Hawaii poised to be global leader in electrification of transportation

March 29, 2018

The state of Hawaii is leading the charge in creating a clean energy future that will benefit all residents across the Hawaiian Islands, and the Hawaiian Electric Companies play an important role in this transformation. On March 29, 2018, we released our Electrification of Transportation Strategic Roadmap, which describes the near- and long-term actions to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel for transportation as well as electricity.

The plan paints a picture of Hawaii in 2045 where most personal light duty vehicles will be powered by electricity generated by solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal, and other renewable resources.

Hawaii already has the second highest rate of electric vehicle adoption in the U.S. To accommodate the growing EV market, the plan outlines a proposal to install nearly 1,900 additional charging stations on Oahu in the next 27 years. It also notes that some of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers will introduce dozens of all-electric models with extended battery range over the next decade and that through the actions of its utilities, public agencies and private industry, Hawaii is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the clean transportation revolution.

And it isn’t only about electric vehicles. The roadmap outlines a plan to make room on the electrical grid for nearly 200,000 more private rooftop solar systems and grid-scale renewable projects in alignment with our commitment to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. In doing so, the renewables will be able to power electricity for other transportation facilities such as harbors and airports.

“This is a global movement that is transforming the way that individuals, families and businesses use vehicles and we have to be ready,” said Brennon Morioka, Hawaiian Electric’s general manager of electrification of transportation. “This roadmap lays out the steps for meeting the changing needs of our customers and communities and adapting to the new technologies we know are coming.”

Here is a glimpse of the key near-term steps from the plan to lay the foundation for future actions:

  1. Boost EV adoption by working with automakers, dealerships and advocates to lower the purchase price and educate customers on vehicle options and benefits
  2. Partner with third-party charging providers and others to facilitate the build out of charging infrastructure, especially in workplaces and multi-unit dwellings. Expand the network of utility-owned fast-chargers and public Level 2 chargers in gap areas to reduce range anxiety
  3. Support customers to transition to electric buses with targeted efforts to reduce the upfront cost and provide practical charging options. From buses, efforts can move to trucks and other heavy equipment
  4. Create grid service opportunities with incentives for demand response participation and charging aligned with grid needs to reduce costs and save drivers money
  5. Coordinate with ongoing grid modernization to ensure smooth integration of EVs into energy delivery networks and optimum use of renewable resources

“Hawaiian Electric first promoted electric vehicles more than 100 years ago,” Morioka said. “Today, the urgency has never been greater to reduce our use of oil for moving people and goods on the way to our clean energy future. This roadmap will guide our actions. The timing and precise route may change, but our destination and determination to reach it are clear.”

For more information on electric vehicles and to read the roadmap, visit www.hawaiianelectric.com/EoT.