Infrastructure Issues Holding Back EV Expansion

July 24, 2019

The state of Hawaii has been one of the earliest adopters of EVs in the United States, but a recent study from Ulupono Initiative showed that a lack of infrastructure may be holding back further growth.

Its White Paper, which can be read here, shows that the state has grown nearly 30 percent year over year — though EVs only account for 1 percent of the total car ownership on the islands.

Much of what is holding the state back, according to “The Extra Mile: Why Electric Vehicles Make Sense for Hawai‘i’s Economy, Environment and Communities,” the for-profit investment firm points directly at a lack of public charging stations to support the growth in the market. Its press release highlights three main ideas:

* Resident Hawai‘i EV drivers are generally dissatisfied with the existing charging network in the islands, averaging a score of 4.26 out of 10. The most common criticism was limited access to charging stations throughout the state.

* Sixty-eight percent of EV owners were receptive to paying a fee for charger usage. Acceptance of a usage fee tended to be even higher for EV owners on neighbor islands at 81 percent.

* The state may be missing out on efficiencies among visitors, as a majority of Hawai‘i visitors surveyed (56 percent) stated they probably would have rented an EV if it were available.

The information found in the initial survey done by Ulupono, indicated that 71 percent of drivers preferred parking in structures with access to charging stations while a staggering 92 percent would charge vehicles at work.

The numbers line up with the EV growth in America as well as the market confusion and frustration that AAA released this year.

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