Using a public EV charger can be time well spent

by Robert Yang | Nov. 28, 2021

One of the biggest transitions for anyone switching to an electric vehicle is spending time charging it up. Adjusting from a gas-powered car that can be filled up in minutes to the longer charging times of an EV takes some getting used to. Although charging times aren’t usually an issue for those who can charge at home and leave their EV in the garage or driveway for extended periods, public charging is a different story.

The bulk of the public charging stations in Hawaii are the Level 2 type, which can take up to eight hours to fully charge most EVs. The advent of fast chargers, however, has cut EV charging times considerably. With their higher voltage, fast chargers can power an EV battery up to 80% in 15 to 30 minutes. This is especially advantageous to those who don’t have access to home charging because they live in residences where an EV charging station can’t be installed.

To help Hawaii transition to a renewable energy future, Hawaiian Electric has been installing fast chargers for several years, and now has 25 throughout its service territory. Spending 15 to 30 minutes may seem long compared to a gas station fill up, but most fast chargers are located near other retail businesses. There are so many ways to make the time fly by fast while charging! As an EV owner, you can do your weekly errands while charging your EV.

Access our EV charging stations directly from the Hawaiian Electric mobile app. Many of our fast chargers are in or near shopping centers. Let’s see what kind of activities we can accomplish while we charge up. Here’s an example from one of our newly installed fast charger at Salt Lake Shopping Center:

  • Shop for groceries at the supermarket
  • Eat a meal or pick up takeout
  • Sip a refreshing beverage
  • Take care of your banking needs
  • Shop for a new phone or pay a phone bill

There are so many activities to preoccupy your time! If you don’t have anything to do at the businesses nearby you can always pass the time by doing work on a laptop or iPad, or simply go on your phone.

Please remember to not leave your EV plugged in beyond the time of your charging session. Some activities may take longer than the charging time required. If your EV has finished charging but your activity is still in progress, then be sure to unplug your EV and move it to a parking stall for the next customer. This simple etiquette gives other EV drivers an opportunity to use the charger.

If you’re a current or prospective EV owner and want to see more fast chargers near you, please take our Charge Up Hawaii survey to help us decide where future fast chargers should be installed. As a condominium resident with access to two Level 2 charging stations in my building, I gave my input through the survey to install a fast charger in front of my building. As Hawaiian Electric deploys more fast chargers I know charging an EV won’t be an issue when it’s time to buy one! Also, be sure to check out the new Electric Garage feature on our website with lively blogs, videos, tips and other resources that will help demystify the world of electric vehicles.

Robert Yang is a digital communications and social media specialist at Hawaiian Electric.

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