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Happy New Year, Big Island EV Association!

I hope that your holiday has been wonderful and that you’re well on your way to a prosperous new year.

As I reflect on our journey in 2017, I cannot feel prouder of what we’ve accomplished and excited about the future of sustainable transportation. Electric Vehicle ownership is growing – while far from being ubiquitous, it’s now common to encounter a LEAF, Bolt, and Tesla while driving our roads. It’s also not unusual to see a charging station occupied and for airport EV parking slots to be filled. (On my street in Hilo, there are 5 households with EVs!) As we wrap up the year, I’d like to thank you for your contributions to our mission, for your time and expertise at our Drive Electric Week events, for sharing at various community events, and for helping us improve our charging infrastructure.

Here are some EV highlights from our year:

Adoption

Increased public awareness of the total cost of ownership, driving experience, and environmental impact of EVs, coupled with a growing number of EV models, lower prices, and higher driving ranges, are translating into increased demand. Here are the stats from Hawaii.gov as of November 2017.

  • Number of registered passenger vehicles for the state: 1,059,740 (+1.7% over NOV’16)
  • Number of passenger electric vehicles for the state: 6607 (+32%)
STATE NOV 2016 NOV 2017 % Change
STATE 5,009 6,607 32%
OAHU 3,875 5,156 33%
MAUI 744 889 19%
HAWAII 228 339 49%
KAUAI 162 223 38%

State-wide, we now have over 6600 EVs. On the Big Island, the count grew 49%! This is still a fraction of the vehicles but we’re making progress. I expect that the figure will be even better this time next year.

Our Events and Talks

  • Hilo Electric Car Parade and Chevy Bolt Reveal – February
  • Waimea DC Fast Charger Blessing – March
  • Earth Day Fair – UH – April
  • South Hilo Rotary – April
  • West Hawaii Forum (Beyond Oil – Hawaii’s Clean Energy Promise) – June
  • Drive Electric Week – Hilo – September
  • Drive Electric Week – Waimea – September
  • Hawaiian Electric Clean Energy Fair – Keauhou – October

Charging Stations

We’re seeing good progress on the proliferation of charging stations. Per Plugshare.com, there are now over 34 charging stations, including 4 DC Fast Chargers on the Big Island. This year…

  • HELCO installed the 4th Big Island Fast Charger at the Waimea KTA
  • County installed Level 2 stations at parks in Pahoa, Waimea, and Kau
  • Target installed a second set of stations at the Hilo store
  • A 5th Fast Charger is being constructed at the Keaau Shopping Center. Fast Chargers are also planned for Kau and Hamakua!

 

Collaboration

In addition to PlugInAmerica, Electric Auto Association, and Sierra Club, we’re now collaborating with the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawaii (STCH) as a stakeholder. We’re also collaborating with Drive Electric Hawaii. These relationships will enable synergy and allow us to more quickly meet our shared mission and goals.

 

To an electrifying New Year!

As we enter 2018, you can expect even more outreach activities and an increased focus on charging infrastructure. As I’ve mentioned before, the BIEVA is a volunteer organization – our events, charging station monitoring, encouraging charging station installations, website maintenance, meeting with business and government leaders, and social media posts, are all done in our spare time. With your continued support, we will accomplish even more.

Thank you,

Noel Morin (on behalf of the BIEVA Leadership)

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