Hawaiian Electric Company today asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to approve a proposal for an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Rate Pilot Project with reduced rates to encourage early adoption of electric vehicles and help make Hawaii EV-ready.
The proposed three-year pilot program will be open to 1,000 customers on Oahu, 300 in Maui County and 300 on Hawaii Island for charging highway-capable electric vehicles. The pilot project rates will go into effect October 1, 2010 for three years pending approval by the Public Utilities Commission. Hawaiian Electric will conduct the pilot project using existing resources.
“Our goal is to make Hawaii EV-ready as new, highway-capable EVs are expected to hit the market in the coming year,” said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. “We also want to send a message to automobile manufacturers to include Hawaii among the first markets where electric vehicles are available. This is another step in our commitment to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.”
“We realize only a few eligible electric vehicles are in Hawaii today, but we expect many more in years ahead and we are determined to be ready. More details on how customers can take advantage of the rates will become available as the effective date draws closer,” Alm said.
To encourage charging of electric vehicles during off peak hours, the pilot project will offer lower electric rates during that time – for residential customers on Oahu about six cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) below the residential rate — while allowing on-peak charging at higher rates – about three cents per kWh above the residential rate. Neighbor island residential off-peak charging rates will be about 7 to 10 cents per kWh lower than the residential rate.
The proposed rates could provide a substantial savings. For example, on Oahu a mid-sized internal combustion engine sedan with average fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon has a fuel cost of 12 cents per mile at $3.35 per gallon of gasoline. This month, with electricity on Oahu at 25 cents per kWh, a mid-sized electric vehicle with a range of 100 miles on a 24-kWh battery has a charging cost of 5 cents per mile, taking advantage of what would be a 19-cent/kWh off-peak charging rate.