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More Charging Choices for Drivers of Electric Vehicles

December 4, 2017, 9:45 AM HST (Updated December 4, 2017, 7:38 AM)
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Big Island drivers of electric vehicle will have more control over how much they pay to charge their vehicles at charging stations operated by the Hawaiian Electric Companies, effective Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.

EV drivers will now pay per kilowatt-hour of electricity, corresponding to the companies’ Time-of-Use rates that offer a lower rate during the day when solar is available. The new rates will replace the flat rate at company-operated fast chargers on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu and Maui.

Hawai‘i Island – Prices & Locations

Price per sessions based upon start of session: (before Dec. 12, 2017)
$8.005 p.m. – 9 p.m.Monday – Friday
$7.507 a.m. – 5 p.m.
7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Monday – Friday
Saturday – Sunday
$7.009 p.m. – 7 a.m.Daily
New Price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) based upon time-of-use period: (effective Dec. 12, 2017)
Mid Day (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)$0.51/kWh
On-Peak (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.)$0.63/kWh
Off-Peak (10 p.m. – 9 a.m.)$0.61/kWh

“Technology now allows us to set rates in a way that gives customers more control and are fairer to other drivers and all our customers,” said Hawaiian Electric General Manager for Electrification of Transportation Brennon Morioka. “We expect many drivers to charge for shorter times and save money, which we hope will improve access and reduce waiting times at our most popular charging stations.”

Rates will vary by island and are designed to encourage customers to charge during midday when excess solar power is most available on island grids. With the flat rate, drivers were in effect paying more per mile for short sessions to “top off” a partially discharged battery than for long sessions to “fill up” an empty battery.

Based on use patterns, drivers charging electric vehicles with small or average-sized batteries will pay less than they do now. Owners of electric vehicles with larger batteries will likely need to spend more to fully recharge near-empty batteries.

Hawaiian Electric does not profit from EV drivers’ use of company-owned fast chargers to provide quick and convenient charging. Prices at company-owned fast chargers compare favorably with other publicly accessible chargers that require payment.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies will monitor use of the fast chargers to determine if the new rates are changing use patterns; future modifications to the rates are possible.

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Mileage varies, but a typical electric vehicle gets about 3.5 miles per kilowatt-hour. While some free public chargers are available, charging at home is still the least expensive and most convenient paid alternative for most people, especially customers with private rooftop solar. Home electric charging is less expensive mile-for-mile than fueling a typical gasoline-powered vehicle.

When the state Public Utilities Commission approved the extension of the companies’ Electric Vehicle Fast Charger program, it approved the new rate system as well. The new rates will apply to existing company-operated fast chargers and those to be added in the future.

Rates will be:

IslandTimeCents/kWh
O‘ahu9 a.m. to 5 p.m.49
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.57
10 p.m. to 9 a.m.54
Maui9 a.m. to 5 p.m.49
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.62
10 p.m. to 9 a.m.60
Hawai‘i Island9 a.m. to 5 p.m.51
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.63
10 p.m. to 9 a.m.61

Hawaiian Electric Companies currently operate a dozen EV fast chargers across their service territories and have approval to install a total of 25. Currently, fast chargers are available at:

  • Hawaii Island: Hawai‘i Electric Light Kīlauea office and Kona baseyard; Waimea KTA
  • Maui: Maui Electric Kahului office
  • O‘ahu: 7-11 Hawai‘i Kai; 801 Dillingham (across Costco); Dole Plantation; Ko‘olau Center; Kapolei Commons; Waianae Mall; and two at the Hawaiian Electric Ward Avenue office
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