All Charged Up And Ready
Wednesday - February 10, 2010
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By Frank Rogers
President of Green Energy Outlet
Green Energy Outlet made history Jan. 23 with the opening of Hawaii’s first public electric vehicle charging station at 575 G Cooke Street in Honolulu. I was very proud to be a pioneer and of making green transport technology history in Hawaii.
Everyone has been waiting for someone else to jump in first, but since there are so few electric vehicles out there, it didn’t make economic sense. But it is only a matter of time before these charging stations are available all over the island.
According to the Hawaii state energy administration’s office, there are approximately 110 electric vehicles registered statewide. The industry is so new it’s hard to say when full-sized EVs will overtake hybrids in sales. I love hybrids, but it’s rather obvious that the hybrid is only a technology designed to transition into fully electric vehicles.
And there are other vehicles that can plug into GEO’s charging station.
There are many smaller neighborhood electric vehicles - electric mopeds, Segways, scoot-ers, electric bikes, etc. - that can use our service as well.
So how does it work? Charging stations are so versatile because they have the ability to individually control each station in real time allowing the ChargePoint Networked Charging Station to be open to all drivers of plug-in vehicles.
This is a very cost-effective green transport technology. At the current Oahu gasoline and electricity prices, $250 worth of gasoline used in a 25 mpg conventional car would cost a consumer only about $13.30 in electricity.
Also, I am excited to remind clients that an additional advantage to EVs is that they require almost no maintenance or repair: no oil or filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks. Drivers have the option of paying for a single charging session by placing a toll free call to the 24/7 number on each charging station. Or they can become a ChargePoint Network subscriber by going to http://www.mychargepoint.net and choosing a monthly subscription plan that fits their lifestyle.
We know - and expect - that the bulk of EV charging will take place in your garage or condo. However, we also suspect that most of our customers will be coming in for a quick 20-40 minute charge to “top off” before going home.
While batteries are charging, we provide an outdoor café setting for customers to have a healthy snack or drink. We provide free Wi-Fi access so they can answer e-mail or surf the Net while they wait for the traffic to die down. They also can browse our store for the latest innovative green building and energy products. I am so proud that we can be the first to keep Hawaii plugged in to the latest innovations in green transport technology.
Americans drive an average 40 miles per day, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. If the state of Hawaii is to achieve Gov. Lingle’s goal of 70 percent renewable energy by 2030, electric cars must be a large part of our transportation landscape. Cars and trucks use about a third of Hawaii’s petroleum imports, and they are the easiest and fastest way to get to renewability.
Power generation and aviation fuel will be much more challenging than converting to electric cars.
Most new EV batteries have at least double the range of electric car batteries and can be charged at any ordinary electrical outlet (120V) or publicly accessible station with a faster charger.
I remind customers that if you plan carefully you won’t need to use our station, but it is comforting to know that we are available to charge you up in a central Honolulu location. If you run more errands than you expected, we can charge you up and get you back home without running out of juice in the middle of the freeway.
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