “Building reliable, convenient, public EV charging infrastructure will accelerate clean transportation and encourage more drivers to go electric,” said Hawaiian Electric Director of Electrification of Transportation (EoT) Aki Marceau. Range anxiety (the fear of running out of battery while on the road) is a common concern of customers when it comes to driving an EV, but having more fast chargers means this will be less of an issue. In fact, this expanded charging network has me seriously considering purchasing an EV when I’m ready to replace my existing vehicle. I have friends who use our fast charging stations due to the convenience and shorter amount of time it takes to charge up. Our company’s EoT team kicked off the first quarter of 2021 by announcing seven new fast chargers added on Oahu and Maui. This raised the total number of Hawaiian Electric fast chargers across our five-island service territory to 25.
In the short interview above, Alexander & Baldwin Director of Management and Operations Brad Santiago, expresses his excitement about having a fast charger installed at Waianae Mall, saying “it provides a great amenity for our tenants and customers but also the communities that we serve.” He also discusses how it will help alleviate range anxiety for those who travel long distances.
With range anxiety becoming less of an issue, we hope to see a higher EV adoption rate. But adding fast chargers goes beyond just getting rid of range anxiety and putting drivers’ minds at ease. We can continue to move away from fossil fuels and integrate more clean, renewable energy for the transportation sector. This can help reduce emissions as we transition to electric cars, buses and trucks. So I say keep the EVs and chargers coming. The more the merrier, for everyone and the environment.
Michael Choe is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric Company.