Better Place has started its initial deployment of EV infrastructure in Hawaii, with the launch of a project to incorporate its electric-vehicle infrastructure in Honolulu, in partnership with Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts’ Sheraton Waikiki Resort and Hawaiian Electric Company.
The project will start with a small number of charge spots in Waikiki and around Oahu and includes seven electric vehicles. Better Place will manage the charging of the vehicles via a network operations center located in Palo Alto, California.
This project marks the beginning of our initial, pre-commercial infrastructure deployment in Hawaii. It supports the state’s goal of leading the nation in renewable energy use, which Better Place will integrate into the grid via electric cars.—Jason Wolf, Vice President of Better Place’s North American Operations
Better Place was among five clean-energy companies awarded funding from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV), a project of the local nonprofit Pacific International Center for High Technology Research that allocates US Department of Energy funds.
Better Place’s initial charging stations will be based at partner Kyo-ya Hotel & Resorts’ Sheraton Waikiki Resort where two electric vehicles will be used as fleet vehicles and guest shuttles. Other charging stations will be at three Hawaiian Electric sites. Hawaiian Electric has been collaborating with Better Place on the infrastructure and energy needs to power the public charging spots with renewable energy and this program will further advance that collaboration. The Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, which will provide the facilities for maintenance, will also have charge infrastructure onsite.
The deployment of the infrastructure is expected to begin in early 2011, with the focus of the project on measuring vehicle performance, battery-charging metrics, the impact on the electrical grid, driver behavior and the software systems that manage the charging network.
Kyo-ya will operate two of the electric vehicles. The remaining five will be owned by Hawaiian Electric. In addition, the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute/University of Hawaii will be a research partner conducting data acquisition and analysis, reporting on vehicle and recharge performance and grid and driver behavior.
The project will cost approximately $1.1 million, of which about $500,000 in funding will come from the US Department of Energy. Better Place, which started its Hawaii operations in December 2008, is the prime contractor and operator and will provide project management, charge spots, network management and software.