On August 1, 2020 Hawaiian Electric Company moved forward with the ownership and operation of the existing EVohana network on Maui, which has been temporarily owned and operated by Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB). The EVohana charging sites were initially established as part of the JUMPSmartMaui demonstration project, a cooperative venture between, Japan, Hawaii, Maui, MEDB, Hitachi, and Hawaiian Electric. The pilot project operated from 2011 to 2017 to exhibit smart grid technologies that could enable the efficient use of renewable energy on an island grid.
“MEDB has been grateful for the longstanding partnerships and dedication of our EVohana members,” said Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President and CEO. “You were the pioneers in adopting electric vehicles (EVs) in our community. Thank you for helping move us forward towards our clean-energy goals. We appreciate Hawaiian Electric for ensuring our island continues to have access to reliable public fast-charging options for EV drivers, and for planning to replace four sites with new systems. Without Hawaiian Electric taking on some of these sites, the entire EVohana charging network would have been retired earlier this year.”
Sharon Suzuki, President of Hawaiian Electric’s Maui County and Hawai’i Island Utilities, said, “Mahalo to the EVohana members and partners MEDB, Ulupono Initiative, and the County of Maui for helping to advance clean transportation on Maui through this EV charging program. With the retirement of the EVohana Program, we remain committed to bringing as many as four new public fast-charging sites online later this year.”
EVohana member Damon Glastetter added, “The project coordinated by MEDB was an important test of how electric vehicles and renewable energy will impact Maui and the planet in the near future and beyond. When the project started EVs were a novelty. Fast-charging was predicted to overwhelm the grid, and solar photovoltaic (PV) power was not as ubiquitous as we see now. I was happy to be involved with Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, with my EV sending power back to the grid during peak demand hours. I look forward to a clean-energy future with more EVs and more PV.”
Maui has taken a leading role in the world adopting clean energy and this project is a major reason for that leadership. Thank you MEDB for your leadership in the EVohana.
Damon Glastetter, Solar-HI Maui, Jackson Electric, LLC