HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii Electric Light Company officials and local lawmakers blessed a new electric vehicle DC fast charger at its main office in Hilo on Tuesday. The utility-owned and operated EV charger is one of two that will be accessible to the Hawaii Island community.
HELCO is planning to dedicate the second EV charger at the company’s Kona office on Kaiwi Street today.
Deacon Larry Ignacio blessed the Level 3 fast charger in Hilo during a ceremony that was filmed by the company and shared with Big Island Video News. Alan Oshima, the president and CEO of HELCO’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric, was on hand for the event. So was HELCO president Jay Ignacio.
“Our customers are at the center of everything we do,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president in a media release. “One of our goals is to provide customers with more services and options, including an electric vehicle program. The DC Fast Charger is one part of the program.”
According to the utility, most charging stations offer chargers at Level 1 or 2 which take anywhere from 3 to 20 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. The Level 3 fast charger can recharge a near-depleted EV battery to 80 percent capacity in about 30 minutes, and even less time for smaller recharges. HELCO says this is the first Level 3 charger in East Hawaii and the second in West Hawaii.
The DC Fast Charger has both a CHAdeMO connection (used mostly by Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Kia Soul EV) and a CCS connection (used by the BMW i3).
These fast chargers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is a per-session fee to recharge: three different rates ranging from $7.00 to $8.00 per session depending on time of use, HELCO says. Session prices may change based on the changing cost of electricity. Drivers will be able to safely operate the charger and pay by credit card or by a Greenlots subscription.
“The Hawaiian Electric Companies are working with Greenlots – a global provider of open standards-based distributed energy resource solutions – on both the Hilo and Kona chargers,” HELCO stated. “The installation is designed to show how electricity demand management strategies can support EV initiatives on the road to a clean energy future for Hawai‘i.”
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission authorized a five-year demonstration for the Hawaiian Electric to install, own and operate up to 25 fast chargers across the islands. Detailed information on electric vehicles is available at hawaiielectriclight.com/goev.